Alro Group products always give you the best quality finish. A quality product finish is an absolute priority for us. This has allowed us to build an excellent reputation in the market.
Alro Group’s IATF 16949 certified international automotive quality management system guarantees the very best quality. This means that independent Bureau Veritas Certification audits are held every year. These certificates show that Alro Group is a reliable and professional partner.
WHAT IS OUR APPROACH?
Alro Group checks your specific requirements in our labs to ensure quality. We use specific devices that simulate real-life situations for this. In addition to our central lab, each product site also has one or more process and quality labs to check the parameters of our processes and perform all the basic tests on the coatings (colour, gloss, structure, adhesion, smoothness, etc.). We can also measure the technical properties of the coat of paint. For example, we can test the corrosion protection and resistance in certain climate situations.
We also have the knowledge and equipment to carry out microscopic analyses to investigate possible defects in the coating or coated product. We can also very accurately determine the thickness of the different coats in microns (1/1000mm).
WHAT DO WE TEST?
This device measures the structure of a painted surface.
This device measures the gloss level of a painted surface. This test measures the reflection of light.
This device measures the colour and compares it with the master plate.
Thickness of the coats of paint
Magnetic induction gauge
This device measures the total coat thickness of a painted metal surface.
Microscopic KST and microscopic metal
By making a cross-section, we can measure the thickness of all individual coats of paint.
Initial adhesion tests: cross-cut test
During this test, we damage the coat of paint in a diamond pattern using multiple blades. We then use tape to check the adhesion inside the resulting diamonds. There are two parameters that vary from paint system to paint system and from customer to customer: the blade spacing and type of tape. They determine the distance between the panes and the strength of adhesion, respectively.
Initial adhesion tests: scratch test
In this test, we scratch away the paint with the flat of a pocket knife. Next, we look at the smoothness of the edges.
Vapour jet testing
We aim a high pressure washer at a painted surface that has been scratched. The adhesion level depends on how much paint is removed and between which coats the paint is coming off. The parameters that vary from customer to customer are: pressure, temperature, distance between the nozzle and the plate, nozzle size, test period, moving or stationary water jet, type of blade to create the scratch, type of scratch (cross, stripe, no scratch), …
Stone chip testing
This test uses high pressure to fire small stones at a test object. The adhesion level depends on the number of impacts and the size and depth of the impacts. The parameters that vary from customer to customer are: pressure, temperature, distance to the plate, number of stones, type of stones, test period and angle of impact (at an angle or straight).
Such tests take into account the effect of moisture, heat and cold.
Test objects stay inside a test cabinet at a constant temperature of 40°C and about 100% humidity for a certain period during which condensation forms on the test objects. The parameters that vary from customer to customer are: the test period (4 days to 2 weeks) and the tests to be performed after this test period.
Water immersion test
During this test, the test objects stay in a water bath of a certain constant temperature for a certain period. The parameters that vary from customer to customer are: the test period (2 hours to 3 weeks), the temperature and the tests to be performed after this test period.
Constant heat or constant cold
During this test, the test objects stay in a furnace with a certain constant temperature for a certain period. The parameters that vary from customer to customer are: the test period (10 days to 3 weeks) and the tests to be performed after this test period.
Climate tests: assessments
The following parameters are generally assessed after one of the above-mentioned climate tests: blistering, discolouration, change of gloss level and loss of adhesion. For some customers, we also assess stone chips and/or vapour jet after the test. For metal, we also assess the development of rust.
Neutral Salt Spray Test (NSS)
We scratch the test objects and spray salty water with a neutral pH level on to them.
Copper-Accelerated Acetic Acid Salt Spray (CASS)
We damage the test objects by scratching them and then spray salt water and CuCI2 ⋅ 2H2O with an acidic pH level on to them. This test is valid for aluminium.
Cyclic corrosion test
We subject the test objects to a programme that combines a salt spray or salt shower (high flow rate), humidity, temperature variations and rest periods. Again, we damage the test objects first.
The corrosion test parameters that vary from customer to customer are the test period (3 weeks to 3 months), the type of test (NSS, CASS, cyclic test), the type of scratch (cross, line), the width of the scratch, the flow rate of the salt solution and the tests to be carried out after the test period.
Corrosion tests: assessments
The following parameters are generally assessed after one of the above-mentioned corrosion tests: blistering, rust level / blistering on the edges, surface rust level, rust level / blistering around the applied damage, type of rust (red, white, etc.) and loss of adhesion.
Microscopic error analysis
This is a microscopic test. It analyses the dust on the plate and in what coat there is any dust present. Where does it come from and what colour is it? This allows us to optimise the quality of paint processes in a very targeted way.
Microscopic flaw analysis for plastic
To make cross-sections, very thin slices are made with a scalpel.
Microscopic flaw analysis for metal
To make cross-sections, metal pieces are embedded and then sanded until the flaw is reached.
Each test is performed based on certain standards the customer determines in advance. The requirements and testing standards depend on whether it is an interior or exterior part, what type of part it is (visible part, chassis part, …), what type of paint system was used (KTL, powder coating, wet painting) and whether it is KST or metal. The customer can also determine the test period and how long we need to wait before running the other tests. This is all part of Alro Group’s quality assurance to deliver high-quality products time and again.