Thursday 21 November 2019

CorkHi10°| Lo

Cork Independent


Ford says creams and gels could be damaging your car

Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019 3:59pm

Bought in ever increasing quantities, hand sanitisers and higher sun protection factor lotion may be good for our health but they can be bad news for our cars.

Chemicals found in some such products can react with surfaces, causing them to wear prematurely unless they are protected by special finishes.

This is a challenge that Ford engineers deal with daily, continually testing new products on the materials that are used in its vehicles and supporting the development of resistant coatings that can ensure they look good for years to come.

“From hand sanitisers to sun lotions to insect repellent, consumer trends are constantly changing, and new products are coming on to the market all the time,” said Mark Montgomery, Senior Materials Engineer at the Materials Technology Centre, Dunton Technical Centre, UK, for Ford of Europe.

“Even the most innocuous seeming product can cause problems when they come into contact with surfaces hundreds and even thousands of times a year.”

The European market for hand sanitiser, including gel, foam and wipes, many of which contain ethanol, is expected to rise by 60 per cent, from $371.92 million in 2018, to $593.62 million by 2024.

Higher sun protection factor lotions contain greater quantities of titanium oxide that can react with plastics and natural oils that are found in leather, especially when it is hot. Diethyltoluamide, or DEET, is the most common active ingredient in insect repellents.

The Ford teams in Dunton and Cologne, Germany, test at temperatures that can in some cases reach 74°C – the temperature the inside of a car parked at the beach on a hot day might reach.

In other tests they simulate extended exposure to the sun, with samples bombarded with ultra violet light, equivalent to the brightest place on earth, for up to 1,152 hours (48 days).

They also test plastics for strength at temperatures as low as -30°C when they become most brittle, repeatedly bouncing a rubber ball – that is ten times heavier than a regulation football – to ensure the plastic doesn’t crack.

Based on the findings, the chemical constitution of protective coatings can then be reformulated so that interiors are protected. This helps Ford in its aim to keep interiors looking good for the lifetime of the vehicle, which can help owners when it’s time to sell their car.

Testing also applies to storage accessories, sold through Ford Customer Service Division, such as boot liners and interior plastic covers.

“Sometimes what we do requires a bit of detective work,” said Richard Kyle, materials engineer, also based in Dunton.

“There were instances of particularly high wear in Turkey and we managed to trace it back to ethanol potentially being a contributing factor, and most likely a popular hand sanitiser that contained 80 per cent ethanol – far higher than anything we’d seen before. Once we knew what it was, we were able to do something about it.”

ePaper Service

Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8
Desktop, Tablet & Smartphone friendly
Cookies on Cork Independent website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. We also use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Cork Independent website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time by amending your browser settings.
How does Cork Independent use cookies?
Cookies enable us to identify your device, or you when you have logged in. We use cookies that are strictly necessary to enable you to move around the site or to provide certain basic features. We use cookies to enhance the functionality of the website by storing your preferences, for example. We also use cookies to help us to improve the performance of our website to provide you with a better user experience.
We don't sell the information collected by cookies, nor do we disclose the information to third parties, except where required by law (for example to government bodies and law enforcement agencies).
Hide Message