Akzo Nobel Sikkens has developed a new generation of waterborne refinish paint systems with the introduction of an improved Autowave product.
More than 100 bodyshops in the UK have adopted the existing Autowave system, launched four years ago, but Akzo is confident of converting all its customers over the next 18 months.
The paint company has been pursuing a twin track water/solvent approach to supplying body repairers, but the new system suggests a shift of emphasis towards the sole use of waterborne.
Waterborne paint systems are being increasingly used by car manufacturers and by repairers in the UK due to environmental considerations and legislative pressures.
Repairers in other European countries, and eventually the rest of the world, are expected to follow suit in the near future.
Gill Gordon, Akzo Nobel Sikkens product manager, expects further legislation.
"It is expected that by 2003, the current VOC level of 1-tonne will be reduced to half a tonne and that under PG6/34 regulations, all bodyshops will be required to use waterborne basecoats," he said.