Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS20010026837 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 09/793,697
Publication dateOct 4, 2001
Filing dateFeb 27, 2001
Priority dateFeb 28, 2000
Also published asDE60100123D1, DE60100123T2, EP1132442A1, EP1132442B1, US6403715
Publication number09793697, 793697, US 2001/0026837 A1, US 2001/026837 A1, US 20010026837 A1, US 20010026837A1, US 2001026837 A1, US 2001026837A1, US-A1-20010026837, US-A1-2001026837, US2001/0026837A1, US2001/026837A1, US20010026837 A1, US20010026837A1, US2001026837 A1, US2001026837A1
InventorsTakato Adachi, Yugen Kawamoto, Hiromi Harakawa
Original AssigneeKansai Paint Co., Ltd.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Epoxy resin and curing agent
US 20010026837 A1
Abstract
The present invention provides a thermosetting powder coating composition comprising:
(A) an epoxy-containing resin; and
(B) a curing agent containing, as an essential ingredient, an acid anhydride (a) represented by the formula
HOOC—(CH2)m—[COO—CO—(CH2)m]n—COOR1   (1)
wherein R1 represents a C1-10 monovalent saturated hydrocarbon group, m is an integer of 6 to 18, and n is a number of 1 to 20 on average, the molar ratio of carboxyl groups to acid anhydride groups in the curing agent being in the range from 0.15:1 to 2.0:1, the molar ratio of the total of carboxyl groups and acid anhydride groups in the curing agent (B) to epoxy groups in the epoxy-containing resin (A) being in the range from 0.7:1 to 1.2:1. The present invention further provides a method for forming a topcoat according to a 2-coat 1-bake system comprising the steps of applying to a substrate a thermosetting aqueous colored base coating composition, applying to the uncured surface of the base coat a clear coating composition, and curing the two coats by heating, wherein the clear coating composition is the above thermosetting powder coating composition.
Images(12)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(11)
1. A thermosetting powder coating composition comprising:
(A) an epoxy-containing resin; and
(B) a curing agent containing, as an essential ingredient, an acid anhydride (a) represented by the formula
HOOC—(CH2)m—[COO—CO—(CH2)m]n—COOR1   (1)
wherein R1 represents a C1-10 monovalent saturated hydrocarbon group, m is an integer of 6 to 18, and n is a number of 1 to 20 on average, the molar ratio of carboxyl groups to acid anhydride groups in the curing agent being in the range from 0.15:1 to 2.0:1,
the molar ratio of the total of carboxyl groups and acid anhydride groups in the curing agent (B) to epoxy groups in the epoxy-containing resin (A) being in the range from 0.7:1 to 1.2:1.
2. The powder coating composition according to
claim 1
wherein the epoxy-containing resin (A) is an epoxy-containing copolymer prepared by copolymerizing an epoxy-containing vinyl monomer and at least one other polymerizable vinyl monomer.
3. The powder coating composition according to
claim 2
wherein the epoxy-containing resin (A) comprises 20 to 70% by weight of an epoxy-containing vinyl monomer as a monomer component of the epoxy-containing copolymer.
4. The powder coating composition according to
claim 1
wherein the epoxy-containing resin (A) has a glass transition temperature of 40° C. to 80° C.
5. The powder coating composition according to
claim 1
wherein the epoxy-containing resin (A) has a number average molecular weight of 1,000 to 10,000.
6. The powder coating composition according to
claim 1
wherein the curing agent (B) contains acid anhydride (a) and at least one species selected from the group consisting of acid anhydride (b) and dibasic acid (c), the acid anhydride (b) being represented by the formula
R2OOC—(CH2)p—[COO—CO—(CH2)p]q—COOR2   (2)
wherein R2 represents a C1-10 monovalent saturated hydrocarbon group; p is an integer of 6 to 18; and q is a number of 1 to 20 on average, and
the dibasic acid (c) being represented by the formula
HOOC—(CH2)r—[COO—CO—(CH2)r]s—COOH   (3)
wherein r is an integer of 6 to 18; and s is a number of 0 to 20 on average.
7. The powder coating composition according to
claim 1
or
6
wherein the molar ratio of COOR1 groups or the total of COOR1 groups and COOR2 groups in the curing agent (B) to the total of carboxyl groups and acid anhydride groups in the curing agent (B) being in the range from 0.01:1 to 0.1:1.
8. The powder coating composition according to
claim 1
wherein the acid anhydride (a) in the curing agent (B) has a melting point of 60° C. or higher.
9. The powder coating composition according to
claim 6
wherein the acid anhydride (b) and dibasic acid (c) in the curing agent (B) have melting points of 60° C. or higher.
10. The powder coating composition according to
claim 6
wherein the mixture of acid anhydride (a) with acid anhydride (b) and/or dibasic acid (c) has a melting point of 60° C. or higher.
11. A method for forming a topcoat according to a 2-coat 1-bake system comprising the steps of applying to a substrate a thermosetting aqueous colored base coating composition, applying to the uncured surface of the base coat a clear coating composition, and curing the two coats by heating, wherein the clear coating composition is the thermosetting powder coating composition defined in
claim 1
.
Description

[0001] The present invention relates to a novel thermosetting powder coating composition and a method for forming a topcoat using the same.

[0002] Topcoats for coating substrates such as automotive exterior panels are required to have excellent finished appearance such as surface smoothness and excellent coating properties such as weather resistance, solvent resistance, acid resistance, etc., in view of uses. In recent years, the required levels have been getting even higher.

[0003] Thermosetting powder coating compositions are conventionally used as clear coating compositions for forming topcoats by 2-coat 1-bake systems, etc. From the viewpoints of environmental protection and energy saving, it is desired that the thermosetting aqueous coating compositions be used as base coating compositions.

[0004] However, the thermosetting powder coating compositions have the following problems. When surface smoothness of the coating film is improved, other coating properties such as weather resistance, solvent resistance and acid resistance are impaired. On the other hand, when the other properties are improved, surface smoothness is reduced. It has been difficult to achieve a proper balance therebetween. When conventional thermosetting powder clear coating compositions are applied to surfaces of aqueous base coats, such problems develop to a serious level, and it has been difficult to form a topcoat that excels in both surface smoothness and the above-mentioned other coating properties.

[0005] For example, a 2-coat 1-bake coating method for forming a topcoat is known from U.S. Pat. No. 5,585,146. This method comprises the steps of applying to a substrate a thermosetting aqueous base coating composition comprising a hydroxyl- and carboxyl-containing resin and an alkyletherified methylol melamine resin, applying to the uncured surface of the base coat a thermosetting powder clear coating composition comprising an epoxy-containing acrylic resin and a dibasic acid such as dodecanoic diacid or acid anhydride thereof as a curing agent, followed by curing the two coats by heating.

[0006] However, in the above 2-coat 1-bake coating method, when the coat of the aqueous base coating composition and the coat of the powder clear coating composition are heated for curing at the same time, a reaction between the hydroxyl group and the alkylether group in the aqueous coat produces an alcohol as a byproduct. When the alcohol evaporates out through the thermally fused powder coat, it causes cratering due to popping on the surface of powder coat, thereby impairing surface smoothness, distinctness-of-image gloss, and physical properties of the coating film. When the aqueous coat comprises a flaky metallic pigment, orientation of the pigment flakes is altered, thus impairing metallic effects, etc.

