Ford of Europe has invented fake bird poo so it can test the durability of its paintwork.
Bird poo can be one of the most damaging environmental elements to automobile paintwork as the acidity can eat through the coating.
To try to combat this, Ford created a variety of lab-created synthetic droppings to cover the different diets of Europe’s birdlife.
What a bird eats affects the acidity of the waste, Ford of Europe research found.
Once Ford covers test panels in artificial poo, they are baked at 40, 50 and 60 degrees Celsius, to replicate the real-world environment.
Meanwhile, Ford explained, a bird's discharge is not just poo.
The white part of a dropping is uric acid, the bird equivalent to urine, formed in the urinary tract.
The actual poo is made in the digestive system, and while both can be secreted at the same time, it happens at such pace that the two don’t have time to mix.
They’ve created an interesting video about the topic, which you can view here.
If a particular type of paintwork fails the bird poo test, the formula is changed, until it passes.
"With so many cars parked up at the moment as people stay at home, it’s likely birds are leaving their mark more than usual," says André Thierig, manager, Core Engineering Paint, Ford of Europe.
"It’s wise to remove it before it gets too baked on, but our customers can at least take some consolation in the work we do to keep their paint protected."
The “bird poo test” is just one of the paint quality control measures that Ford employs. They also spray phosphoric acid mixed with soap detergent, and synthetic pollen on panels before aging them in ovens at 60 and 80 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes. The test guards against foes such as pollen and tree sap.
As always, prevention is better than a cure. If you noticed that your car has been bombed, make sure you clean the area as fast as possible to prevent any damage occurring to your vehicle's bright and shiny paintwork.