Industry News

BASF’s XSpark® Automotive Paint Receives Red Dot Award

Published on 2015-07-10. Author : SpecialChem

For many car owners, the color of their car is still the most important individualization factor. They are calling for more depth and dimensions. When it comes to automotive finishes, special effects can achieve subtle contrasts that lend the color a sophisticated vitality. With XSpark®, BASF’s Coatings division has developed a color effect that has now been honored in one of the world’s most prestigious design competitions: the Red Dot Award: Product Design.

For the first time in the 60-year history of the competition, an OEM automotive paint has been awarded the coveted “Red Dot”. The 38 jurors, all of whom are independent design experts, chose the winners from among the 4,928 submissions from all areas of industrial design. The evaluation criteria included the product’s degree of innovation, its durability and its symbolic and emotional content.

XSpark® convinced the jury. It is an exclusive color effect for the automotive industry that sparkles in a very eye-catching manner and thus creates a much more intensive effect than other special-effect pigments. The material is applied in a single step in a mere 10 to 20 µm thick layer, together with the pigmented paint. This corresponds to 10 to 20 percent of the thickness of a human hair. The result is a homogenous surface that permits a special depth to come about in the finish thanks to a pure, solid-color reflection. Stephan Schwarte, Head of Basecoat Pigments/Dispersions & Color Design Lab at BASF’s Coatings division described it as follows: “The glass particles integrated in the paint layer are particularly effective only in light. The sparkle created this way enables the automotive finish to look exceptionally luxurious and elegant without being intrusive. We have therefore achieved an unprecedented exclusive effect.”

The targeted interaction between color and special effects is making automotive colors more complex and multifaceted, which expands the range of applications. Tailored to the particular model, such finishes can accentuate the shape of a car in terms of style. Mark Gutjahr, Head of Design at BASF’s Coatings division in Europe, put it like this: “Our paints and effects act as an important design element. We are particularly pleased about being awarded the Red Dot in product design. The award underlines our design competence and sends an important signal to our customers in the automotive industry.”

XSpark® also plays a significant role in the new color collection that will be officially presented in late July and which provides a preview of the automotive color trends. Six colors will be featuring this innovative effect and will represent the wide range of possibilities offered by automotive coatings.

About BASF’s Coatings division

BASF’s Coatings division develops, produces and markets innovative automotive coatings, automotive refinishes and industrial coatings as well as decorative paints. It operates sites in Europe, North America and South America as well as Asia Pacific. Within this network, it collaborates closely with its customers all over the world.

About BASF

BASF creates chemistry – and have been doing so for 150 years. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products to oil and gas. As one of the world’s leading chemical companies, it combines economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. Through science and innovation, it enables its customers in nearly every industry to meet the current and future needs of society. Its products and solutions contribute to conserving resources, ensuring nutrition and improving quality of life. It has summed up this contribution in its corporate purpose.

Source: BASF

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