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BASF Coatings Marks 25 years in Waterborne Basecoats With a Fresh XFine® Color in Metallic Gold

Published on 2011-08-11. Author : SpecialChem

WÜRZBURG /MUENSTER -- BASF Coatings is celebrating an anniversary. Twenty-five years ago in Würzburg, the company became the first paint manufacturer to launch the production of waterborne basecoats. In a matter of months, the first cars were coated with the environmentally friendly technology on the paint line at the Opel plant in Bochum. To mark the occasion, BASF has created an anniversary color that demonstrates what is possible a quarter century after waterborne basecoats were introduced.

"We are proud to be a pioneer and technology leader in the area of waterborne basecoats," declared Dr. Alexander Haunschild, BASF Coatings' head of Automotive OEM Coatings Solutions Europe. "For this area, we combine our competence and years of experience with environmentally friendly technologies, along with color and design. "In 2011 alone, some 35 million vehicles worldwide will be produced with waterborne basecoats, and the trend is rising. The markets in Europe in particular and, increasingly, in Asia too are committing to these environmentally friendly products. While in 1997 the rate of use of waterborne paint systems was 20 percent throughout the world, today this rate has risen to over 50 percent. This is expected to increase to approximately 65 percent by 2015. BASF is constantly working both on the development of the technology as well as on waterborne color innovations.

Anniversary color created

BASF Coatings' designers in Europe, Mark Gutjahr and Corinna Sy, have developed a new color to mark the anniversary: an XFine® in metallic gold. XFine colors are BASF's waterborne color innovation. Thanks to an innovative formula, very fine aluminum particles are arranged flat next to the other and thus have a kind of mirror effect on the body. "This effect yields powerful contrasts and uniquely highlights the contours of the car body," Gutjahr explained."These properties lend the anniversary color its luxurious effect. In addition, golds correspond to our trend forecast and will be used for cars more frequently in the future."

Waterborne basecoats reduce environmental impact

The use of BASF Coatings' waterborne basecoats in the 25 years of their production history has meant savings of over 150,000 tonnes of solvents in Germany alone. In waterborne basecoats, the majority of the organic solvents contained in solventborne paint are replaced by water. The considerably lower impact on the environment is a huge advantage of the technology. In 2009, BASF invested 21 million euros to expand capacity at its Würzburg site in order to respond to the increasing significance of waterborne basecoats.

Integrated Process II is the application standard of the future

BASF introduced a further milestone in its ecological innovations with Integrated Process II. This application process integrates the functions that are currently performed by the primer surfacer (such as protection against stone chipping) into the basecoat, which provides the color. This innovation can make the entire primer surfacer application section superfluous when automotive bodies are coated, with a corresponding shortening of the paint line. This boosts capacity and reduces production costs for the customers. It also significantly reduces solvents and CO2 emissions as well as energy use. "Just like the waterborne basecoats, the Integrated Process II will establish itself as the application standard of the future," Haunschild said.

Milestones of waterborne basecoats

  • 1979 BASF in North America applied the waterborne technology with a single stage system for small series on the Chevrolet Camaro and Pontiac Firebird.
  • 1986 Start of waterborne basecoat production at BASF Coatings' Würzburg site.
  • 1987 BASF waterborne basecoats used to coat the first OEM vehicles at Opel in Bochum, Germany, and Volvo in Gothenburg, Sweden
  • 1989 General Motors uses waterborne basecoats for OEM coating in North America for the first time.
  • 1997 "Integrated Process" introduced at Daimler in Rastatt, Germany
  • 2000 Introduction of waterborne basecoats in Japan at Honda and Nissan
  • 2005 Introduction of waterborne basecoats in China in cooperation with General Motors Shanghai
  • 2006 BASF Coatings' Schwarzheide site supplies 100,000th tonne of waterborne basecoat
  • 2008 Capacity expansion at Würzburg site
  • 2011 XFine anniversary color Golden Quarterfine demonstrates the technical possibilities of waterborne coatings
  • About BASF Coatings

    Coating materials from BASF Coatings protect surfaces and give them color and luster. Their products and processes set the standard for ecoefficiency. Every day, their research and development teams work to make coatings of the future more high performance and more eco-friendly. BASF Coatings is one of the global players in the coatings industry in automotive OEM paints, automotive refinish products, and industrial paints.

    BASF's architectural coatings activities are based in Europe and South America. Under the Suvinil brand, the company has been one of the market leaders in Brazil for many years. Since the integration of the RELIUS Group in early 2007, BASF Coatings has offered construction paints for interior and exterior applications as well as external wall insulation systems in Europe, too.

    Source: BASF Coatings


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