Industry News

Sculpture Entitled "Great Vertical Rhythm" Dons a Coat of Paint from Glasurit

Published on 2009-03-13. Author : SpecialChem

Claus Wohlleben's bodyshop at Hof (Germany) primarily paints cars and industrial parts. Recently, however, he was presented with a huge challenge that was literally as tough as steel. Wohlleben, who relies on paints produced by Glasurit, coated a sculpture created by internationally-acclaimed artist Professor Heinz Mack. The project is entitled "Great Vertical Rhythm." Made of steel, the sculpture weighs an impressive 12.5 tonnes and is 16.5 metres long. "It really was a mighty challenge, especially when it came to logistics. After all, the surface of the sculpture is 20 times larger than that of a car," Claus Wohlleben pointed out.

The sculpture was given the full Glasurit programme

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The sculpture is now on display on a square in the Rhineland town of Langenfeld, located between Düsseldorf and Cologne. Two mobile cranes were used to position the stele at its place of honour in the town centre. The upper edge of the sculpture is formed by a glass cube that reflects daylight like a prism. In its metallic-gold finish, the sculpture absolutely radiates brilliance. "The colour clearly sets the sculpture apart from the universal grey of its surroundings. Steel is often perceived as being cold. The paint, however, gives it a bronze-like appearance," Heinz Mack explained.

The journey that ended in the ceremonious unveiling of the work had been a long one. Four members of the Wohlleben bodyshop team invested over 400 hours' work in the elaborate project. Prior to application of the paint, the scale and rolling skin were blasted from the surface of the steel structure. "Such impurities are produced during the steel manufacturing process," Wohlleben said. The paint experts then started on the full Glasurit programme aimed at producing a weatherproof, durable finish. They started by applying an epoxy primer to the sculpture to protect it against rust. Afterwards, a solid body filler was applied. Liquid body filler was used to even out the surfaces to perfection. Finally, a master craftsman and three experienced journeymen sanded the sculpture with large sanding blocks. "After spraying on a guide coat, we then sanded the surface and applied filler," explained Wohlleben. This was followed by another round of sanding.

Gold colours are particularly difficult to apply

Then it was finally time for the experts to begin the actual spraypainting - first in white. "The white colour provided a clean substrate and served as a guide," Wohlleben explained. Finally the sculpture was given its actual colour, with two coats of 55 Line in gold being applied. "Applying gold colours is particularly difficult since gold is very susceptible to clouding," Wohlleben added. However, the know-how of the painters and the quality of the paint ensured that there were no problems. Five coats of 45 Line clearcoat with an intermediate sanding session guaranteed a perfect result. "The effect of depth produced by the gold paint is accentuated much better this way," Wohlleben explained. He is very satisfied with the result. "The artist has thanked us personally", says the head of a tradition-steeped company.

For him, paint isn't only a material - it's also a passion. "We have to deal with new challenges every day. That's what I like about this job." Wohlleben would be pleased to see his paint shop working on even more art projects, in future too. At all events, he is now well prepared for them.

Source: Glasurit

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