The objective of this work is to enhance the understanding of the delay observed in the early stages of E-coat deposition. E-coat deposition has been widely used by industries such as the automotive industry to form the primary protective coating against corrosion. Currently, models that are used to find the best conditions under which the desired coating coverage for the entire auto body can be achieved do not accurately predict the coating coverage in recessed areas. The accuracy of large-scale models can be improved by enhancing our understanding of the mechanisms responsible for the observed delay. To accomplish this, experiments are performed to define the processes that control deposition initiation and then a model is developed to describe those processes. Simulation results are compared with experimental measurements for a range of conditions to assess the validity of the results. The delay before the onset of deposition is influenced by the type of substrate and properties of the E-coat solution. The impact of the substrate type on the onset of deposition was experimentally investigated. The results of experiments indicated that surface characteristics such as adhesion of bubbles to the surface and the formation of an initial coating increase the local current density on the surface. Investigations of the morphology of the initial coating on different types of substrates indicated that deposition began at areas where the local current density was higher. Increasing the local current density due to the adhesion of bubbles to the surface resulted in a 40% reduction in the time required for the onset of deposition on galvanized steel compared to bare steel. The processes in the solution adjacent to the surface were also investigated to understand the mechanisms responsible for the onset of deposition. Convection was used as a tool to determine the impact of the accumulation of hydroxide ions on the onset of deposition. The results of rotating disk electrode (RDE) experiments showed that the observed delay before deposition was not due to the time required for accumulation of hydroxide ions at the surface. The results of additional experiments showed that the accumulation of micelles was critical to the deposit initiation. The impact of micelle accumulation on the deposit initiation was further explored by developing a mathematical model of the physical processes in the solution adjacent to the surface. The model was evaluated at different conditions and was found to agree with experimental results at different current densities and bulk micelle concentrations. The model and the experimental results from this study help to explain the observed delay in the early stages of E-coat deposition and provide a basis for improving large-scale simulation of E-coat deposition.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Chemical Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





electrodeposition of coatings, electrocoating, e-coat, induction time, substrate effects, critical pH, micelle accumulation, e-coat modeling



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Engineering Commons