[0007] In the above method, if curing initiation time is delayed so as to fully melt and flow the powder coat particles by heating with the purpose of improving coating surface smoothness, etc., an insufficiently crosslinked powder coat will result, thus impairing coating properties such as weather resistance, solvent resistance and acid resistance.

[0008] An object of the present invention is to provide a novel thermosetting powder coating composition that excels in finished appearance such as surface smoothness and also in other coating properties such as weather resistance, solvent resistance and acid resistance.

[0009] Another object of the invention is to provide a method for forming a topcoat using the above-mentioned thermosetting powder coating composition.

[0010] Other objects and features of the invention will become apparent from the following description.

[0011] The present invention provides the following thermosetting powder coating composition and method for forming a topcoat using the composition:

[0012] 1. A thermosetting powder coating composition comprising:

[0013] (A) an epoxy-containing resin; and

[0014] (B) a curing agent containing, as an essential ingredient, an acid anhydride (a) represented by the formula

HOOC—(CH2)m—[COO—CO—(CH2)m]n—COOR1   (1)

[0015] wherein R1 represents a C1-10 monovalent saturated hydrocarbon group, m is an integer of 6 to 18, and n is a number of 1 to 20 on average, the molar ratio of carboxyl groups to acid anhydride groups in the curing agent being in the range from 0.15:1 to 2.0:1, the molar ratio of the total of carboxyl groups and acid anhydride groups in the curing agent (B) to epoxy groups in the epoxy-containing resin (A) being in the range from 0.7:1 to 1.2:1.

[0016] 2. The powder coating composition according to item 1 wherein the epoxy-containing resin (A) is an epoxy-containing copolymer prepared by copolymerizing an epoxy-containing vinyl monomer and at least one other polymerizable vinyl monomer.

[0017] 3. The powder coating composition according to item 2 wherein the epoxy-containing resin (A) comprises 20 to 70% by weight of an epoxy-containing vinyl monomer as a monomer component of the epoxy-containing copolymer.

[0018] 4. The powder coating composition according to item 1 wherein the epoxy-containing resin (A) has a glass transition temperature of 40° C. to 80° C.

[0019] 5. The powder coating composition according to item 1 wherein the epoxy-containing resin (A) has a number average molecular weight of 1,000 to 10,000.

[0020] 6. The powder coating composition according to item 1 wherein the curing agent (B) contains acid anhydride (a) and at least one species selected from the group consisting of acid anhydride (b) and dibasic acid (c), the acid anhydride (b) being represented by the formula

R2OOC—(CH2)p—[COO—CO—(CH2)p]q—COOR2   (3)

[0021] wherein R2 represents a C1-10 monovalent saturated hydrocarbon group; p is an integer of 6 to 18; and q is a number of 1 to 20 on average, and the dibasic acid (c) being represented by the formula

HOOC—(CH2)r—[COO—CO—(CH2)r]s—COOH   (3)

[0022] wherein r is an integer of 6 to 18; and s is a number of 0 to 20 on average.

[0023] 7. The powder coating composition according to item 1 or 6 wherein the molar ratio of COOR1 groups or the total of COOR1 groups and COOR2 groups in the curing agent (B) to the total of carboxyl groups and acid anhydride groups in the curing agent (B) being in the range from 0.01:1 to 0.1:1.

[0024] 8. The powder coating composition according to item 1 wherein the acid anhydride (a) in the curing agent (B) has a melting point of 60° C. or higher.

[0025] 9. The powder coating composition according to item 6 wherein the acid anhydride (b) and dibasic acid (c) in the curing agent (B) have melting points of 60° C. or higher.

[0026] 10. The powder coating composition according to item 6 wherein the mixture of acid anhydride (a) with acid anhydride (b) and/or dibasic acid (c) has a melting point of 60° C. or higher.

[0027] 11. A method for forming a topcoat according to a 2-coat 1-bake system comprising the steps of applying to a substrate a thermosetting aqueous colored base coating composition, applying to the uncured surface of the base coat a clear coating composition, and curing the two coats by heating, wherein the clear coating composition is the thermosetting powder coating composition according to item 1.

[0028] The present inventors carried out intensive research to overcome the prior art defects and found that the above objects can be achieved with a thermosetting powder coating composition which comprises, as a curing agent for an epoxy-containing resin, a curing agent essentially containing the above specified acid anhydride (a). Stated more specifically, the present inventors found that the above powder coating composition is excellent in curability, and when it is used as a clear coating composition in a 2-coat 1-bake coating method using an aqueous base coating composition, a fully crosslinked powder coat will be formed even with the curing initiation time being delayed, thus preventing popping and providing a topcoat with excellent finished appearance such as smoothness and excellent coating properties such as weather resistance, solvent resistance and acid resistance. The present invention has been accomplished based on this novel finding.

[0029] The epoxy-containing resin (A) used in the thermosetting powder coating composition of the invention may be selected from any known resin that is solid and has an average of at least one epoxy group, preferably at least two epoxy groups, per molecule.

[0030] Examples of resins usable as the epoxy-containing resin (A) are bisphenol epoxy resins such as “EPIKOTE 1001” (with an epoxy equivalent of 450 to 500, product of Shell Chemical Co., Ltd., trade name), “EPIKOTE 1004” (with an epoxy equivalent of 875 to 975, product of Shell Chemical Co., Ltd., trade name), and “EPIKOTE 1007” (with an epoxy equivalent of 1,750 to 2,200, Shell Chemical Co., Ltd., trade name); and epoxy-containing copolymers each prepared by copolymerizing an epoxy-containing vinyl monomer and at least one other polymerizable vinyl monomer.

[0031] The polymerization method for preparing such epoxy-containing copolymers is not limited specifically, but radical polymerization is usually preferred. Examples of useful epoxy-containing vinyl monomers include glycidyl (meth)acrylate, allyl glycidyl ether, 3,4-epoxycyclohexyl (meth)acrylate and β-methylglycidyl (meth)acrylate. The monomers can be used singly or in combination of two or more. Particularly preferred are glycidyl (meth)acrylate and β-methylglycidyl (meth)acrylate.

[0032] Examples of other polymerizable vinyl monomers are vinyl aromatic compounds such as styrene, α-methylstyrene, vinyltoluene and α-chlorostyrene; and C1-24 alkyl esters or cycloalkyl esters of acrylic or methacrylic acids, such as methyl (meth)acrylate, ethyl (meth)acrylate, n-butyl (meth)acrylate, isobutyl (meth)acrylate, t-butyl (meth)acrylate, 2-ethylhexyl (meth)acrylate, n-octyl (meth)acrylate, decyl (meth)acrylate, lauryl (meth)acrylate, stearyl (meth)acrylate, cyclohexyl (meth)acrylate, isobornyl (meth)acrylate and tricyclodecanyl (meth)acrylate.

[0033] Of the monomers constituting the epoxy-containing copolymer, the epoxy-containing vinyl monomer is used preferably in a proportion of 20 to 70% by weight, more preferably in a proportion of 30 to 60% by weight. An epoxy-containing vinyl monomer content of less than 20 wt.% in the copolymer reduces acid resistance, weather resistance and solvent resistance of the coating film. On the other hand, an epoxy-containing vinyl monomer content of more than 70 wt.% impairs storage stability of the coating composition and finished appearance such as surface smoothness of the coating film. Therefore, any epoxy-containing vinyl monomer content outside said range is undesirable.

