The innovative new method helps to cut CO2 emissions.
The Toyota Prius was a pioneer for mass-produced hybrids that were a lot more environmentally friendly than gas-only vehicles. Now, the Japanese automaker has turned to an innovative new paint atomizer as another way to reduce CO2 emissions. The airless paint atomizer makes use of static electricity instead of air and, as a result, achieves a coating efficiency of 95 percent instead of the usual 60-70 percent.
What exactly is coating efficiency? It applies to the volume of paint sprayed relative to the amount of paint that ends up sticking to the vehicle's body. With a loss of only five percent from spraying to adhesion, Toyota claims that the new technique achieves the highest coating efficiency in the world.
Using the new painting process will reduce the Toyota Group's CO2 emissions by approximately seven percent, no mean feat for one of the largest automobile manufacturers globally. Unlike conventional air paint atomizers using aerodynamic force - a process that causes paint particles to ricochet off of the surface it is applied to - Toyota's new process sees statically charged particles gravitating to the surface (the vehicle body). In this way, far fewer atomized particles are scattered, so wastage is dramatically reduced.
The diagram below shows the tip of the airless paint atomizer. Cylindrical in shape, the tip has 600 grooves and, upon rotation, the paint flows through the grooves. Using static electricity, the paint is atomized.
The airless paint atomizer is already in use in Toyota's Takaoka and Tsutsumi Plants, with deployment set to continue at other plants in the near future. It's just one initiative that forms part of Toyota's Plant Zero CO2 Emissions Challenge. Previously, the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050 was announced with the goal of automobiles and their production to drastically reduce their impact on the environment.
With manufacturers currently obsessed with pumping more and more EVs into the market, it's refreshing that Toyota has found a novel way to reduce its total CO2 emissions that has nothing to do with the drivetrain at all.