(19)
(11)EP 3 099 423 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
06.05.2020 Bulletin 2020/19

(21)Application number: 14825449.3

(22)Date of filing:  12.12.2014
(51)Int. Cl.: 
B05D 7/00  (2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/JP2014/083624
(87)International publication number:
WO 2015/114989 (06.08.2015 Gazette  2015/31)

(54)

COATING METHOD AND COATED ARTICLE OBTAINED BY THE SAME

BESCHICHTUNGSMETHODE UND DAMIT HERGESTELLTER BESCHICHTETER GEGENSTAND

PROCÉDÉ DE REVÊTEMENT ET ARTICLE POURVU D'UN REVÊTEMENT OBTENU PAR LEDIT PROCÉDÉ


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 30.01.2014 JP 2014015153

(43)Date of publication of application:
07.12.2016 Bulletin 2016/49

(73)Proprietor: TOYOTA JIDOSHA KABUSHIKI KAISHA
Toyota-shi, Aichi 471-8571 (JP)

(72)Inventors:
  • YOMO, Shuji
    Nagakute-shi Aichi 480-1192 (JP)
  • TACHI, Kazuyuki
    Nagakute-shi Aichi 480-1192 (JP)
  • HAYASHI, Hisao
    Toyota-shi Aichi 471-8571 (JP)

(74)Representative: Cabinet Beau de Loménie 
158, rue de l'Université
75340 Paris Cedex 07
75340 Paris Cedex 07 (FR)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 2 362 813
US-A1- 2010 136 342
US-A1- 2009 246 545
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    [Technical Field]



    [0001] The present invention relates to a coating method in which three kinds of coating materials are applied using a wet-on-wet technique and then simultaneously baked, and to a coated article obtained by the same.

    [Background Art]



    [0002] For forming a laminated coating film by a coating method in which three kinds of coating materials are applied using a wet-on-wet technique and then baked, there has been a conventionally used method by which the laminated coating film as a whole is cured. In this method, thermosetting coating materials for forming layers constituting a laminated coating film are selected so that all the layers can be cured at the same heating temperature after all the coating materials are applied. However, the conventional coating method has a problem that the obtained laminated coating film is inferior in surface texture and gloss to that obtained by baking a lower layer and then applying and baking coating materials for forming an intermediate layer and an upper layer. In this connection, various methods have been proposed to improve the surface texture and the gloss of a laminated coating film.

    [0003] For example, Japanese Unexamined Patent Application Publication No. 2004-275966 (PTL 1) discloses a method for forming a coating film, the method comprising: a step of successively applying an intermediate paint, a base paint, and a clear paint in a wet-on-wet manner; and a heating step including both a low-temperature heating stage (heating at a temperature which is 25 to 80% of a curing temperature for a time which is 5 to 30% of a curing time), and a high-temperature heating stage (heating at a temperature which exceeds 80% and is not more than 120% of a curing temperature for a time which is 30 to 130% of a curing time). However, in the case of the conventional method (see also US 2010/136342 A1 and US 2009/246545 A1) for forming a multilayer coating film as described in PTL 1 and an article coated by the method, the appearance qualities, such as surface texture (smoothness) and gloss of the laminated coating film are not necessarily sufficient, and it is difficult to improve the surface texture and gloss to the levels required for the appearance qualities of automobiles. In this respect, coated articles having better appearance qualities and better durability have been demanded for automobile steel plates and the like, and further improvement of the wet-on-wet coating method has been desired.

    [Citation List]


    [Patent Literature]



    [0004] [PTL 1] Japanese Unexamined Patent Application Publication No. 2004-275966

    [Summary of Invention]


    [Technical Problem]



    [0005] The present invention has been made in view of the above-described problems of the conventional technologies. An object of the present invention is to provide a coating method which makes it possible to obtain a laminated coating film having an upper layer in which formation of surface unevenness is sufficiently suppressed, even when three kinds of coating materials are applied using a wet-on-wet technique and simultaneously baked to cure the layers for the purpose of obtaining high durability and the like. Another object of the present invention is to provide a coated article that is obtained by the same and is very excellent in appearance qualities.

    [Solution to Problem]



    [0006] The present inventers have conducted earnestly study to achieve the above object, and consequently revealed the following fact in the case where coating is conducted by applying three kinds of thermosetting coating materials using a wet-on-wet technique and simultaneously baking them. Specifically, a thermosetting coating material is used as a lower layer-coating material for forming the lower layer, a thermosetting coating material is used as an intermediate layer-coating material for forming the intermediate layer, and a thermosetting coating material is used as an upper layer-coating material for forming the upper layer. Here, these coating materials are selected so that a sum of an absolute value of a difference in shrinkage ratio between the lower layer-coating material and the intermediate layer-coating material at a late stage of the baking in the baking step and an absolute value of a difference in shrinkage ratio between the intermediate layer-coating material and the upper layer-coating material at the late stage of the baking in the baking step can be within a specific range. Use of such coating materials makes it possible to reduce the amount of transfer of the unevenness at the interface between the upper layer and the intermediate layer to the upper layer which has been cured with fluidity remarkably lowered and/or makes it possible to reduce the unevenness at the interface between the intermediate layer and the lower layer and the amount of transfer of the unevenness to the upper layer which has been cured with fluidity remarkably lowered. Accordingly, a laminated coating film having further very excellent appearance qualities can be obtained, even though the three kinds of coating materials are applied using a wet-on-wet technique, and then simultaneously baked. This finding has led to the completion of the present invention.

    [0007] The coating method of the present invention is a cοating methοd for forming a laminated coating film including a lower layer formed on a base material, an intermediate layer formed on the lower layer, and an upper layer formed on the intermediate layer, the method comprising:

    a preparation step of preparing a thermosetting coating material as a lower layer-coating material for forming the lower layer, preparing a thermosetting coating material as an intermediate layer-coating material for forming the intermediate layer, and preparing a thermosetting coating material as an upper layer-coating material for forming the upper layer;

    a formation step of forming an uncured laminated coating film by applying the lower layer-coating material, the intermediate layer-coating material, and the upper layer-coating material on the base material using a wet-on-wet technique; and

    a baking step of simultaneously curing the lower layer-coating material, the intermediate layer-coating material, and the upper layer-coating material by subjecting the uncured laminated coating film to a baking treatment, wherein

    in the preparation step, the lower layer-coating material, the intermediate layer-coating material, and the upper layer-coating material are selected so that a sum of an absolute value of a difference in shrinkage ratio between the lower layer-coating material and the intermediate layer-coating material at a late stage of the baking in the baking step and an absolute value of a difference in shrinkage ratio between the intermediate layer-coating material and the upper layer-coating material at the late stage of the baking in the baking step is 3.0% or smaller.



    [0008] In the above-described coating method of the present invention, the upper layer-coating material preferably has a shrinkage ratio in a range from 0 to 20% at the late stage of the baking in the baking step, the intermediate layer-coating material preferably has a shrinkage ratio in a range from 0 to 20% at the late stage of the baking in the baking step, and the lower layer-coating material preferably has a shrinkage ratio in a range from 0 to 20% at the late stage of the baking in the baking step.

    [0009] In addition, in the above-described coating method of the present invention, it is preferable that, in the preparation step, the intermediate layer-coating material and the upper layer-coating material be selected so that the absolute value of the difference in shrinkage ratio between the intermediate layer-coating material and the upper layer-coating material at the late stage of the baking in the baking step is 2.0% or smaller.

    [0010] Moreover, in the above-described coating method of the present invention, the upper layer-coating material is preferably a coating material containing no melamine resin as a curing agent.

    [0011] Moreover, in the above-described coating method of the present invention, the upper layer-coating material is preferably a thermosetting coating material from which no volatile product is formed in a curing reaction by a heat treatment.

    [0012] Further, in the above-described coating method of the present invention, each of the upper layer-coating material, the intermediate layer-coating material and the lower layer-coating material preferably contains a thermosetting resin and a curing agent,
    a combination of the thermosetting resin and the curing agent in the upper layer-coating material is preferably a combination selected from the group consisting of a combination of a hydroxy group-containing acrylic resin and an isocyanate compound, a combination of a hydroxy group-containing acrylic resin and an isocyanate resin, and a combination of a hydroxy group and glycidyl group-containing acrylic resin and a carboxyl group-containing acrylic resin,
    a combination of the thermosetting resin and the curing agent in the intermediate layer-coating material is preferably a combination selected from the group consisting of a combination of an acrylic resin and a melamine resin, a combination of a polyester resin and a melamine resin, a combination of an acrylic resin and a (block) isocyanate compound, and a combination of a polyester resin and a (block) isocyanate compound, and
    a combination of the thermosetting resin and the curing agent in the lower layer-coating material is preferably a combination selected from the group consisting of a combination of an acrylic resin and a melamine resin, a combination of a polyester resin and a melamine resin, a combination of an acrylic resin and a (block) isocyanate compound, and a combination of a polyester resin and a (block) isocyanate compound.

    [0013] Furthermore, in the above-described coating method of the present invention, the upper layer-coating material is preferably a clear coating material, the intermediate layer-coating material is preferably a base coating material, and the lower layer-coating material is preferably an intermediate coating material.

    [0014] The coated article of the present invention comprises a laminated coating film including a lower layer formed on a base material, an intermediate layer formed on the lower layer, and an upper layer formed on the intermediate layer, wherein the coated article is obtained by the above coating method.

    [0015] Note that, although it is not known exactly why the above-described object is achieved by the present invention, the present inventors speculate as follows. Specifically, in a conventional laminated coating film formed using a wet-on-wet technique, thermosetting coating materials are used for all layers including an upper layer, and the laminated coating film is designed so that these layers are simultaneously cured at the same heating temperature, or curing is started sequentially from a lower layer. Accordingly, when the thermosetting coating material for forming the upper layer is cured by a heat treatment (baking treatment), curing of the thermosetting coating material proceeds also in the lower layer of the upper layer, and the layer already loses the fluidity. In each layer of the laminated coating film, the thermosetting coating material is cured by a condensation reaction or by an addition reaction after the deblocking reaction of a curing agent. Accordingly, volatile products formed in this condensation reaction or deblocking reaction evaporate along with the residual solvents. This causes the shrinkage of the laminated coating film, and thereby unevenness is formed on the surface of the coating film. This surface unevenness of the coating film is reduced by the flowing or the like of the upper layer that keeps having sufficient fluidity. However, the present inventors speculate that, when the fluidity of the upper layer remarkably decreases because of the curing, the unevenness on the surface of the base material or at each interface between layers is transferred to the surface of the upper layer, deteriorating the surface texture and the gloss of the laminated coating film.

    [0016] Also in a case where a thermosetting coating material containing an isocyanate compound or an isocyanate resin as a curing agent is used as an upper layer-coating material or the like, the upper layer often loses the fluidity before the lower layer is cured, because of the higher curing rate of the upper layer-coating material. In this case, the curing of the lower layer proceeds, after the upper layer is cured. Since the lower layer-coating material used for conventional wet-on-wet application has poor fluidity, the unevenness formed because of the shrinkage which occurs when the curing of the lower layer proceeds is not sufficiently reduced, and the unevenness on the surface of the base material or at each interface between layers is transferred to the surface of the upper layer. Presumably because of this, the surface texture and the gloss of the laminated coating film deteriorate.

    [0017] To achieve the above-described object, the present inventors have first focused on the fact that the appearance qualities such as surface texture (smoothness) and gloss of the laminated coating film are better, when the upper layer has less surface unevenness. Then, the present inventors have found that the unevenness which has an influence on the surface texture is attributable to the non-uniformity of the amount of the coating material applied on the surface of the base material during spraying and the amount of shrinkage of the coating film during the drying step (including the baking step) in the direction of the surface, while the unevenness (corresponding to shorter wavelengths than those in the case of the surface texture) which governs the gloss is attributable to the non-uniformity of the amount of shrinkage of the coating film in the drying step in the direction of the surface. In addition, of the two types of the unevenness formed because of the above-described two factors, the unevenness attributable to the non-uniformity of the amount of the coating material applied on the surface of the base material during the spraying in the direction of the surface can be suppressed by improving the fineness of particles of the coating material. However, this causes deterioration in coating efficiency, which is an effective utilization rate of the coating material. Hence, the improvement in the fineness of particles of the coating material more than necessary is not favorable in terms of costs and the like. For this reason, it has been found that, to improve the appearance qualities such as surface texture (smoothness) and gloss, the reduction of the unevenness attributable to the non-uniformity of the amount of shrinkage of the coating film in the direction of the surface in the drying step is advantageous. Then, the present inventors have found the following fact. Specifically, when a laminated coating film is formed by applying a coating material for forming a lower layer, a coating material for forming an intermediate layer, and a coating material for forming an upper layer on a base material using a wet-on-wet technique, and then simultaneously baking the coating materials, the above-described unevenness is formed mainly because the unevenness at the interface between the lower layer and the intermediate layer and the unevenness at the interface between the intermediate layer and the upper layer which are formed when the lower layer-coating material, the intermediate layer-coating material, and the upper layer-coating material are applied using a wet-on-wet technique are transferred to the surface of the upper layer because of the shrinkage of each layer, after the remarkable lowering of the fluidity of the upper layer in the drying step. Hence, if the sum of the absolute value of the difference in shrinkage ratio between the lower layer and the intermediate layer forming the interface at the late stage of the baking and the absolute value of the difference in shrinkage ratio between the intermediate layer and the upper layer forming the interface at the late stage of the baking is small, the amount of the unevenness at the interfaces transferred to the surface of the upper layer is small.