[0034] It is preferable for the epoxy-containing resin (A) to have a glass transition temperature of 40° C. to 80° C., particularly 50° C. to 70° C. A glass transition temperature of lower than 40° C. causes particles in the powder coating composition to weld together, thereby reducing blocking resistance. On the other hand, when the glass transition temperature is higher than 80° C., the viscosity of the powder coating composition increases at the time of flowing of the powder coat particles by heating, thus impairing finished appearance of the coating film. Therefore, any glass transition temperature outside said range is undesirable. The glass transition temperature can be measured by DSC (differential scanning calorimeter).

[0035] It is preferable for the epoxy-containing resin (A) to have a number average molecular weight of 1,000 to 10,000, particularly 2,000 to 6,000. A number average molecular weight of less than 1,000 reduces blocking resistance of the powder coating composition and impairs coating properties such as solvent resistance and acid resistance. On the other hand, a number average molecular weight of more than 10,000 impairs finished appearance such as surface smoothness of the coating film. Therefore, any number average molecular weight outside said range is undesirable.

[0036] The curing agent (B) contains acid anhydride (a) of the formula (1) as an essential curing ingredient and optionally contains at least one species selected from the group consisting of acid anhydride (b) of the formula (2) and dibasic acid (c) of the formula (3).

[0037] The molar ratio of carboxyl groups to acid anhydride groups in the curing agent (B) must be in the range from 0.15:1 to 2.0:1, preferably from 0.2:1 to 1.8:1. When the molar ratio of carboxyl group/acid anhydride group is lower than 0.15, satisfactory curability is not provided. When the molar ratio of carboxyl group/acid anhydride group is higher than 2.0, the curing initiation time occurs earlier, thus causing popping on the coating film and impairing surface smoothness of the coating film. Therefore, any molar ratio outside said range is undesirable.

[0038] The molar ratio of COOR1 groups or the total of COOR1 groups and COOR2 groups in the curing agent (B) to the total of carboxyl groups and acid anhydride groups in the curing agent (B) is preferably in the range from 0.01:1 to 0.1:1, more preferably in the range from 0.12:1 to 0.06:1. If the molar ratio is lower than 0.01, the curing initiation time occurs earlier, giving inferior finished appearance. On the other hand, if the molar ratio is higher than 0.1, the cured coat will have low crosslinking density, thus impairing coating properties such as acid resistance and solvent resistance. Therefore, any molar ratio outside said range is undesirable.

[0039] The acid anhydride (a) of the formula (1) is an acid anhydride having a carboxyl group at one end and an ester group at the other end, wherein R1 included in the ester group is a C1-10 monovalent saturated hydrocarbon group. When the saturated hydrocarbon group has 11 or more carbon atoms, the resulting coating composition has inferior coating properties such as acid resistance and solvent resistance, and hazing occurs on the coating surface, thus being undesirable.

[0040] In the formula (1), examples of C1-10 monovalent saturated hydrocarbon groups represented by R1 include monovalent aliphatic hydrocarbon groups, monovalent alicyclic hydrocarbon groups and a combination thereof. Specific examples are methyl, ethyl, n-propyl, iso-propyl, n-butyl, iso-butyl, sec-butyl, amyl, n-hexyl, n-octyl, 2-ethylhexyl, n-decanyl, cyclohexyl, methylcyclohexyl and the like.

[0041] In the formula (1), m must be an integer of 6 to 18. If m is 5 or less, the coating composition is cured too quickly, giving inferior finished appearance. On the other hand, if m is 19 or more, the cured coat has low crosslinking density, thus impairing coating properties such as acid resistance and solvent resistance. Therefore, any integer outside said range is undesirable.

[0042] In the formula (1), n represents the degree of polymerization, which must be in the range of 1 to 20, preferably 2 to 12, on average. If n is less than 1, the cured coat has low crosslinking density, thus impairing coating properties such as acid resistance and solvent resistance. On the other hand, if n is more than 20, the viscosity of the powder coating composition increases when thermally fused, providing a coating film with inferior finished appearance such as low surface smoothness. Hence any degree of polymerization outside said range is undesirable.

[0043] The acid anhydride (a) of the formula (1) can be prepared by conventional methods. For example, the compound can be prepared by heating dibasic acid in the presence of an acid anhydride, followed by monoesterifying part of acid anhydride groups in the resulting product with an alcohol, thus providing an acid anhydride having an ester group at one end. A mixture of acid anhydride (a), acid anhydride (b) and dibasic acid (c) is often obtained. Such a mixture per se may also be used as a curing agent (B). Acid anhydrides usually used in the above reaction are, for example, acetic anhydride and the like.

[0044] Examples of alcohols used in the reaction are methanol, ethanol, iso-propanol, n-butanol, iso-butanol, sec-butanol, n-pentanol, n-hexanol, n-octanol, 2-ethylhexanol, cyclohexanol and methylcyclohexanol.

[0045] Examples of dibasic acids are aliphatic dibasic acids such as suberic acid, azelaic acid, sebacic acid, undecanoic diacid, dodecanoic diacid, tridecanoic diacid, tetradecanoic diacid, pentadecanoic diacid and eicosanoic diacid.

[0046] In the curing agent (B) of the invention, the acid anhydride (b) of the formula (2) is an acid anhydride having ester groups at both ends. The C1-10 monovalent saturated hydrocarbon group represented by R2 is the same as R1 in the formula (1).

[0047] In the formula (2), p must be an integer of 6 to 18. If p is 5 or less, the coating composition is cured too quickly, giving inferior finished appearance. On the other hand, if p is 19 or more, the cured coat will have low crosslinking density, thus impairing coating properties such as acid resistance and solvent resistance. Therefore, any integer outside said range is undesirable.

[0048] In the formula (2), q represents the degree of polymerization, which must be in the range of 1 to 20, preferably 2 to 12, on average. If q is less than 1, the cured coat will have low crosslinking density, thus impairing coating properties such as acid resistance and solvent resistance. On the other hand, if q is more than 20, the viscosity of the powder coating composition increases when thermally fused, providing a coating film with inferior finished appearance such as low surface smoothness. Hence any degree of polymerization outside said range is undesirable.

[0049] The acid anhydride (b) of the formula (2) can be prepared by conventional methods. For example, the compound can be prepared by heating dibasic acid in the presence of an acid anhydride and monoesterifying part of acid anhydride groups in the intermediate with an alcohol, followed by further heating the intermediate in the presence of an acid anhydride, thus giving an acid anhydride having ester groups at both ends. Acid anhydrides usually used in the above reaction are, for example, acetic anhydride and the like. Useful alcohols and dibasic acids are the same as used in the preparation of the acid anhydride (a).

[0050] The dibasic acid (c) of the formula (3) used in the curing agent (B) of the invention has carboxyl groups at both ends.

[0051] Dibasic acids of the formula (3) wherein s is 1 to 20 have one or more acid anhydride groups. Such dibasic acids can be prepared, for example, by heating an aliphatic dibasic acid such as suberic acid, azelaic acid, sebacic acid, undecanoic diacid, dodecanoic diacid, tridecanoic diacid, tetradecanoic diacid, pentadecanoic diacid, eicosanoic diacid and the like in the presence of an acid anhydride. Usually used as an acid anhydride in the above reaction is acetic anhydride or the like. Dibasic acids of the formula (3) wherein s is 0 include, for example, the above-mentioned aliphatic dibasic acids.

