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GM Plants Use Ostrich Feathers to Clean Cars During the Paint Application Process

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The ostriches certainly seem shocked about this fun fact
Photo:Yathin S. Krishnappa

Automotive factories like the ones operated by General Motors are filled with refined, mechanical equipment. Yet, some of the equipment at these factories isn’t made of much metal at all.

In fact, during the paint application process, General Motors uses ostrich feathers to clean its vehicles.

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The feathers in question are attached to a series of six drums. GM sets these drums up in a way not dissimilar to ones you’d find at a car wash, with two drums on each side and two overhead.

Prior to the final application of paint on GM’s outgoing models, the factory workers dust off the vehicles with the feather-clad drums. This process removes any fine dust particles, with a vacuum concurrently sucking up the removed particles.

GM can adjust the amount of feather surface and pressure applied during the process. Once the feathers have swept across the unpainted cars, technicians check for any lingering spots on the vehicles using flashlights.

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GM only uses female ostrich feathers for the process. According to the automaker, female ostrich feathers are softer than the feathers found on males, so they won’t leave any scratches. The female ostrich feathers also last longer.

There’s no need to worry about the ostriches the feathers originated from. No birds are harmed during the process, as the ostriches naturally shed their feathers.

So, if you find yourself admiring the paint job of a nearby GM vehicle, just remember that the feathers of a very large bird are partly responsible for that vehicle’s stunning looks.

News Source: GM Authority