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Ed Attanasio

Ed Attanasio is an automotive journalist based in San Francisco. Ed enjoys sports of all kinds and is a part time stand-up comedian.

 

He can be reached at era39@aol.com.

Tuesday, 08 February 2022 09:42

Certain Metallic Finishes May Interfere with ADAS Radar Systems, PPG Expert Says

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PPG’s Global Products and Segments Director Nick Tullett has been working with carmakers to develop refinishing products that won’t interfere with ADAS. PPG’s Global Products and Segments Director Nick Tullett has been working with carmakers to develop refinishing products that won’t interfere with ADAS.

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A decade ago, ADAS was an acronym very few people in the collision repair industry were familiar with. But now every collision repair professional on the planet knows what it means and how it affects them every day.

More and more auto body shops are taking their diagnostics in-house and hiring techs who have the proper training to do the job right. If ADAS does not work correctly or one of the systems is misaligned, people’s lives could be in jeopardy.

 

Within the last two years, paint manufacturers have discovered certain metallic finishes interact with the electromagnetic radiation used by radar. It may interfere with radar transmission and if it goes above a threshold set by the vehicle, it can potentially present a serious safety issue.

 

Paint and coatings suppliers such as PPG have evaluated swapping the aluminum pigments in the metallic finish with alternatives to significantly enhance radar transmission. These reformulated colors will maintain a good match to the car’s original finish while reducing the radar transmission loss, so safety systems can function as designed.

 

PPG’s Global Products and Segments Director Nick Tullett has been working with carmakers to develop refinishing products that won’t interfere with ADAS. One of his top deliverables is to help the OEs to fully understand the impact of certain metallic finishes on ADAS.

 

Even a low-speed fender bender can damage these advanced systems, reducing driver safety---a concern for every stakeholder involved.

 

“ADAS technology is actually located in areas of the car that are easily and frequently damaged,” Tullett said. “Carmakers have been installing ADAS such as forward collision, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warnings and adaptive cruise control in peripheral, easy-to-damage vehicle parts like windshields and bumpers. These parts often house radar, a system that uses radio waves to detect people, autos and other objects close to it, to enable many of these safety features.

“ADAS is presenting new challenges for collision centers and for the repair industry in general,” Tullett said. “There are so many stakeholders involved, from the vehicle makers to the collision repair shops to the paint companies. Our main concern at PPG is how do we repaint and repair certain metallic colors without...


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