Ford Creates Fake Bird Poop For Science, And Paint Protection
10 May 2020 - motor1
Ford V Bird Poop is the Ford V Ferrari sequel we need.
With many of us spending more time than ever at home due to the coronavirus, it also means our cars are parked more than usual, too. That makes them prime targets for bird bombings that could spell disaster for your car’s paint. But what we think of bird poop – the milky white substance – isn’t just poop. The white is uric acid, the avian equivalent of urine, and it’s that acid that can ruin the paint. Thankfully, automakers do their best to protect their paint with Ford going as far as to create artificial bird poop for its intensive paint tests.
Ford sprays the synthetic droppings on test panels that Ford then ages in extreme heat, between 40-60 degrees Celsius (104-140 Fahrenheit), to replicate the ownership experience. It pushes Ford’s paint corrosion protection to its limits. Ford’s fake poop is so realistic that the automaker can accurately reflect the diets of most of the birds in Europe. That means the automaker can recreate droppings with different acidities.
It’s just one of several intense paint tests Ford uses. The company also sprays phosphoric acid mixed with soap detergent, and synthetic pollen on panels before also aging them in extreme heat. The automaker also tests against other airborne particulates such as tree sap. The spring and summer months present unique challenges to paint protection, too. Intense sunlight can cause the paint to soften and expand, and when it cools, any grime, like bird droppings, can attach itself to the paint surface, potentially leaving a permanent impression.
The litany of tests allows Ford to best protect the paint of its vehicles from a wide variety of pollutants. Ford simulates direct non-stop ultraviolet light exposure on paint samples for up to 6,000 hours, or 250 days, though other automakers test weather extremes, too. The test simulates five years of the brightest place on Earth. To keep bird poop and other grime from damaging your paint, Ford recommends regularly washing your car with lukewarm water containing neutral pH shampoo.