BMW has developed a system that allows you to modify the color of the car at will
Choosing the color of the car will cease to be a problem if an idea developed by BMW is brought to production. Just press a button to turn the body from white to black. At the moment, this technology is in its experimental phase, but, in addition to being able to change color quickly, it also allows you to create visual effects on the car’s sheet metal.
The principle on which it is based is not to use a traditional painting as such, but a compound similar to the one used by electronic books. Its particularity is based on the fact that it contains a series of black and white microcapsules. The first with a negative charge and the second with a positive one. One or the other is activated depending on the electrical stimulus they receive. It is enough to apply a thin layer of this electronic ink on the bodywork, barely the thickness of a hair, so that the car changes from one color to another. At the moment, the design of this idea, shown on a BMW iX, worships the beginning of op-art with its black and white aesthetics, although the brand has already said that they have more colors in studio .
The firm has already announced that this development is still very early, but it opens the door to a world of possibilities in which we can combine the color of our car with that of clothing or sunglasses. But while that arrives, drivers already dream of being able to drive a white vehicle in summer and a black one in winter to minimize climatic rigors .
It is not the first time that car paint has been studied by brands. Nissan already presented almost a decade ago a protective varnish that, applied to the bodywork, was capable of repairing minor scratches. The secret was in the resistance and elasticity of one of the ingredients of this varnish: poly-rotaxane. In case of a scratch, the supramolecule of this compound occupied the groove produced.
Why are cars painted?
The application of varnishes over paint emerged in the 1980s with the appearance of metallic bodies. They were super gimmicky and gave the car a very forward looking look. They immediately succeeded, but almost at the same time that their success came problems because they rusted. The solution was the creation of the bilayer system, that is, a first coat of colored paint and particles of aluminum that gave that gimmicky touch; on top of it, a transparent varnish.
Today the process has become even more sophisticated because under the layer of paint and varnish a more anticorrosive has been added whose mission is to prevent rust on the bodywork… because, after all, the initial purpose of paint is to protect vehicles from corrosion. And that, in the system that BMW now presents, has yet to be demonstrated. Perhaps the trick is to add one more layer to the two already existing ones.