Artificial bird droppings

Ford vehicles have currently developed artificial bird droppings in order to optimally adjust paints to the challenges of this pollution.

Image: Ford

The acids of the synthetic material reproduce the different residues of most European bird species. On specially prepared test plates, the artificial bird droppings are heated in an oven at 40, 50 and 60 °C to push the paint surfaces to their limits. In addition, the coatings are subjected to further demanding tests. For example, phosphoric acid, soapy water and synthetic pollen are applied to test plates before they are exposed to high temperatures of up to 80 °C for half an hour.

Bird droppings are often white and black. The white part is uric acid, the bird’s equivalent of urine. The darker parts, on the other hand, are digested food. Both are usually excreted simultaneously by birds. This happens at such a speed that the different secretions do not have time to mix. Particularly in spring and summer, sunlight also puts a strain on vehicle paintwork – because the surfaces become softer and expand in heat. When they cool down, they contract again and any dirt, including bird droppings, then adhere particularly strongly. By fine-tuning pigments, fillers and additives, however, specialists can ensure that the paint is optimally formulated to provide maximum color brilliance – while at the same time offering the best possible protection against pollutants and weather influences. At Ford, tests also include exposing paint surfaces to ultraviolet light for up to 6,000 hours (250 days) in a light laboratory simulating the brightest place on earth. In addition, paintwork is frozen at sub-zero temperatures, exposed to salt and dirt, and doused with fuel, as can happen during over-fuelling.

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