As its name implies, the Three Layer Wet Paint System is a one-step baking and drying coating method that applies three layers in succession—primer coat, base coat and clear coat—while still wet, without drying in between. By eliminating the drying process formerly required after applying the primer coat, CO2 emissions are reduced 15%. Moreover, a new low solvent content paint jointly developed with paint manufacturers, applied with high-precision coating equipment enables gains in coating efficiency leading to reductions of 50% in VOC emissions. In addition, by applying the primer coat and top coat in the same booth we have managed to streamline our production lines.
Until recently, it was thought that using a wet paint system would lead to problems of paints mixing between the successive layers. For this reason other companies' coating techniques require a drying stage following the intermediate coat. Mazda overcame this issue through innovations such as the newly developed interface control resin that was added to the paint. The Three Layer Wet Paint System also manifests a deep tone finish that is unique to this method.
Mazda commenced development of this technology in 1994. The initial objective was cost reduction for two-tone paints. In 1998, we expanded the horizons of the project to encompass the coating for the full car body, and added improved product value, productivity and environmental efficiency to the list of desired benefits of this technology. We established a target to develop a single solution to all these issues. The perfected Three Layer Wet Paint System was introduced after four years of experimental verification and has been adopted across all domestic Mazda production facilities.