Auto Service World
News   March 19, 2003   by Auto Service World

Bedliner Battle Continues as Spray-On Coatings Come Under Fire

Third party testing may cast doubt on the longevity of spray-on bedliners, says drop-in bedliner manufacturer Penda Corp.
Light-truck owners attracted to the “custom” appearance of spray-on bedliners may want to view the results of recent durability tests conducted in accordance with ASTM International (formerly American Society for Testing and Materials) quality standards, says the compnay. A recent analysis of the ultraviolet stability of light-truck bedliners showed that leading spray-on linings can lose virtually all of their gloss (or “reflectivity”) within just 2,500 hours of exposure to sunlight, according to bedliner manufacturer Penda Corp., Portage, Wis.
The leading drop-in bedliner, by comparison, experienced a nearly 100-percent gain in gloss over the same period. Drop-in bedliners are typically less expensive than spray- ons.
“These are a few more facts spray-on dealers and franchise networks might not share with truck owners, who often pay a great deal more for a spray-on lining in an effort to enhance their vehicles’ appearance and value,” said Mike Johnson, director of quality for Penda Corp.
“As the results clearly indicate, that glossy finish touted by leading spray-on brands can be a very temporary benefit — after the finish is worn it can take on an unattractive, chalky look.” All tested spray-on samples lost nearly 100-percent of their gloss and exhibited varying degrees of “color shift” within 2,500 hours of UV exposure.
The Pendaliner SR Skid Resistor drop-in bedliner almost doubled its gloss in the same testing.
“Our message to consumers is that if vehicle cosmetics and long-term protection are the issues, an expensive spray-on is simply not the solution,” Johnson said. “Spray-ons provide only a fraction of the sheet-metal protection of modern drop-ins and simply cannot deliver the long-term cosmetics truck owners deserve, unless the consumer pays for repeated UV-protective coatings or only operates the vehicle out of the sunlight. And that’s hardly a viable option.”
Another major concern associated with spray-on linings is the manner in which they are installed: In order to achieve satisfactory adhesion, many leading spray-on networks require the installer to first “scuff” or grind the truck’s factory-applied paint finish. This damaging process, which can expose the vehicle’s bare sheet metal, may impact the consumer’s OE paint warranty coverage, according to Penda.

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