In the automotive industry, manufacturers and suppliers are working constantly to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions in production. A project team consisting of employees of the car maker Audi, BASF´s Coatings division and materials company Covestro has now passed a new milestone: for the first time, a clearcoat containing a biobased hardener was applied to test bodies of the Audi Q2 under near-series conditions at the Audi plant in Ingolstadt, Germany.
BASF developed the clearcoat using the biobased hardener Desmodur® eco N 7300 from Covestro. A total of 70 percent of the hardener’s carbon content is sourced from renewable raw materials. This innovation reduces the consumption of fossil resources. The clearcoat forms the top layer of the coating system, lending it scratch resistance, a glossy appearance and protection against sunlight and other weather effects.
Improved eco-balance, high quality
“Our new clearcoat helps our customers to reach their sustainability targets, without having to compromise in terms of quality and performance,” says Dr. Matthijs Groenewolt, head of clearcoat and topcoat development Europe at BASF.
Dr. Markus Mechtel, head of marketing for automotive coatings at Covestro, adds: “Using renewable raw materials in the production of bio-based hardeners helps to conserve fossil resources. At the same time, the biomass, as it grows, captures CO2 in the environment.” In addition, process steps are eliminated during bio-based raw material production for this hardener, thus leading to an additional reduction of CO2 emissions.
Promising test results
“The use of biobased raw materials in automotive coatings is still in its infancy,” says Thomas Heusser, head of Materials and Process Engineering at Audi. “But the application of the new clearcoat on our existing machines fulfilled all our specifications and delivered promising results. With this project Audi takes up a pioneering role in this field in the automotive industry.”
After successful coating of test bodies of the Audi Q2, Thomas Heusser is optimistic: “Even though not all tests required for approval of the coating for use in full-scale production have been concluded, the three companies have taken an important step toward an even more sustainable automotive coating process.”
The Audi Q2 coated with the new clearcoat will be on display at the European Coatings Show 2017, from April 4 to 6 in Nuremberg, at the Covestro stand, No. 4A-528, Hall 4A.
With 2016 sales of EUR 11.9 billion, Covestro is among the world’s largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction and the sports and leisure industries. Covestro, formerly Bayer MaterialScience, has 30 production sites around the globe and employed approximately 15,600 people (full-time equivalents) at the end of September 2016.
About BASF’s Coatings division
The Coatings division of BASF is a global expert in the development, production and marketing of innovative automotive OEM and refinish coatings, as well as decorative paints. We create advanced performance solutions and drive performance, design and new applications to meet our partners’ needs all over the world. BASF shares the skills, knowledge and resources of its interdisciplinary and global teams for the benefit of customers by operating a collaborative network of sites in Europe, North America, South America and Asia Pacific. In 2016, the Coatings division achieved global sales of €3.2 billion.
In 2016, BASF acquired Chemetall, a leading global supplier of applied surface treatments for metal, plastic and glass substrates in a wide range of industries and end markets. With this expansion in portfolio, BASF becomes a more complete solution provider for coatings.
At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. The approximately 114,000 employees in the BASF Group work on contributing to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into five segments: Chemicals, Performance Products, Functional Materials & Solutions, Agricultural Solutions and Oil & Gas. BASF generated sales of about €58 billion in 2016. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (BAS).