    [0018] In this respect, in a case where coating is carried out by applying three kinds of thermosetting coating materials using a wet-on-wet technique and simultaneously baking these materials, a thermosetting coating material is used as the lower layer-coating material for forming the lower layer, a thermosetting coating material is used as the intermediate layer-coating material for forming the intermediate layer, and a thermosetting coating material is used as the upper layer-coating material for forming the upper layer. Here, these coating materials are selected so that the sum of the absolute value of the difference in shrinkage ratio between the lower layer-coating material and the intermediate layer-coating material at the late stage of the baking in the baking step and the absolute value of the difference in shrinkage ratio between the intermediate layer-coating material and the upper layer-coating material at the late stage of the baking in the baking step is 3.0% or smaller. Thus, the sum of the differences in shrinkage ratio between the lower layer and the intermediate layer and between the intermediate layer and the upper layer is sufficiently reduced to be within a specific range. The present inventors speculate that this makes it possible to sufficiently reduce the unevenness at each interface and the amount of the unevenness transferred to the upper layer, so that a laminated coating film having further very excellent appearance qualities can be obtained, even when three kinds of coating materials are applied using a wet-on-wet technique and then simultaneously baked.

    [Advantageous Effects of Invention]



    [0019] According to the present invention, even when three kinds of coating materials are applied using a wet-on-wet technique and baked to cure all the layers for the purpose of obtaining high durability and the like, a laminated coating film having an upper layer in which formation of surface unevenness is sufficiently suppressed can be obtained. Accordingly, the present invention makes it possible to obtain a coated article having very excellent appearance qualities such as surface texture (surface smoothness) and gloss.

    [Description of Embodiments]



    [0020] Hereinafter, the present invention will be described in details on the basis of preferred embodiments thereof.

    [0021] A coating method of the present invention is a coating method for forming a laminated coating film including a lower layer formed on a base material, an intermediate layer formed on the lower layer, and an upper layer formed on the intermediate layer, the method comprising:

    a preparation step (Raw Coating Material Preparation Step) of preparing a thermosetting coating material as a lower layer-coating material for forming the lower layer, preparing a thermosetting coating material as an intermediate layer-coating material for forming the intermediate layer, and preparing a thermosetting coating material as an upper layer-coating material for forming the upper layer;

    a formation step (Application Step) of forming an uncured laminated coating film by applying the lower layer-coating material, the intermediate layer-coating material, and the upper layer-coating material on the base material using a wet-on-wet technique; and

    a baking step (Baking Step) of simultaneously curing the lower layer-coating material, the intermediate layer-coating material, and the upper layer-coating material by subjecting the uncured laminated coating film to a baking treatment, wherein

    in the preparation step, the lower layer-coating material, the intermediate layer-coating material, and the upper layer-coating material are selected so that a sum of an absolute value of a difference in shrinkage ratio between the lower layer-coating material and the intermediate layer-coating material at a late stage of the baking in the baking step and an absolute value of a difference in shrinkage ratio between the intermediate layer-coating material and the upper layer-coating material at the late stage of the baking in the baking step is 3.0% or smaller.


    (Raw Coating Material Preparation Step)



    [0022] In the coating method of the present invention, first, a lower layer-coating material for forming the lower layer, an intermediate layer-coating material for forming the intermediate layer, and an upper layer-coating material for forming the upper layer are prepared.

    [0023] A thermosetting coating material is used as the upper layer-coating material according to the present invention. The thermosetting coating material used as the upper layer-coating material only needs to be one containing a thermosetting resin capable of forming a coating film and a curing agent, and examples thereof include thermosetting coating materials used as upper layer-coating materials for ordinary baking finish. The form of the thermosetting coating material for the upper layer may be any of solvent-based form, water-based form, and powder form. A curing temperature of the thermosetting coating material for the upper layer is not particularly limited, and is generally 40 to 200°C, and preferably 80 to 160°C. Note that, as the upper layer-coating material, it is preferable to use a coating material having a weight loss percentage of 0 to 20% by mass at the curing temperature thereof. This leads to a tendency to minimize the shrinkage of the coating film due to a heat treatment. Moreover, from such a viewpoint, it is the most preferable to use a coating material having a weight loss percentage of 0 to 10% by mass.

    [0024] Note that, in the present invention, the curing temperature of a coating material refers to a temperature at which the coating material can be cured most efficiently in relation to other curing conditions such as curing time, in the case where a target coating material is applied to the base material, heat treatment is performed, and the coating film is cured to be fixed on the base material. In general, the curing temperature refers to a baking temperature which is set (designed) for each coating material. In the present invention, a value listed in its catalog can be employed as this curing temperature (baking temperature).

    [0025] Examples of the thermosetting resin that is contained in the upper layer-coating material and is capable of forming a coating film include hydroxy group-, glycidyl group-, or carboxyl group-containing acrylic resins, polyester resins, alkyd resins, epoxy resins, and urethane resins; however, the thermosetting resin is not limited thereto. Preferable curing agents include isocyanate compounds, block isocyanate compounds, isocyanate resins, and amino compounds; however, the curing agent is not limited thereto. In addition, one of these thermosetting resins may be used alone, or two or more thereof may be used in combination. Also, one of these curing agents may be used alone, or two or more thereof may be used in combination.

    [0026] Note that, preferably, the curing agent contained in the upper layer-coating material does not contain any melamine resin. This leads to a tendency to minimize the shrinkage of the coating film due to a heat treatment. In addition, the upper layer-coating material is preferably a thermosetting coating material from which no volatile product is formed in a curing reaction by a heat treatment. This leads to a tendency to minimize the shrinkage of the coating film due to a heat treatment.

    [0027] Further, examples of combinations of the thermosetting resin and the curing agent from which no volatile product is formed in the curing reaction by the heat treatment include combinations of a hydroxy group-containing acrylic resin with an isocyanate compound and/or an isocyanate resin, and the like. In the present invention, to obtain further excellent and high appearance qualities, a thermosetting coating material to be cured by a heat treatment may be applied on the upper layer of the laminated coating film cured by being subjected to the heat treatment. This thermosetting coating material is more preferably a coating material from which substantially no volatile product is formed in the curing reaction by the heat treatment.

    [0028] Note that, in the present invention, the upper layer-coating material is prepared by selecting a combination of the thermosetting resin and the curing agent to be contained in the upper layer-coating material so that the sum of the absolute value of the difference in shrinkage ratio between the lower layer coating material and the intermediate layer-coating material at the late stage of the baking in the baking step and the absolute value of the difference in shrinkage ratio between the intermediate layer-coating material and the upper layer-coating material at the late stage of the baking in the baking step is within the above-described range. The combination of the thermosetting resin and the curing agent is preferably a combination of a hydroxy group-containing acrylic resin and an isocyanate compound, a combination of a hydroxy group-containing acrylic resin and an isocyanate resin, or a combination of a hydroxy group and glycidyl group-containing acrylic resin and a carboxyl group-containing acrylic resin.

    [0029] Moreover, the upper layer-coating material is preferably a so called "clear coating material" for forming a clear coating film (clear layer) used for automobile coating material and coating. The clear coating material may be, for example, one containing a thermosetting resin, an organic solvent, and if necessary, an ultraviolet absorber or the like and being capable of forming a transparent coating film. Examples of the thermosetting resin include those containing a resin, such as an acrylic resin, a polyester resin, an alkyd resin, a fluororesin, a urethane resin, or a silicon-containing resin, having a cross-linkable functional group such as a hydroxy group, a carboxyl group, a silanol group, or an epoxy group and a cross-linking agent which is capable of reacting with the cross-linkable functional group, such as a urea resin, a (block) polyisocyanate compound, an epoxy resin compound or resin, a carboxyl group-containing compound or resin, an acid anhydride, or an alkoxysilane group-containing compound or resin.

    [0030] In addition, the upper layer-coating material of the present invention may contain conventionally known coloring pigments, effect or luster pigments, and the like within a conventionally known scope, when needed. Meanwhile, in order to adjust various properties, various additives such as a viscosity controlling agent, a surface conditioner, a thickening agent, an antioxidant, an ultraviolet absorber, and a defoamer may be blended within a conventionally known scope.

    [0031] As the intermediate layer-coating material according to the present invention, a thermosetting coating material is used. The thermosetting coating material used as the intermediate layer-coating material only needs to contain a thermosetting resin capable of forming a coating film and a curing agent, and examples thereof include thermosetting coating materials used as intermediate layer-coating materials for ordinary baking finish. The form of the thermosetting coating material for the intermediate layer may be any of solvent-based form, water-based form, and powder form. The curing temperature of the thermosetting coating material for the intermediate layer is not particularly limited, and is generally 40 to 200°C, and preferably 80 to 160°C.

    [0032] Examples of the thermosetting resin that is capable of forming a coating film contained in the intermediate layer-coating material include acrylic resins, polyester resins, alkyd resins, epoxy resins, and urethane resins; however, the thermosetting resin is not limited thereto. Examples of the curing agent include amino compounds, amino resins, isocyanate compounds, block isocyanate compounds, and isocyanate resins; however, the curing agent is not limited thereto. In addition, one of these thermosetting resins may be used alone, or two or more thereof may be used in combination. Also, one of these curing agents may be used alone, or two or more thereof may be used in combination.

    [0033] Note that, in the present invention, the intermediate layer-coating material is prepared by selecting a combination of the thermosetting resin and the curing agent contained in the intermediate layer-coating material, so that the sum of the absolute value of the difference in shrinkage ratio between the lower layer-coating material and the intermediate layer-coating material at the late stage of the baking in the baking step and the absolute value of the difference in shrinkage ratio between the intermediate layer-coating material and the upper layer-coating material at the late stage of the baking in the baking step is within the above-described range. The combination of the thermosetting resin and the curing agent is preferably a combination of an acrylic resin and a melamine resin, a combination of a polyester resin and a melamine resin, a combination of an acrylic resin and a (block) isocyanate compound, or a combination of a polyester resin and a (block) isocyanate compound.

    [0034] Moreover, the intermediate layer-coating material is preferably a so called "base coating material" for forming a base coating film (base layer) used for automobile coating material and coating. For example, known solvent-based colored base coating materials and water-based colored base coating material are preferably used. Examples of the water-based colored base coating materials include those containing a pigment, a water-soluble or dispersible resin, a cross-linking agent, if necessary, and water as a solvent. The water-soluble or dispersible resin may be, for example, a resin having a hydrophilic group such as a carboxyl group and a cross-linkable functional group such as a hydroxy group in a single molecule, and specific examples thereof include acrylic resins, polyester resins, polyurethaneresins, and the like. Meanwhile, examples of the cross-linking agent include hydrophobic or hydrophilic alkyl ether melamine resins, block isocyanate compounds, and the like. Meanwhile, examples of the solvent-based colored base coating materials include those containing a pigment, a resin as described above, a cross-linking agent, if necessary, and a solvent.

    [0035] In addition, the intermediate layer-coating material of the present invention may contain conventionally known coloring pigments, effect or luster pigments, and the like within a conventionally known scope, when needed. Meanwhile, in order to adjust various properties, various additives such as a viscosity controlling agent, a surface conditioner, a thickening agent, an antioxidant, an ultraviolet absorber, and a defoamer may be blended within a conventionally known scope.

    [0036] As the lower layer-coating material according to the present invention, a thermosetting coating material is used. The thermosetting coating material used as the lower layer-coating material only needs to contain a thermosetting resin capable of forming a coating film and a curing agent, and examples thereof include thermosetting coating materials used as lower layer-coating materials for ordinary baking finish. The form of the thermosetting coating material for the lower layer may be any of solvent-based form, water-based form, and powder form. The curing temperature of the thermosetting coating material for the lower layer is not particularly limited, and is generally 40 to 200°C, and preferably 80 to 160°C.

    [0037] Examples of the thermosetting resin that is capable of forming a coating film contained in the lower layer-coating material include acrylic resins, polyester resins, alkyd resins, epoxy resins, and urethane resins; however, the thermosetting resin is not limited thereto. Examples of the curing agent include amino compounds, amino resins, isocyanate compounds, block isocyanate compounds, and isocyanate resins; however, the curing agent is not limited thereto. In addition, one of these thermosetting resins may be used alone, or two or more thereof may be used in combination. Also, one of these curing agents may be used alone, or two or more thereof may be used in combination.

    [0038] Note that, in the present invention, the lower layer-coating material is prepared by selecting a combination of the thermosetting resin and the curing agent to be contained in the lower layer-coating material, so that the sum of the absolute value of the difference in shrinkage ratio between the lower layer-coating material and the intermediate layer-coating material at the late stage of the baking in the baking step and the absolute value of the difference in shrinkage ratio between the intermediate layer-coating material and the upper layer-coating material at the late stage of the baking in the baking step is within the above-described range. The combination of the thermosetting resin and the curing agent is preferably a combination of an acrylic resin and a melamine resin, a combination of a polyester resin and a melamine resin, a combination of an acrylic resin and a (block) isocyanate compound, or a combination of a polyester resin and a (block) isocyanate compound.