[0052] In the formula (3), r is an integer of 6 to 18. If r is 5 or less, the curing initiation time occurs earlier, thus giving inferior finished appearance. On the other hand, if r is 19 or more, the cured coat will have low crosslinking density, thus impairing coating properties such as acid resistance and solvent resistance. Therefore, any integer outside said range is undesirable. In the formula (3), s represents the degree of polymerization, which must be in the range of 0 to 20, preferably 2 to 12, on average. If s is more than 20, the viscosity of the powder coating composition increases when thermally fused, providing a coating film with inferior finished appearance such as low surface smoothness. Hence any degree of polymerization outside said range is undesirable.

[0053] It is preferable for each of the acid anhydride (a), acid anhydride (b) and dibasic acid (c) in the curing agent (B) of the invention to have a melting point of 60° C. or higher, more preferably 70° C. to 140° C. If the melting points are lower than 60° C., the powder coating composition will have poor blocking resistance, thus being undesirable. Even when the curing agent (B) is a mixture of acid anhydride (a) with acid anhydride (b) and/or dibasic acid (c), it is preferable for the mixture to have a melting point of 60° C. or higher.

[0054] The curing agent (B) of the invention contains acid anhydride (a) of the formula (1) as an essential curing ingredient and optionally contains at least one species selected from the group consisting of acid anhydride (b) of the formula (2) and dibasic acid (c) of the formula (3). When the acid anhydride (a) and optional ingredient(s) are used together, the proportions are not limited specifically but can be selected from a wide range. It is usually preferable that acid anhydride (b) and/or dibasic acid (c) be used in amount of about 0 to about 3,000 parts by weight per 100 parts by weight of acid anhydride (a). The acid anhydride (b) and/or dibasic acid (c) may be prepared separately, or unreacted compounds or byproducts produced by the process of preparing the acid anhydride (a) may be used.

[0055] The thermosetting powder coating composition of the invention contains an epoxy-containing resin (A) and a curing agent (B) as essential components. The curing agent (B) contains acid anhydride (a) as an essential ingredient and acid anhydride (b) and/or dibasic acid (c) as optional ingredients.

[0056] The proportions of the epoxy-containing resin (A) and curing agent (B) should be selected from the range that the molar ratio of the total of carboxyl groups and acid anhydride groups in the curing agent (B) to epoxy groups in the epoxy-containing resin (A) will be in the range from 0.7:1 to 1.2:1. If the molar ratio of the total of carboxyl groups and acid anhydride groups in the curing agent (B) to epoxy groups in the resin (A) is lower than 0.7, coating properties such as acid resistance and solvent resistance will be impaired. On the other hand, if the molar ratio is higher than 1.2, inferior finished appearance such as low surface smoothness will result. Therefore, any molar ratio outside said range is undesirable.

[0057] The thermosetting powder coating composition of the invention may contain additives, for example, antipopping agents, surface modifiers, oxidation inhibitors, UV absorbers, UV stabilizers, antiblocking agents, fluidity modifiers, antistatic agents, coloring pigments, metallic pigments, interference pigments, fillers and curing accelerators.

[0058] The method for preparing the thermosetting powder coating composition of the invention is not limited specifically and the composition can be prepared by conventional methods. For example, a typical method comprises dryblending an epoxy-containing resin (A), a curing agent (B) and optionally other components in a mixer or the like, and melting and kneading the dryblend with heating, followed by cooling, coarse grinding, fine grinding and sieving.

[0059] The thermosetting powder coating composition of the invention may be used as a thermosetting clear powder coating composition or as a thermosetting colored powder coating composition comprising at least one pigment selected from coloring pigments, metallic pigments and interference pigments in the clear powder coating composition. The thermosetting clear powder coating composition may contain such pigments in any amount that the under coat will be seen through or substantially not be seen through the coating.

[0060] The thermosetting powder coating composition of the invention is applied to a substrate by powder coating and baked to form a cured coating film. It is preferable that the baking be performed at a temperature of about 120° C. to about 180° C. for about 10 to about 50 minutes.

[0061] The substrate to be coated may be any known material that is powder coatable. Examples of useful substrates are metals, surface-treated metals, plastics, or coated these materials.

[0062] The powder coating may be performed by conventional methods, for example, preferably electrostatic powder coating methods or frictionally electrified powder coating methods. There is no limitation on the coating film thickness. However, it is preferable for the obtained film to have a coating thickness of about 20 to about 1,000 μm, more preferably about 20 to about 80 μm.

[0063] The thermosetting powder coating composition of the invention can be used for vehicles such as automobiles, electric appliances, steel furniture, office equipment and stationery, construction materials and the like where conventional powder coating compositions are used. Particularly, the thermosetting powder coating composition of the invention is suitable for automotive exterior panels or interior panels where high surface smoothness of the coating film is required.

[0064] Described below is a method for forming a topcoat on the surface of vehicles or the like, using the thermosetting powder coating composition of the invention.

[0065] The method for forming a topcoat using the present invention may be a 1-coat system or a 2-coat system. The 1-coat system comprises applying the thermosetting powder coating composition of the invention to metallic or plastic substrates for vehicles or the like, or to the metallic or plastic substrates coated with a primer such as a cationic electrocoating composition and optionally coated with an intercoat. The 2-coat system comprises applying a colored base coating composition to the substrates and applying the thermosetting powder clear coating composition of the invention to the coated substrate.

[0066] The thermosetting powder coating composition of the present invention produces particularly remarkable effects, when used as a clear coating composition in the method for forming a topcoat according to a 2-coat 1-bake system, which comprises applying a thermosetting aqueous colored base coating composition to a substrate, applying a clear coating composition to the uncured surface of the base coat, and curing the two coats by heating.

[0067] Examples of thermosetting aqueous colored base coating compositions preferably used are aqueous colored coating compositions, aqueous metallic coating compositions, aqueous interference pattern coating compositions, aqueous colored metallic coating compositions and aqueous colored interference pattern coating compositions.

[0068] According to the 2-coat 1-bake coating method of the invention, a desirable topcoat can be formed by the method comprising the following steps:

[0069] i) applying an aqueous colored base coating composition having a solids content of 10 to 60 wt.% (when applied) to the substrate to a coating thickness of about 10 to about 60 μm, preferably about 10 to about 40 μm, when cured, by spray coating such as airless spray coating, air spray coating or electrostatic coating;

[0070] ii) allowing the coated substrate to stand at room temperature for about 1 to about 10 minutes or drying the coated substrate at about 50° C. to about 100° C. for about 1 to about 10 minutes;

[0071] iii) applying the thermosetting powder clear coating composition according to the invention to the uncured surface of the base coat to a coating thickness of about 20 to about 100 μm, more preferably about 20 to about 80 μm, when cured, by powder coating such as electrostatic powder coating or frictionally electrified powder coating; and

[0072] iv) curing the two coats (base coat and clear coat) at the same time by heating at about 120° C. to about 180° C. for about 10 to about 50 minutes.

[0073] The aqueous colored base coating composition may be selected from the conventional aqueous colored base coating composition for vehicles, etc. without limitation, of which melamine-curing aqueous colored base coating compositions are particularly preferred.

[0074] Preferably, the melamine-curing aqueous colored base coating composition comprises (i) a hydroxyl- and carboxyl-containing resin and (ii) a melamine resin, as curable resin components.

[0075] Examples of resins preferably used as the resin (i) include hydroxyl- and carboxyl-containing acrylic resins and polyester resins.

