Materials evaluation at SEAT

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An electron microscope installed at the auto maker’s technical center in Martorell, Spain, provides powerful analysis capabilities in materials durability testing

To verify the quality and durability of its materials, SEAT uses a cutting-edge electron microscope – as found in some of the most advanced research centers and used by CSI and police departments worldwide. The following are some little-known facts about the technology:

• The electron microscope is capable of operating at over x100,000 magnification, resolving down to the nanometer, meaning that it can be used to analyze the DNA of the car.

• Any kind of material can be analyzed under the microscope, including metals, fabrics, plastics and paint. The purpose of these tests is to confirm that components do not contain impurities that are impossible to detect with the naked eye – improving the service life of the part. In addition, the paint can be prevented from becoming dull over the years.

• In the case of paints, studies made using microscopy analyze the different coats of paint on the car (each less than 0.12mm) to ensure that the body does not flake when hit by loose gravel.

• The studies also ensure that all parts have the same color shade and that, when fully assembled, all come together in harmony. The perception of color is somewhat subjective, but thanks to these analyses, customers can verify themselves that bumpers, doors and bonnets all have exactly the same color.

• Tests are also designed to ensure that discoloration due to sunlight damage does not occur and that paint remains glossy and fresh for longer periods.

April 25, 2017

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About Author

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John joined UKi Media & Events in 2012 and has worked across a range of B2B titles within the company's automotive, marine and entertainment divisions. Currently editor of Automotive Testing Technology International, Crash Test Technology International and Electric & Hybrid Marine Technology International, John co-ordinates the day-the-day operations of each magazine, from commissioning and writing to editing and signing-off, as well managing web content. Aside from the magazines, John also serves as co-chairman of the annual Electric & Hybrid Marine Awards and can be found sniffing out stories throughout the halls of several of UKI's industry-leading expo events.

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