    [0039] Moreover, the lower layer-coating material is preferably a so-called "intermediate coating material" for forming an intermediate coating film (intermediate coat layer) used for automobile coating material and coating. For example, a thermosetting resin composition comprising a base resin and a cross-linking agent is suitably used. Examples of the base resin include acrylic resins, polyester resins, alkyd resins, and the like which have two or more cross-linkable functional groups such as hydroxy groups, epoxy groups, isocyanate groups, or carboxyl groups in a single molecule. Meanwhile, examples of the cross-linking agent include amino resins such as melamine resins and urea resins, optionally blocked polyisocyanate compounds, carboxyl group-containing compounds, and the like.

    [0040] In addition, the lower layer-coating material of the present invention may contain conventionally known coloring pigments, effect or luster pigments, and the like within a conventionally known scope, when needed. Meanwhile, in order to adjust various properties, various additives such as a viscosity controlling agent, a surface conditioner, a thickening agent, an antioxidant, an ultraviolet absorber, and a defoamer may be blended within a conventionally known scope.

    [0041] Note that, in the raw coating material preparation step of the present invention, it is preferable to prepare the lower layer-coating material and the upper layer-coating material so that the absolute value of the difference in shrinkage ratio between the lower layer-coating material and the upper layer-coating material is 2.0% or smaller at the late stage of the baking in the step of simultaneously curing the lower layer-coating material and the upper layer-coating material by subjecting the uncured laminated coating film to a baking treatment after the uncured laminated coating film is formed by applying the lower layer-coating material and the upper layer-coating material on the base material using a wet-on-wet technique.

    [0042] Note that, in the raw coating material preparation step of the present invention, it is necessary to select the lower layer-coating material, the intermediate layer-coating material, and the upper layer-coating material so that the sum of the absolute value of the difference in shrinkage ratio between the lower layer-coating material and the intermediate layer-coating material at the late stage of the baking in the baking step and the absolute value of the difference in shrinkage ratio between the intermediate layer-coating material and the upper layer-coating material at the late stage of the baking in the baking step is 3.0% or smaller.

    [0043] Regarding the upper layer-coating material, the intermediate layer-coating material and the lower layer-coating material, the upper layer-coating material preferably has a shrinkage ratio in a range from 0 to 20% at the late stage of the baking in the baking step, the intermediate layer-coating material preferably has a shrinkage ratio in a range from 0 to 20% at the late stage of the baking in the baking step, and the lower layer-coating material preferably has a shrinkage ratio in a range from 0 to 20% at the late stage of the baking in the baking step. This leads to a tendency that a laminated coating film having an upper layer with less surface unevenness can be obtained, and consequently it tends to be possible to obtain a coated article having very excellent appearance qualities such as surface texture (surface smoothness) and gloss.

    [0044] Regarding the upper layer-coating material, the intermediate layer-coating material, and the lower layer-coating material, the upper layer-coating material is preferably a coating material of an acid-epoxy curing system, an isocyanate-curing system, or a melamine-curing system, the intermediate layer-coating material is preferably a coating material of a melamine-curing system or an isocyanate-curing system, and the lower layer-coating material is preferably a coating material of a melamine-curing system or isocyanate-curing system.

    [0045] Further, the combination of the upper layer-coating material, the intermediate layer-coating material, and the lower layer-coating material is more preferably such that the upper layer-coating material/intermediate layer-coating material/lower layer-coating material is acid-epoxy curing system/melamine-curing system/melamine-curing system, acid-epoxy curing system/melamine-curing system/isocyanate-curing system, acid-epoxy curing system/isocyanate-curing system/melamine-curing system, acid-epoxy curing system/isocyanate-curing system/isocyanate-curing system, isocyanate-curing system/melamine-curing system/melamine-curing system, isocyanate-curing system/melamine-curing system/isocyanate-curing system, isocyanate-curing system/isocyanate-curing system/melamine-curing system, or isocyanate-curing system/isocyanate-curing system/isocyanate-curing system.

    (Application Step)



    [0046] Next, in the coating method of the present invention, an uncured laminated coating film is formed by applying, on the base material, the lower layer-coating material, the intermediate layer-coating material, and the upper layer-coating material prepared in the raw coating material preparation step using a wet-on-wet technique.

    [0047] The base material according to the present invention is not particularly limited, and examples thereof include metal materials such as iron, aluminum, brass, copper, stainless steel, tinplate, zinc-plated steel, and alloyed-zinc (Zn-Al, Zn-Ni, Zn-Fe, or the like) plated steel; resins such as polyethylene resin, polypropylene resin, acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) resin, polyamideresin, acrylic resin, vinylidenechloride resin, polycarbonate resin, polyurethane resin, and epoxy resin; various plastic materials such as FRPs; inorganic materials such as glass, cement, and concrete; wood; fiber materials (paper, fabrics, and the like); foamed materials; and the like. Of these materials, metal materials and plastic materials are preferable, and metal materials are particularly preferable. The present invention is preferably applied especially to automobile steel plates which are required to have high appearance qualities. The surfaces of these base materials may be subjected, in advance, to an electrodeposition treatment, electrodeposition and intermediate coating treatments, or the like.

    [0048] In the application step according to the present invention, first, the lower layer-coating material is applied on the base material, and, if necessary, the solvent and the like are evaporated by drying or the like, to form an uncured lower layer. Subsequently, the intermediate layer-coating material is applied on the uncured lower layer, and, if necessary, the solvent and the like are evaporated by drying or the like, to form an uncured intermediate layer. Next, the upper layer-coating material is applied on the uncured intermediate layer, and, if necessary, the solvent and the like are evaporated by drying or the like, to form an uncured upper layer. Examples of methods for applying the lower layer-coating material, the intermediate layer-coating material, and the upper layer-coating material include conventionally known methods such as air spray coating, air electrostatic spray coating, and rotary atomizing electrostatic coating.

    [0049] Note that the film thickness of the lower layer can be appropriately set in accordance with a desired application. For example, the film thickness after the heat treatment is preferably 5 to 50 µm, and more preferably 10 to 40 µm. If the film thickness of the lower layer is less than the lower limit, it tends to be difficult to obtain a uniform coating film as the lower layer. On the other hand, if the film thickness exceeds the upper limit, there are tendencies that the lower layer absorbs a large amount of solvent and the like contained in the coating film as the upper layer, and that the evaporation of the solvent contained in the lower layer itself is prevented and thereby the appearance qualities of the laminated coating film are deteriorated.

    [0050] The film thickness of the intermediate layer can also be appropriately set in accordance with a desired application. For example, the film thickness after the heat treatment is preferably 5 to 50 µm, and more preferably 10 to 40 µm. If the film thickness of the intermediate layer is less than the lower limit, it tends to be difficult to obtain a coating film having a uniform intermediate layer. On the other hand, if the film thickness exceeds the upper limit, there are tendencies that the intermediate layer absorbs a large amount of solvent and the like contained in the coating film as the upper layer, and that the evaporation of the solvent contained in the layer itself is also prevented and thereby the appearance qualities of the laminated coating film are deteriorated.

    [0051] Further, the film thickness of the upper layer can be appropriately set in accordance with a desired application. For example, the film thickness after the heat treatment is preferably 15 to 60 µm, and more preferably 20 to 50 µm. If the film thickness of the upper layer is less than the lower limit, the fluidity is insufficient and thereby the appearance qualities of the laminated coating film tend to be deteriorated. On the other hand, if the film thickness exceeds the upper limit, the fluidity is excessively high, and thereby defects such as sagging tend to occur in a case where the coating is performed in a vertical direction.

    (Baking Step)



    [0052] Next, in the coating method of the present invention, the lower layer-coating material, the intermediate layer-coating material, and the upper layer-coating material are simultaneously cured by subjecting the uncured laminated coating film obtained in the application step to a baking treatment (heat treatment).

    [0053] Note that, in the baking step, it is necessary that the sum of the absolute value of the difference in shrinkage ratio between the lower layer-coating material and the intermediate layer-coating material at the late stage of the baking in the baking step and the absolute value of the difference in shrinkage ratio between the intermediate layer-coating material and the upper layer-coating material at the late stage of the baking in the baking step be 3.0% or smaller. A conventional laminated coating film obtained using a wet-on-wet technique cannot achieve the sum of the absolute value of the difference in shrinkage ratio being 3.0% or smaller, unless the combination of the upper layer, the intermediate layer, and the lower layer is deliberately selected. When the sum of the absolute values of the differences in shrinkage ratio exceeds 3.0%, it is not possible to sufficiently reduce the amount of transfer of the unevenness at the interface between the upper layer and the interediate layer and/or between the intermediate layer and the lower layer to the upper layer which has been cured with fluidity remarkably lowered. As a result, a laminated coating film having excellent appearance qualities cannot be obtained, when the three kinds of coating materials are applied using a wet-on-wet technique and then simultaneously baked. Moreover, the sum of the absolute value of the difference in shrinkage ratio between the lower layer-coating material and the intermediate layer-coating material at the late stage of the baking in the baking step and the absolute value of the difference in shrinkage ratio between the intermediate layer-coating material and the upper layer-coating material at the late stage of the baking in the baking step is more preferably 2.0% or smaller, and particularly preferably 1.0% or smaller. Consequently, it tends to be possible to obtain a laminated coating film having an upper layer in which formation of surface unevenness is sufficiently suppressed, even when three kinds of coating materials are applied using a wet-on-wet technique and baked to cure all the layers for the purpose of obtaining high durability and the like. Thus, it tends to be possible to obtain a coated article having further very excellent appearance qualities such as surface texture (surface smoothness) and gloss.

    [0054] In addition, in the baking step, the absolute value of the difference in shrinkage ratio between the intermediate layer-coating material and the upper layer-coating material at the late stage of the baking is preferably 2.0% or smaller, more preferably 1.0% or smaller, and particularly preferably 0.5% or smaller. Consequently, it tends to be possible to obtain a laminated coating film having an upper layer with further sufficiently less surface unevenness, even when three kinds of coating materials are applied using a wet-on-wet technique and baked to cure all the layers for the purpose of obtaining high durability and the like. Thus, it tends to be possible to obtain a coated article having further very excellent appearance qualities such as surface texture (surface smoothness) and gloss.

    <Method for Calculating Difference in Shrinkage Ratio>



    [0055] In the present invention, the "shrinkage ratio" is defined as the shrinkage ratio measured by the following method. Specifically, since it is difficult to measure the shrinkage ratio of each layer in the state of the laminated coating film and after the remarkable lowering of the fluidity of the upper layer, the shrinkage ratios (ω') of the upper layer coating film, the intermediate layer coating film, and the lower layer coating film at the late stage of the baking are measured in the state of single-layer films of these coating materials. Here, the shrinkage ratios (ω') are attributable to the evaporation of volatile products in the curing reaction and residual solvents such as high-boiling point solvents at the late stage of the baking. Then, from the shrinkage ratio of the upper layer-coating material, the shrinkage ratio of the intermediate layer-coating material, and the shrinkage ratio of the upper layer-coating material, the "absolute value of a difference in shrinkage ratio" (|ΔωA'|) between the lower layer-coating material and the intermediate layer-coating material at the late stage of the baking in the baking step and the "absolute value of a difference in shrinkage ratio" (|ΔωB'|) between the intermediate layer-coating material and the upper layer-coating material at the late stage of the baking in the baking step are determined. Further, a calculation is carried out to determine the sum (|Δω'|) of the absolute, value (|ΔωA'|) of the difference in shrinkage ratio between the lower layer-coating material and the intermediate layer-coating material at the late stage of the baking in the baking step and the absolute value (|ΔωB'|) of the difference in shrinkage ratio between the intermediate layer-coating material and the upper layer-coating material at the late stage of the baking in the baking step.

    [0056] Note that the "shrinkage ratios" and the "absolute value of a difference in shrinkage ratio" are calculated by the following method on the basis of the weight (g) of the coating film immediately before the baking step (at the start of the baking step).

    [0057] First, the upper layer-coating material (A), the intermediate layer-coating material (M), and the lower layer-coating material (B) are each applied on a sample base material (for example, stainless steel), so that the layer can have a target film thickness in a laminated coating film after the heat treatment. Then, each material is preliminarily dried (for example, dried at 60°C for 96 hours), and then cured by heating at 140°C for 30 minutes. Then, the weight is measured. The shrinkage ratio ω' is calculated on the basis of the formula (1):

    (in the formula, ω' represents the shrinkage ratio (%) mainly attributable to volatile products, X represents the weight (g) of the sample base material, Y represents the weight (g) of the sample base material and the coating film after the preliminary drying, and Z represents the weight (g) of the sample base material and the coating film after the curing by heating at 140°C for 30 minutes).

