Home | deutsch  | Plain Language | Legals | Data Protection | Sitemap | Intranet | KIT
Portrait Monika Landgraf
Contact:
Monika Landgraf
Head of Corporate Communications, Chief Press Officer

Phone: +49 721 608-47414
Fax: +49 721 608-43658
presse(a)kit.edu

Subscription of Press Releases

RSS-Feed

Press Release 052/2017

Electric Impulses Clean Industrial Water and Paints

Innovative Process for Decontamination in Paint Shops
2017_052_Elektroimpulse saeubern Industriewaesser und Lacke_72dpi
Painting in an immersion bath: Industrial water and paints can be sterilized with electric impulses. (Photo: Eisenmann)

Most paints for households or industry are based on water and, hence, are environmentally more compatible than paints based on solvents. Water-based paints, however, have one drawback: Microorganisms, such as bacteria, feel very comfortable and spread. This also affects paint shops of automotive industry and other sectors. Sterilization of industrial water and paints with electric impulses is the objective of the DiWaL cooperation project funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). This project is coordinated by researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and executed in cooperation with partners from research and industry. 

 

Whether brightly colored or classic gray or black: Before a car is painted, the body is cleaned, pre-treated, and provided with a corrosion-resistant coating by surface pre-treatment and electrophoretic immersion painting. The latter is an electrochemical process to produce a homogeneous paint coating by a DC voltage field in an immersion bath. “However, bacteria can reproduce well in the water and paints used and then adversely affect the quality of surface coating. To control these bacteria, biocides have been used so far. The new electric impulse technology works without chemical additives, reduces water consumption, and even contributes to water protection,” says Dr. Wolfgang Frey of KIT’s Institute for Pulsed Power and Microwave Technology, who coordinates the cooperation project “Dekontamination von industriellen Wässern und Lacken” (DiWaL, Decontamination of industrial water and paints). 

 

By means of electric impulses, cells or microorganisms are exposed to an electric field. The cell membrane is polarized, which means that electric poles form and aqueous pores open. This eventually results in the death of the microorganisms. This phenomenon is used on a large scale for the effective extraction of cell constituents and for killing microorganisms (“cold pasteurization”).

 

As the electric impulses have a purely physical effect, bacteria are not expected to develop resistances, as they do in the case of biocides. “We control microbiological contamination and can achieve an optimum coating quality and prevent rework at the same time,” Dr. Frey says. 

 

In automotive industry, painting of the body is the activity with the highest water consumption (up to 600 liters per car body). For this reason, the electric impulse technology is integrated into a new, automated, and resource-efficient water management and plant concept for pre-treatment and immersion painting developed by research and industry partners under DiWaL. By means of this process, the water cycle at the factory is optimized and freshwater consumption is to be reduced. Technical implementation focuses on the aspects of quality, costs, and the environment. The user perspective also is considered highly important. That is why DiWaL analyzes the requirements of the users as well as potential obstacles. The results will then be incorporated in design and technical development. 

 

DiWaL pools the expertise of partners from research (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and Pforzheim University of Applied Sciences) and industry, namely, a plant manufacturer (Eisenmann SE), two paint producers (Emil Frei GmbH & Co. KG and PPG Deutschland Business Support GmbH) as well as an automotive manufacturer (BMW Group).

 

The project focuses on both surface treatment for automotive industry (cathodic immersion painting) and applications for general industry, e.g. painting of industrial goods by anodic immersion painting. Technical, economic, and ecological framework conditions and requirements are taken into account. 

 

The project “Entwicklung eines ressourceneffizienten Wassermanagement- und Anlagenkonzepts für Vorbehandlungs- und Tauchlackieranlangen unter Nutzung der Elektroimpulstechnologie zur Dekontamination von industriellen Wässern und Lacken (DiWaL, Development of a resource-efficient water management and plant concept for pre-treatment and immersion painting systems using the electric impulse technology for the decontamination of industrial water and paints) is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) under the WavE program.   

 

More information on the WavE program of BMBF: http://www.bmbf-wave.de/ (in German only).      

 

Being „The Research University in the Helmholtz Association“, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility and information. For this, about 9,300 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 25,500 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life.

le, 27.04.2017

Press contact:

Margarete Lehné
Stellvertretende Pressesprecherin
Phone: +49 721 608-48121
Fax: +49 721 608-45681
margarete lehneDrz8∂kit edu
The photo in the best quality available to us may be requested by
presseRjz5∂kit edu or phone: +49 721 608-47414.

The press release is available as a PDF file.