[0076] The hydroxyl- and carboxyl-containing acrylic resin can be prepared by copolymerizing a hydroxyl-containing unsaturated monomer, a carboxyl-containing unsaturated monomer, and optionally one or more other vinyl unsaturated monomers. Examples of useful hydroxyl-containing unsaturated monomers are C2-20 hydroxyalkyl esters of acrylic or methacrylic acids, such as hydroxyethyl (meth)acrylate, hydroxypropyl (meth)acrylate and hydroxybutyl (meth)acrylate. Example of useful carboxyl-containing unsaturated monomers are monocarboxylic acids such as acrylic acid and methacrylic acid; dicarboxylic acids such as maleic acid, itaconic acid, fumaric acid and mesaconic acid; and anhydrides of the dicarboxylic acids or half-esterified or otherwise modified ones. Examples of vinyl unsaturated monomers optionally used are C1-22 alkyl esters of acrylic or methacrylic acids such as methyl (meth)acrylate, ethyl (meth)acrylate, propyl (meth)acrylate, butyl (meth)acrylate and hexyl (meth)acrylate; styrene, acrylonitrile and the like. It is preferable for the acrylic resin to have a number average molecular weight of about 5,000 to about 100,000, particularly about 15,000 to about 80,000. Preferably, the acrylic resin has a hydroxyl value of about 20 to about 200 mg KOH/g, particularly 40 to 150 mg KOH/g. It is preferable for the acrylic resin to have an acid value of about 10 to about 150 mg KOH/g, particularly 20 to 100 mg KOH/g.

[0077] The hydroxyl- and carboxyl-containing polyester resin can be produced by esterification reaction between polybasic acid and polyhydric alcohol. Examples of useful polybasic acids are phthalic acid, isophthalic acid, terephthalic acid, succinic acid, adipic acid, azelaic acid, sebacic acid, tetrahydrophthalic acid, hexahydrophthalic acid, HET acid, maleic acid, fumaric acid, itaconic acid, trimellitic acid and anhydrides of these acids. Examples of useful polyhydric alcohols are ethylene glycol, propylene glycol, butylene glycol, hexanediol, diethylene glycol, dipropylene glycol, neopentylglycol, triethyleneglycol, glycerin, trimethylolethane, trimethylolpropane and pentaerythritol. It is preferable for the polyester resin to have a number average molecular weight of about 2,000 to about 100,000, preferably 3,000 to 80,000. Preferably, the polyester resin has a hydroxyl value of about 30 to 120 mg KOH/g, particularly 50 to 80 mg KOH/g. It is preferable for the polyester resin to have an acid value of about 15 to about 100 mg KOH/g, particularly 30 to 50 mg KOH/g.

[0078] Resins preferably used as the melamine resin (ii), which is a curing agent, are partially or fully etherified methylol melamine resins prepared by the method described below and having 1 to 5 triazine rings in one molecule and having a molecular weight of about 300 to about 3,000, particularly 500 to 2,000. The method for preparing the partially or fully etherified methylol melamine resin comprises partially or fully methylolating a melamine resin and partially or fully etherifying the methylol groups of the melamine resin using a C1-8 alcohol, such as methanol, ethanol, propanol or butanol. The melamine resin may be hydrophobic or hydrophilic.

[0079] The aqueous colored base coating composition may contain, in addition to the components (i) and (ii), at least one pigment selected from the group consisting of coloring pigments, metallic pigments and interference pigments. The aqueous colored base coating composition may further contain oxazoline-containing compounds, extenders, organic solvents, catalysts, sedimentation inhibitors, UV absorbers, etc.

[0080] In the case of conventional thermosetting powder coating compositions, when surface smoothness of the coating film is improved, other coating properties such as weather resistance, solvent resistance and acid resistance are impaired. On the other hand, when these coating properties are improved, surface smoothness of the coating film is reduced. It has been difficult to achieve a proper balance therebetween. When the conventional thermosetting powder coating compositions are used as clear coating compositions in 2-coat 1-bake systems using aqueous base coating compositions, such problems develop to a serious level. Therefore, it has been difficult to form a topcoat that excels in both surface smoothness and the above-mentioned other coating properties.

[0081] In contrast to the conventional compositions, the thermosetting powder coating composition of the present invention comprises, in addition to an epoxy-containing resin, a curing agent containing acid anhydride groups and carboxyl groups in specific proportions. The powder coating composition comprising such a specific curing agent is cured after being fully melted and flowed and therefore excels in both surface smoothness and other properties of the coating film, even when used as a clear coating composition in 2-coat 1-bake systems using aqueous base coating compositions, thus achieving remarkable effects.

[0082] The thermosetting powder coating composition of the present invention comprises, as a curing agent for the epoxy-containing resin, an acid anhydride (a) having a carboxyl group at one end and a specific ester group at the other end and containing a straight chain acid anhydride group in the main chain, and thereby achieves the following effects.

[0083] (1) The acid anhydride (a) before heating has only one carboxyl group and therefore, the powder coating composition does not cure during storage, thus being free of the problems of decreased fluidity after storage and impaired surface smoothness of the coating.

[0084] (2) At an early stage in the heating process, the acid anhydride (a) has only one carboxyl group reactable with the epoxy-containing organic resin (A) and therefore, the powder coating composition does not cure but fully melts and flows, thus providing a coating film with excellent surface smoothness.

[0085] (3) After the powder coating composition sufficiently flows and forms a coating film as described above in (2), the carboxyl group of acid anhydride (a) reacts with the epoxy-containing resin (A) and the resulting hydroxyl group and acid anhydride group react with each other to generate a carboxyl group which reacts with the epoxy- containing resin (A) to thereby provide a coating with high crosslinking density. Therefore, the powder coating composition provides a coating film with excellent finished appearance such as surface smoothness and excellent coating properties such as weather resistance, solvent resistance, acid resistance, etc.

[0086] The present invention will be described below in more detail with reference to Preparation Examples, Examples and Comparative Examples, wherein the parts and percentages are all by weight unless otherwise specified.

Preparation Example 1

[0087] Preparation of epoxy-containing resin (A-1) for powder coating composition

[0088] 60 parts of toluene was placed in a reactor equipped with a thermometer, a thermostat, a stirrer, a condenser and a dropping device, and heated to 105° C. while blowing nitrogen gas thereinto. A mixture of 15 parts of styrene, 30 parts of methyl methacrylate, 20 parts of iso-butyl methacrylate, 35 parts of glycidyl methacrylate and 4 parts of azobisisobutylonitrile was added dropwise over a period of about 3 hours. After completion of the addition, the mixture was allowed to stand at 105° C. for 1 hour. Further, a mixture of 0.5 part of azobisisobutylonitrile and 10 parts of toluene was added dropwise over a period of 1 hour. After completion of the addition, the mixture was allowed to stand at 105° C. for 1 hour, thus completing the copolymerization reaction. The solvent was then removed from the reaction system under reduced pressure, thus giving an epoxy-containing resin (A-1). The resin obtained had a glass transition temperature of 54° C. and a number average molecular weight of 3,500.

Preparation Example 2

[0089] Preparation of epoxy-containing resin (A-2) for powder coating composition

[0090] An epoxy-containing resin (A-2) was prepared in the same manner as in Preparation Example 1 with the exception of using, as monomers, 15 parts of styrene, 40 parts of methyl methacrylate, 30 parts of iso-butyl methacrylate and 15 parts of glycidyl methacrylate. The resin obtained had a glass transition temperature of 52° C. and a number average molecular weight of 3,600.

Preparation Example 3

[0091] Preparation of epoxy-containing resin (A-3) for powder coating composition

[0092] An epoxy-containing resin (A-3) was prepared in the same manner as in Preparation Example 1 with the exception of using, as monomers, 15 parts of styrene, 5 parts of methyl methacrylate and 80 parts of glycidyl methacrylate. The resin obtained had a glass transition temperature of 43° C. and a number average molecular weight of 3,700.