    [0058] Note that the shrinkage ratio (ω') of each of the upper layer-coating material (U), the intermediate layer-coating material (M), and the lower layer-coating material (L) is calculated by the corresponding one of the formulae (1-1), (1-2), and (1-3):



    and



    [0059] Next, the absolute value (|ΔωA'|) of the difference between the shrinkage ratio of the lower layer-coating film and the shrinkage ratio of the intermediate layer-coating film is calculated by the formula (2-1), and the absolute value (|ΔωB'|) of the difference between the shrinkage ratio of the intermediate layer-coating film and the shrinkage ratio of the upper layer-coating film is calculated by the formula (2-2):

    and



    [0060] Subsequently, the sum (|Δω'|) of the absolute value (|ΔωA'|) of the difference in shrinkage ratio between the lower layer-coating material and the intermediate layer-coating material at the late stage of the baking in the baking step and the absolute value (|ΔωB'|) of the difference in shrinkage ratio between the intermediate layer-coating material and the upper layer-coating material at the late stage of the baking in the baking step is calculated by the formula (3):



    [0061] In the present invention, the "late stage of the baking" refers to the period after the preliminary drying up to the completion of the baking. The preliminary drying refers to a state in which water has been removed by drying the coating film at 80°C for 3 hours and then in a vacuum at 60°C for 96 hours. The completion of the baking refers to a state in which the coating film has been baked at 140°C for 30 minutes.

    [0062] Note that, in the baking step of the present invention, the baking treatment (heat treatment) preferably includes a heat treatment at or above the temperature at which at least the upper layer is cured, for example, at or above [the curing temperature of the upper layer-coating material-20°C]. Meanwhile, the heating time is preferably 50% or more and 150% or less of the curing time of the upper layer-coating material.

    [0063] In addition, in the coating method of the present invention, to stabilize the coating film applied using a wet-on-wet technique and remaining in the uncured state, the coating film is preferably allowed to stand (flashed) at room temperature before the baking treatment (heat treatment). The flashing time is set to 1 to 20 minutes, in general.

    [0064] Moreover, in the present invention, to obtain a coated article having appearance with higher quality, it is preferable to form a surface layer by further applying one kind or more of coating materials on the upper layer of the coated article obtained by the coating method and subjecting the coated article to a heat treatment. As the coating material, those listed as the examples of the upper layer-coating material can be used. In addition, examples of the method for applying the coating material include conventionally known methods such as air spray coating, air electrostatic spray coating, and rotary atomizing electrostatic coating.

    [0065] A coated article of the present invention is produced by the above-described coating method of the present invention. In the coated article of the present invention, the laminated coating film has surface unevenness which is sufficiently less than that of a laminated coating film produced using a conventional wet-on-wet technique, and the coated article of the present invention has very excellent appearance qualities. In addition, the laminated coating film is formed by applying the coating material for forming the lower layer and the coating material for forming the upper layer on the base material using a wet-on-wet technique, and then simultaneously baking the materials. Thus, energy saving, cost reduction, and shortening of the process can be achieved to a great extent. In addition, when a water-based coating material using water as the major solvent is employed, emission of volatile organic compounds (VOC) can be reduced. Such a coated article is useful especially for vehicle bodies and parts for automobiles such as passenger cars, trucks, buses, and motorcycles.

    [Examples]



    [0066] Hereinafter, the present invention will be described more specifically on the basis of Examples and Comparative Examples. However, the present invention is not limited to the following Examples. Note that the shrinkage ratio of the lower layer-coating material, the shrinkage ratio of the intermediate layer-coating material, the shrinkage ratio of the upper layer-coating material at the late stage of the baking in the baking step, the absolute value of the difference in shrinkage ratio between the lower layer-coating material and the intermediate layer-coating material, the absolute value of the difference in shrinkage ratio between the intermediate layer-coating material and the upper layer-coating material, and the sum of the absolute value of the difference in shrinkage ratio between the lower layer-coating material and the intermediate layer-coating material at the late stage of the baking in the baking step and the absolute value of the difference in shrinkage ratio between the intermediate layer-coating material and the upper layer-coating material at the late stage of the baking in the baking step were calculated by the following methods.

    <Calculation of Shrinkage Ratios of Coating Materials, Absolute Values of Differences in Shrinkage Ratio, and Sum of Absolute Values at Late Stage of Baking in Baking Step>



    [0067] First, each of an upper layer-coating material (U), an intermediate layer-coating material (M), and a lower layer-coating material (L) was applied by air spraying on weighed stainless steel foil [15 cm×3 cm×50 µm], so that the film obtained after the heat treatment could have a target film thickness in a laminated coating film. The coated foil was dried at 80°C for 3 hours, and in a vacuum (10-2 Torr or below) at 60°C for 96 hours, and then weighed. Further, the dried coated foil was baked at 140°C for 30 minutes, and then weighed. The shrinkage ratio ω' was calculated on the basis of the formula (11):

    (in the formula, ω' represents the shrinkage ratio (%) mainly attributable to volatile products, X represents the weight (g) of the stainless steel foil, Y represents the weight (g) of the stainless steel foil and the coating film after drying at 60°C for 96 hours in a vacuum, and Z represents the weight (g) of the stainless steel foil and the coating film after baking at 140°C for 30 minutes).

    [0068] Note that the shrinkage ratio (ω') of each of the upper layer-coating material (U), the intermediate layer-coating material (M), and the lower layer-coating material (L) was as shown in the corresponding one of the formulae (11-1), (11-2), and (11-3):



    and



    [0069] Next, the absolute value (|ΔωA'|) of the difference between the shrinkage ratio of the lower layer-coating film and the shrinkage ratio of the intermediate layer-coating film was calculated by the formula (12-1), and the absolute value (|ΔωB'|) of the difference between the shrinkage ratio of the intermediate layer-coating film and the shrinkage ratio of the upper layer-coating film was calculated by the formula (12-2):

    and



    [0070] Subsequently, the sum (|Δω'|) of the absolute value (|ΔωA'|) of the difference in shrinkage ratio between the lower layer-coating material and the intermediate layer-coating material at the late stage of the baking in the baking step and the absolute value (|ΔωB'|) of the difference in shrinkage ratio between the intermediate layer-coating material and the upper layer-coating material at the late stage of the baking in the baking step was calculated by the formula (13):


    (Synthesis Example 1) Preparation of Acrylic Emulsion R-1 for Water-Based Intermediate Coating Material



    [0071] First, 31.5 parts by mass of 2-ethylhexyl acrylate, 78.8 parts by mass of butyl methacrylate, 52.9 parts by mass of styrene, 72.5 parts by mass of 4-hydroxybutyl acrylate, 16.4 parts by mass of acrylic acid, 63.0 parts by mass of methyl methacrylate, 3.2 parts by mass of n-dodecyl mercaptan, 119 parts by mass of ion-exchanged water, and 17.5 parts by mass of LATEMUL (PD-104) were mixed, and emulsified by stirring with a mixer. Thus, a monomer pre-emulsion was prepared.

    [0072] Next, into an ordinary reaction vessel for producing an acrylic resin emulsion equipped with a stirrer, a thermometer, a dropping funnel, a reflux condenser, a nitrogen inlet tube, and the like, 280 parts by mass of ion-exchanged water, 3.5 parts by mass of LATEMUL PD-104 (manufactured by Kao Chemicals), and an aqueous APS solution (obtained by mixing 0.7 parts by mass of ammonium persulfate APS (manufactured by Aldrich), which was a polymerization initiator, and 7 parts by mass of water with stirring) were introduced, and heated to 80°C with stirring. Subsequently, to this solution in the reaction vessel, 5% by mass of the total amount of the monomer pre-emulsion was added, and the mixture was held at 80°C for 10 minutes. After that, the remainder of the monomer pre-emulsion was added dropwise into the reaction vessel over 3 hours with stirring. After completion of the dropwise addition, the reaction was further allowed to proceed by continuing the stirring at 80°C for 1 hour. After that, 322 parts by mass of ion-exchanged water was added thereto, and the mixture was cooled to room temperature. After the cooling, 40.5 parts by mass of an aqueous 50% by mass dimethylethanolamine solution was added, followed by stirring for 10 minutes. Thus, an acrylic emulsion R-1 having a hydroxyl value of 90 and a non-volatile content of 29% by mass was obtained.

    (Synthesis Example 2) Preparation of Acrylic Emulsion R-2 for Water-Based Coating Material



    [0073] First, 31.5 parts by mass of 2-ethylhexyl acrylate, 78.8 parts by mass of butyl methacrylate, 37.8 parts by mass of butyl acrylate, 63.0 parts by mass of 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate, 16.4 parts by mass of acrylic acid, 87.6 parts by mass of styrene, 3.2 parts by mass of n-dodecyl mercaptan, 119 parts by mass of ion-exchanged water, and 17.5 parts by mass of LATEMUL (PD-104) were mixed, and emulsified by stirring with a mixer. Thus, a monomer pre-emulsion was prepared.

    [0074] Next, into an ordinary reaction vessel for producing an acrylic resin emulsion equipped with a stirrer, a thermometer, a dropping funnel, a reflux condenser, a nitrogen inlet tube, and the like, 280 parts by mass of ion-exchanged water, 3.5 parts by mass of LATEMUL PD-104 (manufactured by Kao Chemicals), and an aqueous APS solution (obtained by mixing 0.7 parts by mass of ammonium persulfate APS (manufactured by Aldrich), which was a polymerization initiator, and 7 parts by mass of water with stirring) were introduced, and heated to 80°Cwith stirring. Subsequently, to this solution in the reaction vessel, 5% by mass of the total amount of the monomer pre-emulsion was added, and the mixture was held at 80°C for 10 minutes. After that, the remainder of the monomer pre-emulsion was added dropwise into the reaction vessel over 3 hours with stirring. After completion of the dropwise addition, the reaction was further allowed to proceed by continuing the stirring at 80°C for 1 hour. After that, 322 parts by mass of ion-exchanged water was added thereto, and the mixture was cooled to room temperature. After the cooling, 40.5 parts by mass of an aqueous 50% by mass dimethylethanolamine solution was added, followed by stirring for 10 minutes. Thus, an acrylic emulsion R-2 having a hydroxyl value of 86 and a non-volatile content of 29% by mass was obtained.

    (Synthesis Example 3) Preparation of Acrylic Resin R-3 for Solvent-Based Clear Coating Material



    [0075] First, 235 parts by mass of Solvesso 100 was introduced into an ordinary reaction vessel for producing an acrylic resin equipped with a stirrer, a thermometer, a dropping funnel, a reflux condenser, a nitrogen inlet tube, and the like, and the temperature was raised to 130°C with stirring.

    [0076] Next, a mixture of 95 parts by mass of 2-ethylhexyl acrylate, 120 parts by mass of 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate, 150 parts by mass of styrene, 135 parts by mass of glycidyl methacrylate, and 40 parts by mass of a polymerization initiator ("PERCURE O" manufactured by NOF CORPORATION) was prepared, and the mixture was added dropwise to the reaction vessel with stirring over 3 hours. After completion of the dropwise addition, the reaction was allowed to proceed by continuing the stirring at 130°C for 1 hour. After that, 10 parts by mass of PERCURE O was added, and the reaction was allowed to proceed by further continuing the stirring at 130°C for 2 hours, followed by cooling to room temperature. Thus, an acrylic resin R-3 having a hydroxyl value of 94, an epoxy value of 107, and a non-volatile content of 70% by mass was obtained.

    (Synthesis Example 4) Preparation of Acrylic Resin R-4 for Solvent-Based Clear Coating Material



    [0077] First, 310 parts by mass of Solvesso 100 was introduced into an ordinary reaction vessel for producing an acrylic resin equipped with a stirrer, a thermometer, a dropping funnel, a reflux condenser, a nitrogen inlet tube, and the like, and the temperature was raised to 130°C with stirring.

    [0078] Next, a mixture of 125 parts by mass of butyl methacrylate, 225 parts by mass of 2-ethylhexyl methacrylate, 150 parts by mass of maleic anhydride, 50 parts by mass of Solvesso 100, and 100 parts by mass of PERCURE O (polymerization initiator manufactured by NOF CORPORATION) was prepared, and the mixture was added dropwise into the reaction vessel with stirring over 3 hours . After completion of the dropwise addition, the reaction was allowed to proceed by continuing the stirring at 130°C for 1 hour. After that, 10 parts by mass of a polymerization initiator ("PERCURE O" manufactured by NOF CORPORATION) was added, and the reaction was allowed to proceed by further continuing the stirring at 130°C for 2 hours, followed by cooling to 60°C. After the cooling, 4.6 parts by mass of triethylamine and 73.5 parts by mass of methanol were added, and the reaction was allowed to proceed by continuing the stirring at 60°C for 12 hours, followed by cooling to room temperature. Thus, an acrylic resin R-4 having an acid number of 172 and a non-volatile content of 61% by mass was obtained.

    (Synthesis Example 5) Preparation of Acrylic Resin R-5 for Solvent-Based Clear Coating Material



    [0079] First, 195 parts by mass of Solvesso 100 and 65 parts by mass of butyl acetate were introduced into an ordinary reaction vessel for producing an acrylic resin equipped with a stirrer, a thermometer, a dropping funnel, a reflux condenser, a nitrogen inlet tube, and the like, and the temperature was raised to 130°C with stirring.

