Radar Transparency and Paint Compatibility
Abstract: This study focus on trying to understand what factors regarding bumper materials and coatings affect the radar transparency at 77 GHz. Dielectric spectroscopy was done at 25 unique samples, consisting of various plastic substrates, primers, basecoats and clearcoats with the Free-spaced method in the 60-90 GHz region. The plastic substrate consisted of Polypropylene-blend with different fillers such as talc, carbon black and metal flakes. The basecoats analyzed were 2 solid factory coatings (one black and one white), 5 factory coating containing different effect pigments such as metal flakes, Xiralic, and Mica, 1 factory PVD coating and 2 aftermarket basecoats. All samples were provided by a Volvo Cars’ supplier, however, some samples were repainted with the aftermarket coatings. The complex permittivites were calculated for each PP-blend and coating from the curve fitting of the measured S-parameters from the Free-spaced method. Material analysis such as thickness measurements of the plastic substrate and coatings, ATR-FTIR spectroscopy, TGA and DSC were done at all plastic substrates. The plastic substrates and the coating were also observed in optical microscope and in SEM. The calculated permittivities were compared with the results from the material analysis and correlations between increased metal content in the basecoat and higher real permittivity were found. Some relationship between the size of the metal flakes and the radar transparency could also be observed. Further, correlations between higher real permittivity with higher concentration of talc and carbon black were detected. MATLAB was used to provide an example for optimization of the plastic thickness for a given basecoat in order to have minimal reflection at 77 GHz.
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