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BASF Coatings is celebrating a special anniversary – 25 years ago, in Würzburg, the company became the first paint manufacturer to launch the production of waterborne basecoats. In a matter of months, the first cars were coated with the environmentally friendly technology on the paint line at the Opel plant in Bochum. To mark the occasion, BASF has created an anniversary colour that demonstrates what is possible a quarter of a century after waterborne basecoats were introduced.
"We are proud to be a pioneer and technology leader in the area of waterborne basecoats,” declared Dr Alexander Haunschild, BASF Coatings’ head of Automotive OEM Coatings Solutions Europe. "For this area, we combine our competence and years of experience with environmentally friendly technologies, along with colour and design.” In 2011 alone, some 35M vehicles worldwide will be produced with waterborne basecoats and the trend is rising. The markets in Europe, in particular and, increasingly, in Asia too are committing to these environmentally friendly products. While in 1997 the rate of use of waterborne paint systems was 20% throughout the world, today this rate has risen to over 50%. This is expected to increase to approximately 65% by 2015. BASF is constantly working both on the development of the technology as well as on waterborne colour innovations.
BASF Coatings’ designers in Europe, Mark Gutjahr and Corinna Sy, have developed a new colour to mark the anniversary: an XFine in metallic gold. XFine colours are BASF’s waterborne colour innovation. Thanks to an innovative formula, very fine aluminium particles are arranged flat next to the other and thus have a kind of mirror effect on the body. Gutjahr explained. "These properties lend the anniversary colour its luxurious effect. In addition, golds correspond to our trend forecast and will be used for cars more frequently in the future.”
The use of BASF Coatings’ waterborne basecoats in the 25 years of their production history has meant savings of over 150,000t of solvents in Germany alone.