    [0080] Next, a mixture of 162.5 parts by mass - of butyl methacrylate, 149.5 parts by mass of 4-hydroxybutyl acrylate, 78 parts by mass of styrene, 260 parts by mass of isobornyl acrylate, 52 parts by mass of PERCURE O (polymerization initiator manufactured by NOF CORPORATION) was prepared, and the mixture was added dropwise to the reaction vessel with stirring over 3 hours. After completion of the dropwise addition, the reaction was allowed to proceed by continuing the stirring at 130°C for 1 hour. After that, 13 parts by mass of a polymerization initiator ("PERCURE O" manufactured by NOF CORPORATION) was added, and the reaction was allοwed to proceed by further continuing the stirring at 130°C for 2 hours. Then, 75 parts by mass of butyl acetate was added, followed by cooling to room temperature. Thus, an acrylic resin R-5 having a hydroxyl value of 90 and a non-volatile content of 65% by mass was obtained.

    (Preparation Example 1) Preparation of Colored Pigment Paste



    [0081] Into a container, 450 parts of ion-exchanged water, 50 parts of a wetting and dispersing agent ("Disperbyk-180" manufactured by Byk-Chemie), 495 parts of rutile titanium oxide ("CR-90" manufactured by Ishihara Sangyo Kaisha, Ltd.), and 5 parts of carbon black ("MA-100" manufactured by Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation) were introduced, and preliminarily mixed for 10 minutes. Then, glass beads (particle diameter: 1.6 mm) in a volume which was equal to the volume of the materials introduced were added, and the materials were dispersed with a desktop sand mill for 1 hour. The grain size measured with a grind gauge was 5 µm or less at the completion of the dispersing.

    (Preparation Example 2) Preparation of Water-Based Intermediate Coating Material P-1



    [0082] Into a container, 244.4 parts by mass of the acrylic emulsion R-1 for water-based intermediate coating material obtained in Synthesis Example 1 was introduced. To this container, 27.9 parts by mass of a hydrophilic polyisocyanate ("DURANATE WB40-100" manufactured by Asahi Kasei Chemicals Corporation) and 15 parts by mass of butyl glycol were added with stirring, followed by stirring for 5 minutes. Further, 6.7 parts by mass of an alkali thicker ("Viscalex HV30" manufactured by Ciba Specialty Chemicals), 1.0 parts by mass of dimethylethanolamine, 2.5 parts of BYK-346 (manufactured by Byk-Chemie), and 142.3 parts by mass of the colored pigment paste obtained in Preparation Example 1 were added. Thus, a water-based intermediate coating material P-1 having a non-volatile content of 39. 3% by mass was obtained. The water-based intermediate coating material P-1 had a shrinkage ratio ω' of 0.8%.

    (Preparation Example 3) Preparation of Water-Based Intermediate Coating Material P-2



    [0083] A water-based intermediate coating material P-2 was obtained in the same manner as in Preparation Example 2, except that the amount of the acrylic emulsion R-1 for water-based intermediate coating material obtained in Synthesis Example 1 was changed to 313.6 parts by mass, and 9.4 parts by mass of a methylated melamine resin ("CYMEL 325" manufactured by Nihon Cytec Industries Inc.) was used instead of DURANATE WB40-100. The water-based intermediate coating material P-2 had a non-volatile content of 35.3% by mass and a shrinkage ratio ω' of 1.9%.

    (Preparation Example 4) Preparation of Water-Based Intermediate Coating Material P-3



    [0084] A water cased intermediate coating material P-3 was obtained in the same manner as in Preparation Example 2, except that the amount of the acrylic emulsion R-1 for water-based intermediate coating material obtained in Synthesis Example 1 was changed to 288.1 parts by mass, and 18.8 parts by mass of a methylated melamine resin ("CYMEL 325" manufactured by Nihon Cytec Industries Inc.) was used instead of DURANATE WB40-100. This water-based intermediate coating material P-3 had a non-volatile content of 36.5% by mass and a shrinkage ratio ω' of 2.7%.

    (Preparation Example 5) Preparation of Water-Based Intermediate Coating Material P-4



    [0085] A water-based intermediate coating material P-4 was obtained in the same manner as in Preparation Example 2, except that the amount of the acrylic emulsion R-1 for water-based intermediate coating material obtained in Synthesis Example 1 was changed to 237.3 parts by mass, 37.5 parts by mass of a methylated melamine resin ("CYMEL 325" manufactured by Nihon Cytec Industries Inc.) was used instead of DURANATE WB40-100, and the amount of the colored pigment paste added was changed to 203.3 parts by mass. This water-based intermediate coating material P-4 had a non-volatile content of 40.3% by mass and a shrinkage ratio ω' of 3.3%.

    (Preparation Example 6) Preparation of Water-Based Intermediate Coating Material P-5



    [0086] A water-based intermediate coating material P-5 was obtained in the same manner as in Preparation Example 2, except that the amount of the acrylic emulsion R-1 for water-based intermediate coating material obtained in Synthesis Example 1 was changed to 237.3 parts by mass, and 37.5 parts by mass of a methylated melamine resin ("CYMEL 325" manufactured by Nihon Cytec Industries Inc.) was used instead of DURANATE WB40-100. This water-based intermediate coating material P-5 had a non-volatile content of 39.1% by mass and a shrinkage ratio ω' of 3.8%.

    (Preparation Example 7) Preparation of Water-Based Intermediate Coating Material P-6



    [0087] A water-based intermediate coating material P-6 was obtained in the same manner as in Preparation Example 2, except that the amount of the acrylic emulsion R-1 for water-based intermediate coating material obtained in Synthesis Example 1 was changed to 237.3 parts by mass, 37.5 parts by mass of a methylated melamine resin ("CYMEL 325" manufactured by Nihon Cytec Industries Inc.) was used instead of DURANATE WB40-100, and the amount of the colored pigment paste added was changed to 81.3 parts by mass. This water-based intermediate coating material P-6 had a non-volatile content of 37.5% by mass and a shrinkage ratio ω' of 4.4%.

    (Preparation Example 8) Preparation of Water-Based Intermediate Coating Material P-7



    [0088] A water-based in termediate coating material P - 7 was obtained in the same manner as in Preparation Example 2, except that the amount of the acrylic emulsion R-1 for water-based intermediate coating material obtained in Synthesis Example 1 was changed to 203.4 parts by mass, and 50.0 parts by mass of a methylated melamine resin ("CYMEL 325" manufactured by Nihon Cytec Industries Inc.) was used instead of DURANATE WB40-100. This water-based intermediate coating material P-7 had a non-volatile content of 41.1% by mass and a shrinkage ratio ω' of 4.5%.

    (Preparation Example 9) Preparation of Water-Based Base Coating Material B-1



    [0089] Into a container, 195.5 parts by mass of the acrylic emulsion R-2 for water-based coating material obtained in Synthesis Example 2 was introduced. To this acrylic emulsion, 22.3 parts by mass of a hydrophilic polyisocyanate ("DURANATE WB40-100" manufactured by Asahi Kasei Chemicals Corporation), 120 parts by mass of ion-exchanged water, and 24 parts by mass of butyl glycol were added with stirring, followed by stirring for 5 minutes . Further, 9.3 parts by mass of an alkali thicker ("Viscalex HV30" manufactured by Ciba Specialty Chemicals), 3.2 parts by mass of dimethylethanolamine, and 5.0 parts by mass of SURFYNOL 104DPM (manufactured by Nissin Chemical Industry Co., Ltd) were added. Thus, a water-based resin liquid was obtained.

    [0090] Meanwhile, into another container, 24 parts by mass of butyl glycol and 30 parts by mass of an aluminum paste ("Hydrolan 2156" manufactured by ECKART) were added, followed by stirring for 1 hour. Thus, an aluminum paste solution was obtained.

    [0091] Next, to 379.3 parts by mass of the water-based resin solution, 52.9 parts by mass of this aluminum paste solution was added with stirring, and further the mixture was stirred for 1 hour. Thus, a water-based base coating material B-1 having a non-volatile content of 23.7% by mass was obtained. This water-based base coating material B-1 had a shrinkage ratio ω' of 0.5%.

    (Preparation Example 10) Preparation of Water-Based Base Coating Material B-2



    [0092] A water-based base coating material B-2 was obtained in the same manner as in Preparation Example 9, except that the amount of introduction of the acrylic emulsion R-2 for water-based coating material obtained in Synthesis Example 2 was changed to 250.8 parts by mass, and 7.5 parts by mass of a methylated melamine resin ("CYMEL 325" manufactured by Nihon Cytec Industries Inc.) was used instead of DURANATE WB40-100. This water-based base coating material B-2 had a non-volatile content of 21.7% by mass and a shrinkage ratio ω' of 2.0%.

    (Preparation Example 11) Preparation of Water-Based Base Coating Material B-3



    [0093] A water-based base coating material B-3 was obtained in the same manner as in Preparation Example 9, except that the amount of introduction of the acrylic emulsion R-2 for water-based coating material obtained in Synthesis Example 2 was changed to 230.5 parts by mass, and the amount of CYMEL 325 added was changed to 15 parts by mass. This water-based base coating material B-3 had a non-volatile content of 22.3% by mass and a shrinkage ratio ω' of 2.6%.

    (Preparation Example 12) Preparation of Water-Based Base Coating Material B-4



    [0094] A water-based base coating material B-4 was obtained in the same manner as in Preparation Example 9, except that the amount of introduction of the acrylic emulsion R-2 for water-based coating material obtained in Synthesis Example 2 was changed to 189.8 parts by mass, and the amount of CYMEL 325 introduced was changed to 30.0 parts by mass. This water-based base coating material B-4 had a non-volatile content of 23.6% by mass and a shrinkage ratio ω' of 3.2%.

    (Preparation Example 13) Preparation of Solvent-Based Clear Coating Material C-1



    [0095] Into a container, 443.3 parts by mass of the acrylic resin R-3 for solvent-based clear coating material obtained in Synthesis Example 3, 300.3 parts by mass of the acrylic resin R-4 for solvent-based clear coating material obtained in Synthesis Example 4, 123.8 parts by mass of n-butanol, 24.8 parts by mass of Solvesso 100, 14.9 parts by mass of xylene, 39.6 parts by mass of 2-methoxy-1-propanol, 9.9 parts by mass of TINUVIN 123 (manufactured by BASF), 9.9 parts by mass of TINUVIN 384-2 (manufactured by BASF), and 9.9 parts by mass of a tributylammonium bromide solution (a mixture of 0.9 parts by mass of tributylammonium bromide and 9 parts by mass of n-butanol) were introduced. To this mixture, 2.8 parts by mass of BYK-370 (manufactured by BYK-Chmie), 5.2 parts by mass of BYK-306 (manufactured by BYK-Chmie), 5.0 parts by mass of DISPARLON NSH8430 (manufactured by Kusumoto Chemicals, Ltd.), and 1.2 parts by mass of DISPARLON OX883 (manufactured by Kusumoto Chemicals, Ltd.) were added with stirring, followed by stirring for further 10 minutes. Thus, an acid-epoxy curing solvent-based clear coating material C-1 having a non-volatile content of 52% was obtained. This solvent-based clear coating material C-1 had a shrinkage ratio ω' of 1.1%.

    (Preparation Example 14) Preparation of Solvent-Based Clear Coating Material C-2



    [0096] Into a container, 759.3 parts by mass of the acrylic resin R-5 for solvent-based clear coating material obtained in Synthesis Example 5, 197.4 parts by mass of butyl acetate, 9.9 parts by mass of TINUVIN 123 (manufactured by BASF), and 9.9 parts by mass of TINUVIN 384-Z (manufactured by BASF) were introduced. To this mixture, 2.8 parts by mass of BYK-370 (manufactured by BYK-Chmie), 5.1 parts by mass of BYK-306 (manufactured by BYK-Chmie), 9.5 parts by mass of BYK-392 (manufactured by BYK-Chmie), 4.9 parts by mass of DISPARLON NSH8430 (Kusumoto Chemicals, Ltd.), 1.2 parts by mass of DISPARLON OX883 (manufactured by Kusumoto Chemicals, Ltd.), and 175 parts by mass of a polyisocyanate ("DURANATE TPA-100" manufactured by Asahi Kasei Chemicals Corporation) were added with stirring, followed by stirring for further 10 minutes. Thus, an isocyanate-curing solvent-based clear coating material C-2 having a non-volatile content of 59% was obtained. This solvent-based clear coating material C-2 had a shrinkage ratio ω' of 0.2%.

    (Example 1)



    [0097] On a surface of a steel plate (manufactured by Japan Route Service K. K.) subjected to electrodeposition, the water-based intermediate coating material P-1 (shrinkage ratio ω': 0.8%) obtained in Preparation Example 2 was applied in a film thickness which became 20 µm after baking. Next, the steel plate was allowed to stand (flashed) at room temperature for 4 minutes. Then, the water-based base coating material B-1 (shrinkage ratio ω' : 0.5%) obtained in Preparation Example 9 was applied in a film thickness which became 15 µm after baking. Then, water, the organic solvent, and the like were evaporated by heating at 80°C for 3 minutes. Subsequently, on this layer of the water-based base coating material B-1, the solvent based clear coating material C-2 (shrinkage ratio ω' : 0.2%) obtained in Preparation Example 14 was applied in a film thickness which became 35 µm after baking. Thus, an uncured laminated coating film was obtained in which the water-based intermediate coating material P-1, the water-based base coating material B-1, and the solvent-based clear coating material C-2 were applied using a wet-on-wet technique.

