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BASF Coatings uses Mat Clearcoats for Small Series

Published on 2010-08-26. Author : SpecialChem

MÜNSTER -- They are a real eye-catcher at major automobile exhibitions.More and more carmakers are presenting models in a new visual style - with mat clearcoats. Previously only used with custom paint jobs, now they are increasingly being used in smaller production runs as well. Recently, BASF introduced its current color collection, in which mat clearcoats also play an important role.

As the top layer of automotive coatings, clearcoats provide extra protection and scratch resistance.Glossy finishes have something untouchable about them, but mat clearcoat makes you want to run your hand over the silky, smooth surface."Mat clearcoat changes the effect of the coating. The muted-looking finish has something of a plastic look to it. They give silver colors in particular a cool, high-tech feel and create almost haptic effects," said BASF color designer Eva Höfli."The resulting contrast between mat and glossy automobile add-on parts is particularly striking."

The material used to produce the mat look has the consistence of a fine powder and is mixed with a standard clear. "Chemically it is like sand or glass, but extremely fine and highly porous," explains Dr. Holger Krumm, lab manager at the BASF automotive clearcoat competence center.

The more matting agents are stirred into the clear, the greater the effect."It is thus possible to have differing degrees of gloss in the hardened finish," says Andrea Rump, BASF clearcoat product manager.Mat clearcoats are used in OEM coating and for coating add-on parts, and they are available in a variety of clearcoat technologies. "The look of a mat clearcoat is also heavily influenced by the underlying layer of paint, i.e. the basecoat," Rump emphasized. "The mat shimmer remains even after years. The products have been sufficiently tested with regard to this in weathering tests."

The application of mat clearcoats is a sophisticated procedure that differs from standard OEM coating.That is why in the past it has only been used in smaller circulation lines for individual series. "We are working steadily to further optimize mat clearcoat technologically, as we expect demand to rise," remarked Holger Krumm.

BASF mat clearcoats are not very sensitive, but rather robust and easy to care for. Fingerprints or a bit of dust are not as noticeable as on a glossy finish. Smaller scratches are very hard to see. Car washes are also no problem. However, the clearcoat must not be polished since that will make it look glossier. BASF Coatings also offers repair solutions for mat clearcoats.

Andrea Rump looks to the future: "BASF Coatings' mat clearcoats are technically mature and trendy in terms of optics." Thus, mat clearcoats will have more sparkling performances in the future.

Source: BASF

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