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BASF's New XSpark® Automotive OEM Coating with Glass Particles Creates Pronounced Sparkle

Published on 2013-09-03. Author : SpecialChem

They sparkle like thousands of stars in a cloudless sky: the new "XSpark® - designed by BASF" basecoats. The BASF experts have developed this new automotive OEM coating. It contains very fine glass particles that reflect the light with greater precision, thus creating a pronounced sparkle. It glitters in an even more focused and intensive manner than any other currently known special-effect coating.

"With XSpark, we have achieved a level of exclusive effect previously unknown," explained Stephan Schwarte, head of Basecoat Pigments/Dispersions & Color Design Lab. The special feature is that the distinctive sparkle is particularly effective only in light and therefore looks exceptionally luxurious and elegant without being intrusive. Mark Gutjahr, head of Design Europe at BASF, added, "Depending on the intensity and coloring used, the effect creates a very sporty and elegant impression. Dark color ranges achieve an almost mystical appearance, but shades of white can also be refined with the special effect. The intensity, and thus the effect, can be varied - from subdued yet elegant to intensive and crystal-like."

While developing the special-effect coating specifically for the automotive sector, the designers collaborated closely with the lab experts. "The glass particles integrated in the coating flash clearly in the light. The resulting pure, single-colored reflection conveys an exceptional depth to the coating," said Schwarte.

XSpark is targeted especially at premium car manufacturers and their customers. "We see great potential of the special-effect coating for carmakers, because end consumers will perceive it as something special and it will generate enthusiasm," said Meike Flöck, Marketing for Automotive OEM Coatings, describing the results of a market research study among new vehicle buyers.

With XSpark, BASF is putting another special-effect innovation in the "XColors - designed by BASF" product family on the market.

XColors are innovative colors that feature remarkable special effects or exceptional color depth while being highly suitable for series production. They include the XFine® coatings, which emphasize the shape of the body particularly strikingly thanks to its intensive metallic effect. For these color innovations, BASF won an award in the 2011 Automotive Brand Contest and the Materialica Design & Technology Silver Award in the surface and technology category.

About the Coatings Division

In the Coatings Division, BASF develops, produces and markets a high-quality range of innovative automotive OEM coatings, automotive refinishes and industrial coatings as well as decorative paints. BASF has significant market positions in the Coatings sector in Europe, North America, South America and the Asia Pacific region. In 2012 the Coatings Division of the BASF Group achieved global sales of nearly 3.0 billion Euros.

About BASF

BASF is the world's leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products and crop protection products to oil and gas. BASF combines economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. Through science and innovation, BASF enables its customers in nearly every industry to meet the current and future needs of society. BASF's products and solutions contribute to conserving resources, ensuring nutrition and improving quality of life. BASF have summed up this contribution in their corporate purpose: BASF creates chemistry for a sustainable future. BASF had sales of €72.1 billion in 2012 and more than 110,000 employees as of the end of the year.

Source: BASF


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