    [0098] After this uncured laminated coating film was allowed to stand (flashed) at room temperature for 10 minutes, the uncured laminated coating film was subjected to a heat treatment (baking treatment) at 140°C for 30 minutes to cause the curing reaction. Thus, the layers were cured, and a laminated coating film was obtained.

    [0099] The obtained laminated coating film was measured for wave scan values [du (wavelength<0.1 mm), Wa (wavelength<0.3 mm), Wb (wavelength: 0.3 to 1 mm), Wc (wavelength: 1 to 3 mm), Wd (wavelength: 3 to 10 mm), and We (wavelength: 10 to 30 mm)] by using a wave scan ("Wave-Scan Dual" manufactured by BYK-Gardner). Table 1 shows the results. Regarding these wave scan values, a smaller value means that the surface of the upper layer has less unevenness corresponding to the wavelengths, and is better in appearance qualities. Here, a smaller du or Wa means better gloss, and a smaller Wd or We means better surface texture. The required appearance quality is 15 or less in terms of Wa.

    [0100] In addition, the absolute value |ΔωA'| of the difference between the shrinkage ratio of the water-based intermediate coating material P-1 (lower layer-coating material) at the late stage of the baking in the baking step and the shrinkage ratio of the water-based base coating material B-1 (intermediate layer-coating material) at the late stage of the baking in the baking step was 0.3%, and the absolute value |ΔωB'| of the difference between the shrinkage ratio of the water-based base coating material B-1 (intermediate layer-coating material) at the late stage of the baking in the baking step and the shrinkage ratio of the solvent-based clear coating material C-2 (upper layer-coating material) at the late stage of the baking in the baking step was 0.3%. Accordingly, the sum of the absolute value (|ΔwA'|) of the difference in shrinkage ratio between the lower layer-coating material and the intermediate layer-coating material at the late stage of the baking in the baking step and the absolute value (|ΔωB'|) of the difference in shrinkage ratio between the intermediate layer-coating material and the upper layer-coating material at the late stage of the baking in the baking step (|Δω'| = |ΔωA| + |ΔωB'|) was 0.6%.

    (Example 2)



    [0101] A laminated coating film was obtained in the same manner as in Example 1, except that the water-based intermediate coating material P-3 (shrinkage ratio ω': 2.7%) obtained in Preparation Example 4 was used instead of the water-based intermediate coating material P-1, the water-based base coating material B-2 (shrinkage ratio ω': 2.0%) obtained in Preparation Example 10 was used instead of the water-based base coating material B-1, and the solvent-based clear coating material C-1 (shrinkage ratio ω': 1.1%) obtained in Preparation Example 13 was used instead of the solvent-based clear coating material C-2. The obtained laminated coating film was measured for du and Wa to We in the same manner as in Example 1. Table 1 shows the results. Note that the absolute value |ΔωA'| of the difference between the shrinkage ratio of the water-based intermediate coating material P-3 (lower layer-coating material) and the shrinkage ratio of the water-based base coating material B-2 (intermediate layer-coating material) at the late stage of the baking in the baking step was 0.7%, and the absolute value |ΔωB'| of the difference between the shrinkage ratio of the water-based base coating material B-2 (intermediate layer-coating material) and the shrinkage ratio of the solvent-based clear coating material C-1 (upper layer-coating material) at the late stage of the baking in the baking step was 0.9%. Accordingly, |Δω'| = |ΔωA'| + |ΔωB'| = 1.6%.

    (Example 3)



    [0102] A laminated coating film was obtained in the same manner as in Example 1, except that the water-based intermediate coating material P-2 (shrinkage ratio ω': 1.9%) obtained in Preparation Example 3 was used instead of the water-based intermediate coating material P-1, and the water-based base coating material B-2 (shrinkage ratio ω': 2.0%) obtained in Preparation Example 10 was used instead of the water-based base coating material B-1. The obtained laminated coating film was measured for du and Wa to We in the same manner as in Example 1. Table 1 shows the results. Note that the absolute value |ΔωA'| of the difference between the shrinkage ratio of the water-based intermediate coating material P-2 (lower layer-coating material) and the shrinkage ratio of the water-based base coating material B-2 (intermediate layer-coating material) at the late stage of the baking in the baking step was 0.1%, and the absolute value |ΔωB'| of the difference between the shrinkage ratio of the water-based base coating material B-2 (intermediate layer-coating material) and the shrinkage ratio of the solvent-based clear coating material C-2 (upper layer-coating material) at the late stage of the baking in the baking step was 1.8%. Accordingly, |Δω'| = |ΔWA'| + |ΔωB'| = 1.9%.

    (Example 4)



    [0103] A laminated coating film was obtained in the same manner as in Example 1, except that the water-based intermediate coating material P-4 (shrinkage ratio ω': 3.3%) obtained in Preparation Example 5 was used instead of the water-based intermediate coating material P-1, the water-based base coating material B-4 (shrinkage ratio ω': 3.2%) obtained in Preparation Example 12 was used instead of the water-based base coating material B-1, and the solvent-based clear coating material C-1 (shrinkage ratio ω': 1.1%) obtained in Preparation Example 13 was used instead of the solvent-based clear coating material C-2. The obtained laminated coating film was measured for du and Wa to We in the same manner as in Example 1. Table 1 shows the results. Note that the absolute value |ΔωA'| of the difference between the shrinkage ratio of the water-based intermediate coating material P-4 (lower layer-coating material) and the shrinkage ratio of the water-based base coating material B-4 (intermediate layer-coating material) at the late stage of the baking in the baking step was 0.1%, and the absolute value |ΔωB'| of the difference between the shrinkage ratio of the water-based base coating material B-4 (intermediate layer-coating material) and the shrinkage ratio of the solvent-based clear coating material C-1 (upper layer-coating material) at the late stage of the baking in the baking step was 2.1%. Accordingly, |Δω'| = |ΔωA| + |ΔωB'| = 2.2%.

    (Example 5)



    [0104] A laminated coating film was obtained in the same manner as in Example 1, except that the water-based intermediate coating material P-3 (shrinkage ratio ω': 2.7%) obtained in Preparation Example 4 was used instead of the water-based intermediate coating material P-1, and the water-based base coating material B-2 (shrinkage ratio ω': 2.0%) obtained in Preparation Example 10 was used instead of the water-based base coating material B-1. The obtained laminated coating film was measured for du and Wa to We in the same manner as in Example 1. Table 1 shows the results. Note that the absolute value |ΔωA'| of the difference between the shrinkage ratio of the water-based intermediate coating material P-3 (lower layer-coating material) and the shrinkage ratio of the water-based base coating material B-1 (intermediate layer-coating material) at the late stage of the baking in the baking step was 0.7%, and the absolute value |ΔωB'| of the difference between the shrinkage ratio of the water-based base coating material B-1 (intermediate layer-coating material) and the shrinkage ratio of the solvent-based clear coating material C-2 (upper layer-coating material) at the late stage of the baking in the baking step was 1.8%. Accordingly, |Δω'| = |ΔωA'| + |ΔωB'| = 2.5%.

    (Example 6)



    [0105] A laminated coating film was obtained in the same manner as in Example 1, except, that the water-based intermediate coating material P-5 (shrinkage ratio Ω': 3.8%) obtained in Preparation Example 6 was used instead of the water-based intermediate coating material P-1, the water-based base coating material B-3 (shrinkage ratio ω': 2.6%) obtained in Preparation Example 11 was used instead of the water-based base coating material B-1, and the solvent-based clear coating material C-1 (shrinkage ratio ω': 1.1%) obtained in Preparation Example 13 was used instead of the solvent-based clear coating material C-2. The obtained laminated coating film was measured for du and Wa to We in the same manner as in Example 1. Table 1 shows the results. Note that the absolute value |ΔωA'| of the difference between the shrinkage ratio of the water-based intermediate coating material P-5 (lower layer-coating material) and the shrinkage ratio of the water-based base coating material B-3 (intermediate layer-coating material) at the late stage of the baking in the baking step was 1.2%, and the absolute value |ΔωB'| of the difference between the shrinkage ratio of the water-based base coating material B-3 (intermediate layer-coating material) and the shrinkage ratio of the solvent-based clear coating material C-1 (upper layer-coating material) at the late stage of the baking in the baking step was 1.5%. Accordingly, |Δω'| = |ΔωA'| + |ΔωB'| = 2.7%.

    (Comparative Example 1)



    [0106] A laminated coating film for comparison was obtained in the same manner as in Example 1, except that the water-based intermediate coating material P-6 (shrinkage ratio ω': 4.4%) obtained in Preparation Example 7 was used instead of the water-based intermediate coating material P-1, the water-based base coating material B-4 (shrinkage ratio ω': 3.2%) obtained in Preparation Example 12 was used instead of the water-based base coating material B-1, and the solvent-based clear coating material C-1 (shrinkage ratio ω': 1.1%) obtained in Preparation Example 13 was used instead of the solvent-based clear coating material C-2. The obtained laminated coating film for comparison was measured for du and Wa to We in the same manner as in Example 1. Table 1 shows the results. Note that the absolute value |ΔωA'| of the difference between the shrinkage ratio of the water-based intermediate coating material P-6 (lower layer-coating material) and the shrinkage ratio of the water-based base coating material B-4 (intermediate layer-coating material) at the late stage of the baking in the baking step was 1.2%, and the absolute value |ΔωB'| of the difference between the shrinkage ratio of the water-based base coating material B-4 (intermediate layer-coating material) and the shrinkage ratio of the solvent-based clear coating material C-1 (upper layer-coating material) at the late stage of the baking in the baking step was 2.1%. Accordingly, |Δω'| = |ΔωA'| + |ΔωB'| = 3.3%.

    (Comparative Example 2)



    [0107] A laminated coating film for comparison was obtained in the same manner as in Example 1, except that the water-based intermediate coating material P-7 (shrinkage ratio ω': 4.5%) obtained in Preparation Example 8 was used instead of the water-based intermediate coating material P-1, the water-based base coating material B-4 (shrinkage ratio ω': 3.2%) obtained in Preparation Example 12 was used instead of the water-based base coating material B-1, and the solvent-based clear coating material C-1 (shrinkage ratio ω': 1.1%) obtained in Preparation Example 13 was used instead of the solvent-based clear coating material C-2. The obtained laminated coating film for comparison was measured for du and Wa to We in the same manner as in Example 1. Table 1 shows the results. Note that the absolute value |ΔωA'| of the difference between the shrinkage ratio of the water-based intermediate coating material P-7 (lower layer-coating material) and the shrinkage ratio of the water-based base coating material B-4 (intermediate layer-coating material) at the late stage of the baking in the baking step was 1.3%, and the absolute value |ΔωB'| of the difference between the shrinkage ratio of the water-based base coating material B-4 (intermediate layer-coating material) and the shrinkage ratio of the solvent-based clear coating material C-1 (upper layer-coating material) at the late stage of the baking in the baking step was 2.1%. Accordingly, |Δω'| = |ΔωA'| + |ΔωB'| = 3.4%.

    (Comparative Example 3)



    [0108] A laminated coating film for comparison was obtained in the same manner as in Example 1, except that the water-based intermediate coating material P-6 (shrinkage ratio ω': 4.4%) obtained in Preparation Example 8 was used instead of the water-based intermediate coating material P-1, and the water-based base coating material B-4 (shrinkage ratio ω': 3.2%) obtained in Preparation Example 12 was used instead of the water-based base coating material B-1. The obtained laminated coating film for comparison was measured for du and Wa to We in the same manner as in Example 1. Table 1 shows the results. Note that the absolute value |ΔωA'| of the difference between the shrinkage ratio of the water-based intermediate coating material P-6 (lower layer-coating material) and the shrinkage ratio of the water-based base coating material B-4 (intermediate layer-coating material) at the late stage of the baking in the baking step was 1.2%, and the absolute value |ΔωB'| of the difference between the shrinkage ratio of the water-based base coating material B-4 (intermediate layer-coating material) and the shrinkage ratio of the solvent-based clear coating material C-2 (upper layer-coating material) at the late stage of the baking in the baking step was 3.0%. Accordingly, |Δω'| = |ΔωA'| + |ΔωB'| = 4.2%.
    [Table 1]
     Intermediate coating materialBase coating materialClear coating material|ΔωA'||ΔωB'||Δω'|duWaWbWcWdWe
    Example 1 P-1 B-1 C-2 0.3 0.3 0.6 30.8 12.4 15.3 8.4 8.1 6.0
    Example 2 P-3 B-2 C-1 0.7 0.9 1.6 31.4 14.5 19.7 9.2 9.8 6.4
    Example 3 P-2 B-2 C-2 0.1 1.8 1.9 28.5 10.6 17.9 7.9 6.0 6.3
    Example 4 P-4 B-4 C-1 0.1 2.1 2.2 31.6 14.3 20.0 8.8 7.0 5.8
    Example 5 P-3 B-2 C-2 0.7 1.8 2.5 29.4 11.6 19.5 8.2 8.4 5.9
    Example 6 P-5 B-3 C-1 1.2 1.5 2.7 30.7 14.1 22.0 10.8 10.9 8.2
    Comp. Ex. 1 P-6 B-4 C-1 1.2 2.1 3.3 34.0 22.2 26.9 12.4 13.4 12.2
    Comp. Ex. 2 P-7 B-4 C-1 1.3 2.1 3.4 35.5 22.0 26.6 12.2 14.5 13.5
    Comp. Ex. 3 P-6 B-4 C-2 1.2 3.0 4.2 33.1 20.3 27.3 14.6 13.8 11.3


