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The Waterborne Symposium

Environmentally Friendly Coating Technologies

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To administer the preeminent educational/technical forum in the United States directed to the science and technology of surface coatings and  to provide revenue to support and advance the School of Polymers and High Performance Materials at The University of Southern Mississippi.


Donald H. Campbell - Mechanistic Study of Thermal Yellowing and Photo-bleaching in Automotive Topcoats

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Donald H. Campbell - Mechanistic Study of Thermal Yellowing and Photo-bleaching in Automotive Topcoats


Donald H. Campbell
BASF Corporation
(248) 948-2343


Don graduated with a BS in Chemistry from Wayne State University in Detroit in 1984 and joined BASF Automotive Coatings.  He has worked in both resin development and topcoat development including basecoat, clearcoat and 3-wet systems.  With his experience managing clearcoat service for more than 15 paint lines, Don is now moving to a role as Intellectual Property Manager.  After 32 years with BASF, he has 32 patents and has published numerous articles.


Thermal yellowing and photo-bleaching are common problems that are seen to some extent in all automotive topcoat systems today.  These effects can cause difficulties in the matching of light colors in the assembly plant and then later upon delivery to the customer.  Current literature offers no clear mechanism for the thermal yellowing and photo-bleaching.  Based on observed formulation dependencies, a mechanism is proposed based on oxidation of amine compounds.  We constructed a simple model system which uses a hydroperoxide to thermally oxidize amines in solution.  In this system, a series of amines were tested and both yellowing and photo-bleaching were reproduced.  Loss of basicity confirmed that amine oxidation occurred under these conditions.  Both the location of the UV absorption peak and strong amine structure dependence indicate nitrone formation as the yellow chromophore.

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