Preparation Example 4

[0093] Preparation of curing agent (B-1)

[0094] 230 parts of dodecanoic diacid and 87 parts of acetic anhydride were placed in a reactor equipped with a thermometer, a thermostat, a stirrer and a condenser, and heated to 170° C. with stirring while distilling off acetic acid. After the distillation of acetic acid had ceased, pressure was reduced to 30 mmHg at 170° C., followed by cooling the reaction mixture to 100° C. 0.8 part of methanol was added dropwise over a period of 1 hour and an esterification reaction was further allowed to proceed for 1 hour, followed by cooling the reaction mixture, thus giving a curing agent (B-1).

[0095] The curing agent (B-1) was a solid mixture of acid anhydride (a), acid anhydride (b) and dibasic acid (c) and had a melting point of 82° C. The mixture was composed of the compounds of the formulas (1), (2) and (3) wherein R1 and R2 are methyl, m, p and r are an integer of 10, and n, q and s (polymerization degree) are 2.7 on average (determined by 1H-NMR analysis).

Preparation Examples 5-17

[0096] Preparation of curing agents (B-2) to (B-14)

[0097] Curing agents (B-2) to (B-14) were prepared in a similar manner as in Preparation Example 4, using the starting materials shown in Table 1.

Preparation Example 18

[0098] Preparation of curing agent (B-15)

[0099] 230 parts of dodecanoic diacid and 87 parts of acetic anhydride were placed in a reactor equipped with a thermometer, a thermostat, a stirrer and a condenser, and heated to 170° C. with stirring while distilling off acetic acid. After the distillation of acetic acid had ceased, pressure was reduced to 30 mmHg at 170° C., followed by cooling the reaction mixture, thus giving a curing agent (B-15).

[0100] The curing agent (B-15) obtained was an acid anhydride group-containing dibasic acid (c) in the form of a solid and had a melting point of 87° C. The dibasic acid was an acid anhydride of the formula (3) wherein r is 10, s (polymerization degree) is 4.1 on average (determined by 1H-NMR analysis) and had carboxyl groups at both ends.

[0101] Table 1 shows the starting material compositions, melting points (°C), contents and structures of the curing agents (B-1) to (B-15).

TABLE 1
Curing agent No. B-1 B-2 B-3 B-4 B-5 B-6 B-7 B-8
Dodecanoic diacid 230 230 230 230 230 230 230 230
Acetic anhydride 87 87 87 112 87 87 112 87
Methanol 0.80 1.59 2.77 0.70 2.06 3.12
n-Butanol 1.84 3.69
Dodecanol
Melting point (° C.) 82 80 79 83 80 79 85 79
Contents Mixture of acid anhydride (a), acid anhydride (b) and dibasic acid
(c)
Structure R1, R2 Methyl Methyl Methyl Methyl n-Buthyl n-Buthyl Methyl Methyl
m, p, r 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
n, q, s 2.7 2.5 2.2 6.2 2.7 2.5 5.0 2.1
Curing agent No. B-9 B-10 B-11 B-12 B-13 B-14 B-15
Dodecanoic diacid 230 230 230 230 230 230 230
Acetic anhydride 87 112 87 163 143 87 87
Methanol 0.32 4.39 0.68 0.68 2.77
n-Butanol
Dodecanol 4.64
Melting point (° C.) 83 84 82 89 87 80 84
Contents Mixture of acid anhydride (a), acid anhydride Dibasic
(b) and dibasic acid (c) acid (c)
Structure R1, R2 Methyl Methyl Dodecyl Methyl Methyl Methyl
m, p, r 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
n, q, s 2.9 3.7 2.7 18.4 13.8 2.2 4.1

EXAMPLE 1

[0102] Preparation of powder coating composition 1 of the present invention

[0103] 100 parts of an epoxy-containing resin (A-1), 38.6 parts of an curing agent (B-1) and 0.5 part of benzoin (as an antipopping agent) were dry-blended at room temperature using a Henschel mixer. The blend of the components was fused and kneaded in an extruder, cooled, finely ground in a pin disc mill and passed through a 150-mesh sieve, giving a thermosetting powder coating composition of the invention. In the curing agent (B-1), the molar ratio of carboxyl groups to acid anhydride groups was 0.72, and the molar ratio of ester groups to the total of carboxyl groups and acid anhydride groups was 0.020.

[0104] In this composition, the molar ratio of the total of carboxyl groups and acid anhydride groups in the curing agent (B-1) to epoxy groups in the epoxy-containing resin (A-1) was 0.9:1.

EXAMPLES 2-8 and Comparative Examples 1-12

[0105] Preparation of powder coating compositions 2-8 of the present invention and comparative powder coating compositions 1-12

[0106] Thermosetting powder coating compositions 2-8 of the present invention and comparative thermosetting powder coating compositions 1-12 were prepared in the same manner as in Example 1, blending components in various proportions as shown in Table 2. In the compositions, the molar ratio of the total of carboxyl groups and acid anhydride groups in the curing agent (B) to epoxy groups in the epoxy-containing resin (A) was all 0.9:1. In Table 2, the amounts of components are expressed in “parts by weight”.

TABLE 2
Powder coating composition of the present invention
Component 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Epoxy- Resin (A-1) 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
containing Resin (A-2)
resin (A) Resin (A-3)
Curing agent Curing agent B-1, 38.6 B-2, 38.7 B-3, 39.0 B-4, 36.2 B-5, 38.8 B-6, 39.1 B-7, 28.7 B-8, 19.5
(B) (kind, amount) B-15, 18.0
Curing agent
(kind, amount)
Dodecanoic 8.4
diacid (amount)
Anti-popping Benzoin 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5
agent
Molar ratio of carboxyl 2.41/3.33 2.52/3.21 2.67/3.02 1.46/4.64 2.40/3.32 2.50/3.17 3.07/2.91 2.87/3.05
groups to acid anhydride (0.72) (0.79) (0.88) (0.32) (0.72) (0.79) (1.06) (0.94)
groups in curing agent (B)
Molar ratio of ester groups 0.116/5.75 0.228/5.73 0.395/5.70 0.120/6.13 0.114/5.72 0.227/5.67 0.231/5.98 0.232/5.83
to the total of carboxyl (0.020) (0.040) (0.069) (0.020) (0.020) (0.040) (0.040) (0.040)
groups and acid anhydride
groups in curing agent (B)
Comparative powder coating composition
Component 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Epoxy- Resin (A-1) 100 100 100 100 100 100
containing Resin (A-2) 100
resin (A) Resin (A-3) 100
Curing agent Curing agent B-9, 38.5 B-10, 43.2 B-11, 39.3 B-12, 27.3 B-13, 45.0 B-14, 20.8 B-1, 16.5 B-1, 88.2
(B) (kind, amount)
Curing agent
(kind, amount)
Dodecanoic 10.3 12.0
diacid (amount)
Anti-popping Benzoin 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5
agent
Molar ratio of carboxyl 2.35/3.41 1.77/3.37 2.37/3.28 2.71/3.20 0.62/4.32 4.86/1.93 2.41/3.33 2.41/3.33
groups to acid anhydride (0.69) (0.52) (0.72) (0.85) (0.14) (2.52) (0.72) (0.72)
groups in curing agent (B)
Molar ratio of ester groups
to the total of carboxyl 0.046/5.76 0.627/5.14 0.113/5.85 0.073/5.91 0.100/4.94 0.252/6.78 0.116/5.74 0.116/5.74
groups and acid anhydride (0.008) (0.120) (0.020) (0.010) (0.020) (0.040) (0.020) (0.020)
groups in curing agent (B)
Comparative powder coating composition
Component 9 10 11 12
Epoxy-containing Resin (A-1) 100 100 100 100
resin (A) Resin (A-2)
Resin (A-3)
Curing agent (B) Curing agent B-1, 25.7 B-1, 55.8 B-15, 37.5
(kind, amount)
Curing agent
(kind, amount)
Dodecanoic 25.5
diacid (amount)
Antipopping agent Benzoin 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5
Molar ratio of carboxyl groups to 2.41/3.3 2.41/3.33 8.69/0 3.46/3.94
acid anhydride groups in curing (0.72) (0.72) (∞) (0.88)
agent (B)
Molar ratio of ester groups to the 0.116/5.74 0.116/5.74
total of carboxyl groups and acid (0.020) (0.020)
anhydride groups in curing agent (B)