    [0109] Here, the laminated coating films (Examples 1 to 6) were formed in such a manner that the uncured laminated coating film was obtained by using thermosetting coating materials for all of the lower layer, the intermediate layer, and the upper layer, and applying the thermosetting coating materials using a wet-on-wet technique, and the uncured laminated coating film was then subjected to the baking treatment, with the sum (|Δω'| = |ΔωA'| + |ΔωB'|) of the absolute value (|ΔωA'|) of the difference in shrinkage ratio between the water-based intermediate coating material (lower layer-coating material) and the water-based base coating material (intermediate layer-coating material) at the late stage of the baking in the baking step and the absolute value (|ΔωB'|) of the difference in shrinkage ratio between the water-based base coating material (intermediate layer-coating material) and the solvent-based clear coating material (upper layer-coating material) at the late stage of the baking in the baking step being within the range of 3.0 or smaller, as described in the present invention. Meanwhile, the conventional laminated coating films (Comparative Examples 1 to 3) had the absolute values |Δω'| exceeding 3.0. As is apparent from the results shown in Table 1, it was found that the laminated coating films (Examples 1 to 6) had smaller du and Wa to Wd values than the conventional laminated coating films (Comparative Examples 1 to 3), and were very excellent in appearance qualities. Specifically, there was a tendency that the du and Wa to We values decreased with the decrease in |Δω'|, and the Wa of each of the coating films in which the lower layer-coating material, the intermediate layer-coating material, and the upper layer-coating material were applied using a wet-on-wet technique with the |Δω'| being 3.0% or smaller as described in the present invention was 15 or lower, and satisfied the required appearance quality. In contrast, it was found that the Wa of each of the laminated coating films of Comparative Examples (Comparative Examples 1 to 3), in which the lower layer-coating material, the intermediate layer-coating material, and the upper layer-coating material were applied using a wet-on-wet technique with the 16ω'| being large than 3.0%, exceeded 20, and did not satisfy the required appearance quality.

    [0110] As described above, it has been found that a laminated coating film having very excellent appearance qualities can be obtained when three kinds of coating materials are applied using a wet-on-wet technique, and the sum of the absolute value of the difference in shrinkage ratio between the lower layer-coating material and the intermediate layer-coating material at the late stage of the baking in the baking step and the absolute value of the difference in shrinkage ratio between the intermediate layer-coating material and the upper layer-coating material at the late stage of the baking in the baking step is 3.0% or smaller.

    [Industrial Applicability]



    [0111] As has been described above, according to the present invention,
    a laminated coating film having an upper layer in which formation of surface unevenness is sufficiently suppressed can be obtained, even when three kinds of coating materials are applied using a wet-on-wet technique, and simultaneously baked to cure the layers. This makes it possible to obtain a coated article having very excellent appearance qualities such as surface texture (surface smoothness) and gloss.

    [0112] Accordingly, the present invention is useful as a coating method which makes it possible to obtain a coated article having very excellent appearance qualities, even when three kinds of coating materials are applied using a wet-on-wet technique and then simultaneously baked. The present invention is especially useful as a method for coating vehicle bodies and parts for automobiles such as passenger cars, trucks, buses, and motorcycles.


    Claims

    1. A coating method for forming a laminated coating film including a lower layer formed on a base material, an intermediate layer formed on the lower layer, and an upper layer formed on the intermediate layer, the method comprising:

    a preparation step of preparing a thermosetting coating material as a lower layer-coating material for forming the lower layer, preparing a thermosetting coating material as an intermediate layer-coating material for forming the intermediate layer, and preparing a thermosetting coating material as an upper layer-coating material for forming the upper layer;

    a formation step of forming an uncured laminated coating film by applying the lower layer-coating material, the intermediate layer-coating material, and the upper layer-coating material on the base material using a wet-on-wet technique; and

    a baking step of simultaneously curing the lower layer-coating material, the intermediate layer-coating material, and the upper layer-coating material by subjecting the uncured laminated coating film to a baking treatment, wherein

    in the preparation step, the lower layer-coating material, the intermediate layer-coating material, and the upper layer-coating material are selected so that a sum of an absolute value of a difference in shrinkage ratio between the lower layer-coating material and the intermediate layer-coating material at a late stage of the baking in the baking step and an absolute value of a difference in shrinkage ratio between the intermediate layer-coating material and the upper layer-coating material at the late stage of the baking in the baking step is 3.0% or smaller,

    said shrinkage ratio being calculated on the basis of the formula (1):

    in the formula (1), ω' represents the shrinkage ratio (%),

    X represents the weight (g) of the sample base material,

    Y represents the weight (g) of the sample base material and the coating film after the preliminary drying at 60°C for 96 hours in a vacuum,

    and Z represents the weight (g) of the sample base material and the coating film after the curing by heating at 140°C for 30 minutes,

    said late stage of the baking being a period after a preliminary drying state in which water has been removed by drying the coating film made of the coating material at 80°C for 3 hours and then in a vacuum at 60°C for 96 hours, up to a completion state of the baking in which the coating film has been baked at 140°C for 30 minutes,

    each of the upper layer-coating material, the intermediate layer-coating material and the lower layer-coating material contains a thermosetting resin and a curing agent,

    a combination of the thermosetting resin and the curing agent in the upper layer-coating material is a combination selected from the group consisting of a combination of a hydroxy group-containing acrylic resin and an isocyanate compound, a combination of a hydroxy group-containing acrylic resin and an isocyanate resin, and a combination of a hydroxy group and glycidyl group-containing acrylic resin and a carboxyl group-containing acrylic resin,

    a combination of the thermosetting resin and the curing agent in the intermediate layer-coating material is a combination selected from the group consisting of a combination of an acrylic resin and a melamine resin, a combination of a polyester resin and a melamine resin, a combination of an acrylic resin and a (block) isocyanate compound, and a combination of a polyester resin and a (block) isocyanate compound, and

    a combination of the thermosetting resin and the curing agent in the lower layer-coating material is a combination selected from the group consisting of a combination of an acrylic resin and a melamine resin, a combination of a polyester resin and a melamine resin, a combination of an acrylic resin and a (block) isocyanate compound, and a combination of a polyester resin and a (block) isocyanate compound.


     
    2. The coating method according to claim 1, wherein
    the upper layer-coating material has a shrinkage ratio in a range from 0 to 20% at the late stage of the baking in the baking step,
    the intermediate layer-coating material has a shrinkage ratio in a range from 0 to 20% at the late stage of the baking in the baking step, and
    the lower layer-coating material has a shrinkage ratio in a range from 0 to 20% at the late stage of the baking in the baking step.
     
    3. The coating method according to claim 1 or 2, wherein
    in the preparation step, the intermediate layer-coating material and the upper layer-coating material are selected so that the absolute value of the difference in shrinkage ratio between the intermediate layer-coating material and the upper layer-coating material at the late stage of the baking in the baking step is 2.0% or smaller.
     
    4. The coating method according to any one of claims 1 to 3, wherein
    the upper layer-coating material is a coating material containing no melamine resin as a curing agent.
     
    5. The coating method according to any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein
    the upper layer-coating material is a thermosetting coating material from which no volatile product is formed in a curing reaction by a heat treatment.
     
    6. The coating method according to any one of claims 1 to 5, wherein
    the upper layer-coating material is a clear coating material,
    the intermediate layer-coating material is a base coating material, and
    the lower layer-coating material is an intermediate coating material.
     
    7. The coating method according to any one of claims 1 to 6, wherein
    in the preparation step, the lower layer-coating material, the intermediate layer-coating material, and the upper layer-coating material are selected so that a sum of an absolute value of a difference in shrinkage ratio between the lower layer-coating material and the intermediate layer-coating material at a late stage of the baking in the baking step and an absolute value of a difference in shrinkage ratio between the intermediate layer-coating material and the upper layer-coating material at the late stage of the baking in the baking step is 2.0% or smaller.
     
    8. A coated article comprising a laminated coating film including a lower layer formed on a base material, an intermediate layer formed on the lower layer, and an upper layer formed on the intermediate layer, wherein
    the coated article is obtained by the coating method according to any one of claims 1 to 7.
     
    9. The coated article according to claim 8, wherein
    the laminated coating film has wave scan values measured by using a wave scan, which are du (wavelength<0.1 mm) being 28.5 to 31.6, Wa (wavelength<0.3 mm) being 10.6 to 14.5, Wb (wavelength: 0.3 to 1 mm) being 15.3 to 22.0, Wc (wavelength: 1 to 3 mm) being 7.9 to 10.8, Wd (wavelength: 3 to 10 mm) being 6.0 to 10.9, and We (wavelength: 10 to 30 mm)] being 5.8 to 8.2.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Beschichtungsverfahren zum Ausbilden eines laminierten Beschichtungsfilms, der eine Unterschicht, die auf einem Basismaterial ausgebildet ist, eine Zwischenschicht, die auf der Unterschicht ausgebildet ist, und eine Oberschicht, die auf der Zwischenschicht ausgebildet ist, beinhaltet, wobei das Verfahren umfasst:

    einen Vorbereitungsschritt zum Vorbereiten eines duroplastischen Beschichtungsmaterials als ein Unterschicht-Beschichtungsmaterial zum Ausbilden der Unterschicht, Vorbereiten eines duroplastischen Beschichtungsmaterials als ein Zwischenschicht-Beschichtungsmaterial zum Ausbilden der Zwischenschicht und Vorbereiten eines duroplastischen Beschichtungsmaterials als ein Oberschicht-Beschichtungsmaterial zum Ausbilden der Oberschicht,

    einen Ausbildungsschritt zum Ausbilden eines ungehärteten, laminierten Beschichtungsfilms durch Aufbringen des Unterschicht-Beschichtungsmaterials, des Zwischenschicht-Beschichtungsmaterials und des Oberschicht-Beschichtungsmaterials auf dem Basismaterial unter Verwendung einer Nass-auf-Nass-Technik, und

    einen Erhitzungsschritt zum gleichzeitigen Aushärten des Unterschicht-Beschichtungsmaterials, des Zwischenschicht-Beschichtungsmaterials und des Oberschicht-Beschichtungsmaterials durch Unterziehen des nicht ausgehärteten, laminierten Beschichtungsfilms einer Hitzebehandlung, wobei

    in dem Vorbereitungsschritt das Unterschicht-Beschichtungsmaterial, das Zwischenschicht-Beschichtungsmaterial und das Oberschicht-Beschichtungsmaterial derart ausgewählt werden, dass eine Summe eines Absolutwerts einer Differenz im Schrumpfungsverhältnis zwischen dem Unterschicht-Beschichtungsmaterial und dem Zwischenschicht-Beschichtungsmaterial in einem späten Stadiums des Erhitzens in dem Erhitzungsschritt und eines Absolutwerts einer Differenz im Schrumpfungsverhältnis zwischen dem Zwischenschicht-Beschichtungsmaterial und dem Oberschicht-Beschichtungsmaterial in dem späten Stadium des Erhitzens in dem Erhitzungsschritt 3,0 % oder weniger beträgt,

    wobei das Schrumpfungsverhältnis auf der Grundlage der Formel (1) berechnet wird:

    wobei in der Formel (1) ω' für das Schrumpfungsverhältnis (%) steht, X für das Gewicht (g) des Probenbasismaterials steht, Y für das Gewicht (g) des Probenbasismaterials und des Beschichtungsfilms nach dem Vortrocknen bei 60 °C für 96 Stunden in einem Vakuum steht, und Z für das Gewicht (g) des Probenbasismaterials und des Beschichtungsfilms nach dem Aushärten durch Erhitzen bei 140 °C für 30 Minuten steht,

    wobei das späte Stadium des Erhitzens ein Zeitraum nach einem Vortrocknungsstadium, in dem Wasser durch Trocknen des aus dem Beschichtungsmaterial hergestellten Beschichtungsfilms bei 80 °C für 3 Stunden und dann in einem Vakuum bei 60 °C für 96 Stunden entfernt wurde, bis zu einem Abschlussstadium des Erhitzens ist, in dem der Beschichtungsfilm bei 140 °C für 30 Minuten erhitzt wurde,

    jedes von dem Oberschicht-Beschichtungsmaterial, dem Zwischenschicht-Beschichtungsmaterial und dem Unterschicht-Beschichtungsmaterial ein duroplastisches Harz und ein Aushärtungsmittel enthält,

    eine Kombination aus dem duroplastischen Harz und dem Aushärtungsmittel in dem Oberschicht-Beschichtungsmaterial eine Kombination ist, die aus der Gruppe bestehend aus einer Kombination aus einem Hydroxygruppen enthaltenden Acrylharz und einer Isocyanatverbindung, einer Kombination aus einem Hydroxygruppen enthaltenden Acrylharz und einem Isocyanatharz und einer Kombination aus einem Hydroxygruppen und Glycidylgruppen enthaltenden Acrylharz und einem Carboxylgruppen enthaltenden Acrylharz ausgewählt ist,

    eine Kombination aus dem duroplastischen Harz und dem Aushärtungsmittel in dem Zwischenschicht-Beschichtungsmaterial eine Kombination ist, die aus der Gruppe bestehend aus einer Kombination aus einem Acrylharz und einem Melaminharz, einer Kombination aus einem Polyesterharz und einem Melaminharz, einer Kombination aus einem Acrylharz und einer (Block)-Isocyanatverbindung und einer Kombination aus einem Polyesterharz und einer (Block)-Isocyanatverbindung ausgewählt ist, und

    eine Kombination aus dem duroplastischen Harz und dem Aushärtungsmittel in dem Unterschicht-Beschichtungsmaterial eine Kombination ist, die aus der Gruppe bestehend aus einer Kombination aus einem Acrylharz und einem Melaminharz, einer Kombination aus einem Polyesterharz und einem Melaminharz, einer Kombination aus einem Acrylharz und einer (Block)-Isocyanatverbindung und einer Kombination aus einem Polyesterharz und einer (Block)-Isocyanatverbindung ausgewählt ist.


