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Ford uses artificial bird droppings to keep your paintwork safe

Ford uses artificial bird droppings to keep your paintwork safe

Ever wondered why newer cars don’t get damaged the way old cars did by bird droppings? Me neither, but Ford has provided the answer anyway.

A recent press release from Ford is more interesting than most for a very specific reason. The release talks about how Ford uses artificial bird dropping to ensure your car doesn’t deteriorate like it used to when used as a bird bathroom.

Given how many of our cars are standing idle right now, this release seemed timely. If, like me, you park your car near a tree you will know only too well the mess your car will be in after even a few days sat still.

André Thierig, manager, Core Engineering Paint, Ford of Europe said; “With so many cars parked up at the moment as people stay at home, it’s likely birds are leaving their mark more than usual. It’s wise to remove it before it gets too baked on, but our customers can at least take some consolation in the work we do to keep their paint protected.”

Aim for the roof

Not all that long ago, if you left bird droppings on your car and didn’t clean it off you would end up with a faint outline of where the dropping was. That is no longer the case if you drive a Ford. Many other automakers have a similar setup but Ford takes it one step further.

Ford has actually created a series of artificial bird dropping varieties that mimic the real diet of birds around the world. They apply those droppings through a spray and then subject the car to 40° C, 50° C and 60° C heat to see what happens. Paint finishes that survive this treatment make it to production. Those that don’t, don’t.

Spring in the air

As if artificial bird droppings weren’t enough, Ford also has synthesized tree sap and pollen and will attack paintwork with those too in order to simulate real life.

Ford says; “Spring and summer can be particularly dangerous for paint as not only are there often more birds about, but paint can also soften and expand under intense sunlight. When it cools it contracts and any grime, including bird droppings, attaches itself to the surface. If left on the vehicle, it can leave a permanent impression that requires specialist treatment to remove.

By fine-tuning the pigments, resins and additives that go into making a car’s shiny protective paintwork, specialists can ensure the coating Ford applies to its vehicles has the optimum make-up to resist the impact of these types of pollutants, no matter what the weather.”

Ford isn’t the only automaker to test bodywork this way but this is an aspect of car development often overlooked. While emphasis is placed on engines, safety tech, infotainment and design, it is easy to forget those chemists somewhere deep in a Ford laboratory working furiously to come up with a new breed of bird dropping.

All so our cars remain shiny no matter what’s going on in the world around us!

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