Preparation Example 19

[0107] Preparation of aqueous base coating composition

[0108] (1) Preparation of aqueous acrylic resin (C-1)

[0109] 70 parts of butyl cellosolve was placed in a reactor equipped with a thermometer, a thermostat, a stirrer, a condenser and a dropping device, and heated to 115° C. while blowing nitrogen gas thereinto. A mixture of 30 parts of styrene, 15 parts of methyl methacrylate, 16.7 parts of n-butyl acrylate, 20 parts of 2-ethylhexyl acrylate, 12 parts of hydroxyethyl methacrylate, 6.3 parts of acrylic acid and 1 part of azobisisobutylonitrile was added dropwise over a period of about 3 hours. After completion of the addition, the mixture was allowed to stand at 115° C. for 1 hour. A mixture of 0.3 part of azobisisobutylonitrile and 10 parts of butyl cellosolve was further added over a period of 1 hour. After completion of the addition, the mixture was allowed to stand at 115° C. for 1 hour to complete the copolymerization reaction, giving a carboxyl- and hydroxyl-containing acrylic resin solution with a solids content of 65%. The acrylic resin had an acid value of 50 mg KOH/g, a hydroxyl value of 50 mg KOH/g, a number average molecular weight of 45,000. The carboxyl group of the acrylic resin was neutralized with an equivalent amount of dimethylaminoethanol and diluted with water, thus giving an acrylic resin (C-1) aqueous solution having a solids content of 55%.

[0110] (2) Preparation of water-dispersible polyester resin (C-2)

[0111] 35.95 parts of neopentylglycol, 11.68 parts of trimethylolpropane, 25.34 parts of phthalic anhydride and 31.24 parts of adipic acid were placed in a reactor equipped with a thermometer, a thermostat, a stirrer, a Dean-Stark water separator and a condenser. The mixture was heated to 230° C. over a period of 3 hours while distilling off water. A small amount of xylene was added and a reaction was continued under reflux for 5 hours while distilling off water using the water separator. Then 6.57 parts of trimellitic anhydride was added and a reaction was allowed to proceed at 180° C. for 1 hour. Butyl cellosolve was added, giving a carboxyl- and hydroxyl-containing polyester resin solution having a non-volatile content of 70%. The resin obtained had an acid value of 40 mg KOH/g, a hydroxyl value of 80 mg KOH/g, a number average molecular weight of 6,000. The polyester resin solution was neutralized with an equivalent amount of dimethylaminoethanol, followed by addition of deionized water, thus giving a polyester resin (C-2) emulsion having a solids content of 35%.

[0112] (3) Melamine resin (C-3)

[0113] A butyl etherified methylol melamine resin “U-Van 28-60” (product of Mitsui Chemicals, Inc., trade name) was used as melamine resin (C-3).

[0114] (4) Metallic pigment

[0115] “Alpaste #7680” (product of Toyo Aluminum K. K., trade name) was used as a metallic pigment.

[0116] (5) Blue organic pigment

[0117] “Heliogen Blue L6900” (product of BASF, trade name, Cyanine Blue) was used as a blue organic pigment.

[0118] (6) Preparation of aqueous base coating composition

[0119] A thermosetting aqueous colored base coating composition was prepared by mixing and dispersing 45 parts (solids) of the aqueous acrylic resin (C-1), 30 parts (solids) of the water-dispersible polyester resin (C-2), 25 parts of the melamine resin (C-3), 10 parts of the metallic pigment and 2 parts of the blue organic pigment.

EXAMPLES 9-16 and Comparative Examples 13-24

[0120] Coated panels I and II were prepared by a method for forming a topcoat according to a 2-coat 1-bake system using, as clear coating compositions, thermosetting powder coating compositions 1-8 of the present invention obtained in Examples 1-8 and comparative thermosetting powder coating compositions 1-12 obtained in Comparative Examples 1-12, as shown below.

[0121] (1) Preparation of coated panel I (using a solvent-based base coating composition)

[0122] A dull steel panel of 0.8 mm thickness treated by chemical conversion with zinc phosphate was coated with an epoxy-based cationic electrodepositable coating composition by electrocoating to form a coat of 20 μm thickness (when baked). The coated panel was baked and further coated by air spray coating with an alkyd resin/amino resin solvent-based intercoating surfacer for automobiles to form a coat of 20 μm thickness (when cured). The coated panel was baked at 140° C. for 20 minutes, wet sanded with #400 sandpaper and dehydrated for drying, giving a test substrate.

[0123] “Magicron Basecoat HM-22” (product of Kansai Paint Co., Ltd., a metallic coating composition, trade name) was applied to the test substrate to form a coat of about 15 μm thickness (when cured), and cured by baking at 140° C. for 30 minutes in a dryer. Each powder coating composition prepared above was applied to the base coated substrate by electrostatic coating to form a coat of about 70 μm thickness (when cured). The coat was cured by heating in a dryer at 160° C. for 30 minutes, thus forming a topcoat according to a 2-coat 2-bake system.

[0124] (2) Preparation of coated panel II (using an aqueous base coating composition)

[0125] A dull steel panel of 0.8 mm thickness treated by chemical conversion with zinc phosphate was coated with an epoxy-based cationic electrodepositable coating composition by electrocoating to form a coat of 20 μm thickness (when baked). The coated panel was baked and further coated by air spray coating with an alkyd resin/amino resin solvent-based intercoating surfacer for automobiles to form a coat of 25 μm thickness (when cured). The coated panel was baked at 140° C. for 30 minutes, wet sanded with #400 sandpaper, dehydrated for drying, and degreased by wiping with petroleum benzine, giving a test substrate.

[0126] The thermosetting aqueous colored base coating composition obtained in Preparation Example 19 was adjusted to a viscosity of 45 seconds (Fordcup #4/20° C.), and applied to the test substrate by air spray coating to a thickness of 15±3 μm (when cured), followed by drying at 70° C. for 10 minutes. Each powder coating composition prepared above was applied to the uncured coated surface by electrostatic coating to form a coat of about 70 μm thickness (when cured). The coated substrate was heated at 160° C. for 30 minutes to cure the two coats (base coat and clear coat) at the same time, thus forming a topcoat according to a 2-coat 1-bake system.