     
    2. Beschichtungsverfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei
    das Oberschicht-Beschichtungsmaterial ein Schrumpfungsverhältnis in einem Bereich von 0 bis 20 % in dem späten Stadium des Erhitzens in dem Erhitzungsschritt aufweist,
    das Zwischenschicht-Beschichtungsmaterial ein Schrumpfungsverhältnis in einem Bereich von 0 bis 20 % in dem späten Stadium des Erhitzens in dem Erhitzungsschritt aufweist, und
    das Unterschicht-Beschichtungsmaterial ein Schrumpfungsverhältnis in einem Bereich von 0 bis 20 % in dem späten Stadium des Erhitzens in dem Erhitzungsschritt aufweist.
     
    3. Beschichtungsverfahren nach Anspruch 1 oder 2, wobei
    in dem Vorbereitungsschritt das Zwischenschicht-Beschichtungsmaterial und das Oberschicht-Beschichtungsmaterial derart ausgewählt werden, dass der Absolutwert von der Differenz im Schrumpfungsverhältnis zwischen dem Zwischenschicht-Beschichtungsmaterial und dem Oberschicht-Beschichtungsmaterial in dem späten Stadium des Erhitzens in dem Erhitzungsschritt 2,0 % oder weniger beträgt.
     
    4. Beschichtungsverfahren nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 3, wobei
    das Oberschicht-Beschichtungsmaterial ein Beschichtungsmaterial ist, das kein Melaminharz als ein Aushärtungsmittel enthält.
     
    5. Beschichtungsverfahren nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 4, wobei
    das Oberschicht-Beschichtungsmaterial ein duroplastisches Beschichtungsmaterial ist, von dem in einer Aushärtungsreaktion durch eine Wärmebehandlung kein flüchtiges Produkt ausgebildet wird.
     
    6. Beschichtungsverfahren nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 5, wobei
    das Oberschicht-Beschichtungsmaterial ein klares Beschichtungsmaterial ist,
    das Zwischenschicht-Beschichtungsmaterial ein Basisbeschichtungsmaterial ist, und
    das Unterschicht-Beschichtungsmaterial ein Zwischenbeschichtungsmaterial ist.
     
    7. Beschichtungsverfahren nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 6, wobei
    in dem Vorbereitungsschritt das Unterschicht-Beschichtungsmaterial, das Zwischenschicht-Beschichtungsmaterial und das Oberschicht-Beschichtungsmaterial derart ausgewählt werden, dass eine Summe eines Absolutwerts einer Differenz im Schrumpfungsverhältnis zwischen dem Unterschicht-Beschichtungsmaterial und dem Zwischenschicht-Beschichtungsmaterial in einem späten Stadium des Erhitzens in dem Erhitzungsschritt und eines Absolutwerts einer Differenz im Schrumpfungsverhältnis zwischen dem Zwischenschicht-Beschichtungsmaterial und dem Oberschicht-Beschichtungsmaterial in dem späten Stadium des Erhitzens in dem Erhitzungsschritt 2,0 % oder weniger beträgt.
     
    8. Beschichteter Gegenstand, der einen laminierten Beschichtungsfilm umfasst, der eine Unterschicht, die auf einem Basismaterial ausgebildet ist, eine Zwischenschicht, die auf der Unterschicht ausgebildet ist, und eine Oberschicht, die auf der Zwischenschicht ausgebildet ist, beinhaltet, wobei
    der beschichtete Gegenstand durch das Beschichtungsverfahren nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 7 erhalten wird.
     
    9. Beschichteter Gegenstand nach Anspruch 8, wobei
    der laminierte Beschichtungsfilm unter Verwendung eines Wave-Scans gemessene Wave-Scan-Werte aufweist, welche du (Wellenlänge < 0,1 mm), der von 28,5 bis 31,6 beträgt, Wa (Wellenlänge < 0,3 mm), der von 10,6 bis 14,5 beträgt, Wb (Wellenlänge: 0,3 bis 1 mm), der von 15,3 bis 22,0 beträgt, Wc (Wellenlänge: 1 bis 3 mm), der von 7,9 bis 10,8 beträgt, Wd (Wellenlänge: 3 bis 10 mm), der von 6,0 bis 10,9 beträgt und We (Wellenlänge: 10 bis 30 mm), der von 5,8 bis 8,2 beträgt, sind.
     


    Revendications

    1. Procédé de revêtement pour former un film de revêtement stratifié comprenant une couche inférieure formée sur une matière de base, une couche intermédiaire formée sur la couche inférieure, et une couche supérieure formée sur la couche intermédiaire, le procédé comprenant :

    une étape de préparation destinée à préparer une matière de revêtement thermodurcissable comme matière de revêtement de couche inférieure pour former la couche inférieure, à préparer une matière de revêtement thermodurcissable comme matière de revêtement de couche intermédiaire pour former la couche intermédiaire, et à préparer une matière de revêtement thermodurcissable comme matière de revêtement de couche supérieure pour former la couche supérieure ;

    une étape de formation destinée à former un film de revêtement stratifié non durci en appliquant la matière de revêtement de couche inférieure, la matière de revêtement de couche intermédiaire, et la matière de revêtement de couche supérieure sur la matière de base en utilisant une technique humide-sur-humide ; et

    une étape de cuisson destinée à durcir de manière simultanée la matière de revêtement de couche inférieure, la matière de revêtement de couche intermédiaire, et la matière de revêtement de couche supérieure en soumettant le film de revêtement stratifié non durci à un traitement de cuisson, selon lequel

    dans l'étape de préparation, la matière de revêtement de couche inférieure, la matière de revêtement de couche intermédiaire, et la matière de revêtement de couche supérieure sont sélectionnées de telle sorte qu'une somme d'une valeur absolue d'une différence de taux de rétrécissement entre la matière de revêtement de couche inférieure et la matière de revêtement de couche intermédiaire à un stade tardif de la cuisson dans l'étape de cuisson et d'une valeur absolue d'une différence dans le taux de rétrécissement entre la matière de revêtement de couche intermédiaire et la matière de revêtement de couche supérieure au stade tardif de la cuisson dans l'étape de cuisson est de 3,0% ou plus petite,

    ledit taux de rétrécissement étant calculé sur la base de la formule (1) :

    dans la formule (1), ω' représente le taux de rétrécissement (%),

    X représente le poids (g) de la matière de base d'échantillon,

    Y représente le poids (g) de la matière de base d'échantillon et du film de revêtement après le séchage préliminaire à 60°C pendant 96 heures sous vide,

    et Z représente le poids (g) de la matière de base d'échantillon et du film de revêtement après le durcissement par chauffage à 140°C pendant 30 minutes,

    ledit stade tardif de la cuisson étant une période après un état de séchage préliminaire dans lequel de l'eau a été enlevée en séchant le film de revêtement constitué de la matière de revêtement à 80°C pendant 3 heures et ensuite sous vide à 60°C pendant 96 heures, jusqu'à un état d'achèvement de la cuisson dans lequel le film de revêtement a été cuit à 140°C pendant 30 minutes,

    chacune de la matière de revêtement de couche supérieure, de la matière de revêtement de couche intermédiaire et de la matière de revêtement de couche inférieure contient une résine thermodurcissable et un agent de durcissement,

    une combinaison de la résine thermodurcissable et de l'agent de durcissement dans la matière de revêtement de couche supérieure est une combinaison choisie dans le groupe se composant d'une combinaison d'une résine acrylique contenant un groupe hydroxy et d'un composé d'isocyanate, d'une combinaison d'une résine acrylique contenant un groupe hydroxy et d'une résine isocyanate, et d'une combinaison d'une résine acrylique contenant un groupe hydroxy et un groupe glycidyle et d'une résine acrylique contenant un groupe carboxyle,

    une combinaison de la résine thermodurcissable et de l'agent de durcissement dans la matière de revêtement de couche intermédiaire est une combinaison choisie dans le groupe se composant d'une combinaison d'une résine acrylique et d'une résine mélamine, d'une combinaison d'une résine polyester et d'une résine mélamine, d'une combinaison d'une résine acrylique et d'un composé isocyanate (bloc), et d'une combinaison d'une résine de polyester et d'un composé isocyanate (bloc), et

    une combinaison de la résine thermodurcissable et de l'agent de durcissement dans la matière de revêtement de couche inférieure est une combinaison choisie dans le groupe se composant d'une combinaison d'une résine acrylique et d'une résine mélamine, d'une combinaison d'une résine polyester et d'une résine mélamine, d'une combinaison d'une résine acrylique et d'un composé isocyanate (bloc), et d'une combinaison d'une résine polyester et d'un composé isocyanate (bloc).


     
    2. Procédé de revêtement selon la revendication 1, selon lequel
    la matière de revêtement de couche supérieure a un taux de rétrécissement dans une plage de 0 à 20% au stade tardif de la cuisson dans l'étape de cuisson,
    la matière de revêtement de couche intermédiaire a un taux de rétrécissement dans une plage de 0 à 20% au stade tardif de la cuisson dans l'étape de cuisson, et
    la matière de revêtement de couche inférieure a un taux de rétrécissement dans une plage de 0 à 20% au stade tardif de la cuisson dans l'étape de cuisson.
     
    3. Procédé de revêtement selon la revendication 1 ou 2, selon lequel
    dans l'étape de préparation, la matière de revêtement de couche intermédiaire et la matière de revêtement de couche supérieure sont sélectionnées de telle sorte que la valeur absolue de la différence de taux de rétrécissement entre la matière de revêtement de couche intermédiaire et la matière de revêtement de couche supérieure au stade tardif de la cuisson dans l'étape de cuisson est de 2,0% ou plus petite.
     
    4. Procédé de revêtement selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 3, selon lequel
    la matière de revêtement de couche supérieure est une matière de revêtement ne contenant pas de résine mélamine comme agent de durcissement.
     
    5. Procédé de revêtement selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 4, selon lequel
    la matière de revêtement de couche supérieure est une matière de revêtement thermodurcissable à partir de laquelle aucun produit volatil n'est formé dans une réaction de durcissement par un traitement thermique.
     
    6. Procédé de revêtement selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 5, selon lequel
    la matière de revêtement de couche supérieure est une matière de revêtement transparente,
    la matière de revêtement de couche intermédiaire est une matière de revêtement de base, et
    la matière de revêtement de couche inférieure est une matière de revêtement intermédiaire.
     
    7. Procédé de revêtement selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 6, selon lequel
    dans l'étape de préparation, la matière de revêtement de couche inférieure, la matière de revêtement de couche intermédiaire, et la matière de revêtement de couche supérieure sont sélectionnées de telle sorte qu'une somme d'une valeur absolue d'une différence de taux de rétrécissement entre la matière de revêtement de couche inférieure et la matière de revêtement de couche intermédiaire à un stade tardif de la cuisson dans l'étape de cuisson et d'une valeur absolue d'une différence de taux de rétrécissement entre la matière de revêtement de couche intermédiaire et la matière de revêtement de couche supérieure au stade tardif de la cuisson dans l'étape de cuisson est de 2,0% ou plus petite.
     
    8. Article revêtu comprenant un film de revêtement stratifié comprenant une couche inférieure formée sur une matière de base, une couche intermédiaire formée sur la couche inférieure, et une couche supérieure formée sur la couche intermédiaire, dans lequel
    l'article enduit est obtenu grâce au procédé de revêtement selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 7.
     
    9. Article enduit selon la revendication 8, dans lequel
    le film de revêtement stratifié a des valeurs de balayage d'onde mesurées en utilisant un balayage d'onde, qui sont du (longueur d'onde < 0,1 mm) qui est de 28,5 à 31,6, Wa (longueur d'onde < 0,3 mm) qui est de 10,6 à 14,5, Wb (longueur d'onde : 0,3 à 1 mm) qui est de 15,3 à 22,0, Wc (longueur d'onde : 1 à 3 mm) qui est de 7,9 à 10,8, Wd (longueur d'onde : 3 à 10 mm) qui est de 6,0 à 10,9, et We (longueur d'onde : 10 à 30 mm)] qui est de 5,8 à 8,2.
     




    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description