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BASF opens new horizons for the automobile industry

Published on 2003-12-01. Author : SpecialChem

In the future, new automotive coatings will be able to be introduced to the market considerably faster. BASF Corporation and Q-panel Lab Products have jointly developed an accelerated test method for determining resistance to acid damage. This method allows a significant acceleration and, at the same time, more testing cycles for the weathering tests required in paint development. Dr. Ulrich Schernau, head of Analytical Services at BASF Coatings, has now introduced this method at the "First European Weathering Symposium" in Prague.

The new test method (BASF Accelerated Acid Test) simulates the so-called Jacksonville weathering test. This special type of outdoor exposure test can be performed only from mid May to the end of August in the Jacksonville, Florida area and provides information regarding the resistance of coatings in case of acidic ambient conditions. To perform the new accelerated test method in the laboratory, BASF Coatings AG in Münster-Hiltrup uses a specially modified device provided by Q-panel Lab Products, with which the first tests have already been performed on clearcoats.

The stress due to acid rain and dew, in combination with the subsequent solar radiation, is a really severe test for automotive coatings. The cocktail of sulfuric acid, nitric acid, hydrochloric acid, and ammonia occurring during natural weathering is an aggressive enemy of car finishes. "Acid etching" causes paintwork defects that look like dried water drops, but cannot be removed by washing and polishing. The new accelerated test method effectively supports the development of new coating systems with improved acid resistance. In the modified Q-Sun® xenon testing device, panels are stressed by acids, different temperatures, increased humidity, and the filtered radiation of a xenon burner in consecutive steps. During a 420-hour testing period, the panels are subjected to stress comparable to that of the 14-week-long Jacksonville test. As a result, instead of a test that can be performed only once a year, approximately 20 weathering tests can be performed for developmental purposes each year.

BASF Coatings AG belongs to the global Coatings Division of the BASF Group. In 2002 the Coatings Division achieved world sales of 2.1 billion euros. The Coatings Division develops, produces and markets a high-quality range of innovative automotive OEM coatings, automotive refinishes and industrial coatings as well as decorative paints, and also the processes needed to apply them. In this business, eco-efficient water-based, powder and high-solids coatings as well as radiation-curable systems play a special part. In Brazil, the company has been successful in the decorative paints market for years and holds the leading position. BASF has a major, global presence in the Coatings sector, with significant market positions in Europe, North America, South America and the Asia/Pacific region, for example with affiliates in Australia, China, India, Japan, and the Philippines.

Source: BASF.


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