[0127] The topcoats of the multi-layer coat thus formed were tested for finished appearance and coating properties. The finished appearance was observed by the naked eye and tested for centerline average surface roughness (Ra), popping, whiteness (IV value) and flip-flop effect. The coating properties were tested for acid resistance, gasoline resistance and xylene resistance. The test methods are shown below.

[0128] Finished appearance of coat observed by the naked eye:

[0129] The appearance of the coat was evaluated for gloss and surface smoothness according to the following criteria:

[0130] A: Good appearance

[0131] B: Slightly poor appearance

[0132] C: Poor appearance.

[0133] Centerline average surface roughness Ra:

[0134] The centerline average surface roughness Ra (μm) of the coat was determined using a surface roughness measuring device (“Surfcom”, trade name, product of Tokyo Seimitsu Co., Ltd.). The smaller the value is, the higher the surface smoothness is.

[0135] Popping:

[0136] The surface of the coat was observed by the naked eye and checked for cratering due to foaming, etc. The degrees of cratering were evaluated according to the following criteria:

[0137] A: No cratering; exhibiting high surface smoothness

[0138] B: Small cratering; exhibiting slightly low surface smoothness

[0139] C: Large and many cratering; exhibiting significantly low surface smoothness.

[0140] Whiteness (IV value) and flip-flop effect (FF value):

[0141] The IV value and flip-flop effect (FF value) of the coat were determined using “ALCOPEIMR-100” (trade name, a product of Fuji Kogyo Co., Ltd.). These measurements demonstrate finished appearance in the following aspects. IV value is an index of whiteness achieved by aluminium flakes in the coating film. The more closely metallic flakes are oriented to be parallel to the coating surface, the whiter the flakes look, thereby achieving a higher IV value. Flip-flop effect (FF value) is a degree of change in brilliancy depending on the angle of view. The more closely metallic flakes are oriented to be parallel to the coating surface, the greater brilliancy varies even with a slight change in the angle of view, thereby achieving a higher FF value.

[0142] Acid resistance:

[0143] 0.4 ml of a 40% sulfuric acid solution was applied dropwise to the coated panel, followed by heating on a hot plate at 85° C. for 15 minutes. After washing the coated panel with water, the surface of the coated panel was observed by the naked eye and evaluated according to the following criteria:

[0144] A: No change; exhibiting high resistance to acid

[0145] B: A difference in film thickness between the solution-applied portion and the controlled (unapplied) portion; exhibiting slightly poor resistance to acid

[0146] C: Blushing on the coating surface; exhibiting poor resistance to acid.

[0147] Gasoline resistance:

[0148] The coated panel was immersed in automobile gasoline (JIS K 2202) for 2 hours. The surface of the coat was observed by the naked eye and evaluated according to the following criteria;

[0149] A: Free of blisters and blushing; exhibiting good resistance to gasoline

[0150] B: Slight blistering or blushing; exhibiting slightly poor resistance to gasoline

[0151] C: Marked blistering and dulling; exhibiting poor resistance to gasoline.

[0152] Xylene resistance:

[0153] 0.5 ml of xylene was dropped onto the coated panel, and the coated panel was left to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. After wiping the xylene off with a gauze, the surface of the coating was observed by the naked eye and evaluated according to the following criteria;

[0154] A: No spots; exhibiting good resistance to xylene

[0155] B: The outline of spots visually detected; exhibiting poor resistance to xylene

[0156] C: Marked swelling on the spots; exhibiting extremely poor resistance to xylene.

[0157] Table 3 shows the test results.

TABLE 3
Examples
9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Powder clear coating composition 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
of the invention
Coated Finished appearance A A A A A A A A
Panel I (by the naked eye)
Ra (μm) 1.2 0.9 0.9 1.0 0.9 0.8 1.3 1.2
Coated Finished appearance A A A A A A A A
Panel II (by the naked eye)
Ra (μm) 1.2 1.1 1.1 1.2 1.1 1.1 1.5 1.4
Popping A A A A A A A A
IV value 278 281 283 280 282 280 272 274
FF value 1.66 1.68 1.68 1.67 1.68 1.69 1.64 1.65
Coating Acid resistance A A A A A A A A
Properties Gasoline resistance A A A A A A A A
Xylene resistance A A A A A A A A
Comparative Examples
13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
Powder clear coating composition 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
of the invention
Coated Finished appearance B A A A A B B C B B B B
Panel I (by the naked eye)
Ra (μm) 1.8 0.8 1.0 0.8 0.9 1.7 1.7 4.5 1.5 1.7 3.0 1.9
Coated Finished appearance B A A A A C B C B B C C
Panel II (by the naked eye)
Ra (μm) 2.6 1.1 1.2 1.1 1.1 3.5 2.5 5.9 2.3 2.5 4.0 3.5
Popping A A A A A B A C A A C B
IV value 255 284 279 280 281 245 253 210 255 253 222 242
FF value 1.60 1.68 1.64 1.64 1.63 1.58 1.62 1.55 1.60 1.60 1.57 1.59
Coating Acid resistance A A B B B B C A B B C A
Properties Gasoline resistance A A C C C A C A B C A A
Xylene resistance A C C C C A C A B C C A

Classifications
U.S. Classification427/195, 528/86, 427/407.1, 427/202
International ClassificationC09D133/06, C08L73/02, C08G59/42, C09D163/00
Cooperative ClassificationC08L73/02, C08G59/4207, C09D163/00, C09D133/068
European ClassificationC09D133/06B6, C08G59/42B, C09D163/00
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jun 11, 2014LAPSLapse for failure to pay maintenance fees
Jan 17, 2014REMIMaintenance fee reminder mailed
Nov 12, 2009FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 8
Dec 2, 2005FPAYFee payment
Year of fee payment: 4
Jan 21, 2003CCCertificate of correction
Jun 25, 2001ASAssignment
Owner name: KANSAI PAINT CO., LTD., JAPAN
Free format text: CORRECTIVE ASSIGNMENT TO CORRECT THE ASSIGNEE S ADDRESS PREVIOUSLY RECORDED ON REEL 011582, FRAME 0364;ASSIGNORS:ADACHI, TAKATO;KAWAMOTO, YUGEN;HARAKAWA, HIROMI;REEL/FRAME:011929/0556
Effective date: 20010215
Owner name: KANSAI PAINT CO., LTD. 33-1, KANZAKI-CHO, AMAGASAK
Free format text: CORRECTIVE ASSIGNMENT TO CORRECT THE ASSIGNEE S ADDRESS PREVIOUSLY RECORDED ON REEL 011582, FRAME 0364.;ASSIGNORS:ADACHI, TAKATO;KAWAMOTO, YUGEN;HARAKAWA, HIROMI;REEL/FRAME:011929/0556
Owner name: KANSAI PAINT CO., LTD. 33-1, KANZAKI-CHO, AMAGASAK
Free format text: CORRECTIVE ASSIGNMENT TO CORRECT THE ASSIGNEE S ADDRESS PREVIOUSLY RECORDED ON REEL 011582, FRAME 0364.;ASSIGNORS:ADACHI, TAKATO /AR;REEL/FRAME:011929/0556
Feb 27, 2001ASAssignment
Owner name: KANSAI PAINT CO., LTD., JAPAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:ADACHI, TAKATO;KAWAMOTO, YUGEN;HARAKAWA, HIROMI;REEL/FRAME:011582/0364
Effective date: 20010215
Owner name: KANSAI PAINT CO., LTD. 33-1, KANZAKI-CHO, AMAGASAK
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:ADACHI, TAKATO /AR;REEL/FRAME:011582/0364