PPG has introduced the DragonHide ZRE finish system, a duplex coating system engineered with a self-healing, zinc-rich primer between the base metal substrate and electrocoat finish.This, the company says, dramatically improves the corrosion resistance of high-end underbody parts and sub-frame finishes on automobiles. John Zbiegien, PPG product manager, industrial coatings, said the development of a self-healing zinc-rich barrier represents a major technological breakthrough in corrosion resistance. “When the barrier coat on an underbody assembly treated with the DragonHideZRE system gets chipped by road debris, the sacrificial zinc-oxide layer corrodes, causing the basecoat to heal and protect itself,” he explained. “That enables highly exposed auto parts to last much longer in service than they do today.” The Spectracron zinc-rich coating, which works exclusively with PPG’s Powercron electrocoats to form the DragonHide ZRE finish system, has been performance-tested by major auto manufacturers for the past three years. Potential applications are control arms, tie rods, linkages, engine cradles, fasteners and other components that are critical to the safety, durability and performance of automobiles. The system also can be used for general finishing applications and by heavy-duty and military equipment manufacturers for producing parts that must survive highly corrosive environments. In addition to providing superior corrosion resistance, it also enables automakers, heavy-duty equipment manufacturers and military contractors and their suppliers to cut costs and vehicle weight by using thinner-gauge steel for parts. It will enhance corrosion performance on welds, seams and cut edges; and minimize masking requirements for complex parts. It also can be an economical alternative to galvanizing and plating.  TheDragonHide ZRE finish solution can be applied by dip-drain, dip-spin and spray methods. It reportedly offers various environmental benefits over competing coating systems because it is combined with an electrocoat layer. www.ppgindustrialcoatings.com