BASF automotive paint wins the Red Dot

September 2015

When it comes to automotive finishes, special effects can achieve subtle contrasts that lend colour a sophisticated vitality. With XSpark, BASF’s Coatings division has developed a colour effect that was recently honoured 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 was awarded the coveted “Red Dot”. The 38 jurors, all of whom are independent design experts, chose the winners from among 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 is an exclusive colour 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 per cent 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-colour reflection. Stephan Schwarte, head of the 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.”

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