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Stylish, clever, scratch-resistant: BASF paint systems selected for smart forvision

At the 2011 International Motor Show (IAA), smart and BASF will present a concept vehicle that combines unique design with innovative technologies

(PresseBox) (Münster, ) .
- Forward-looking paint technologies improve temperature management and scratch resistance

With its outstanding high-quality appearance, efficient temperature management system and scratch resistance, the smart forvision combines unique design with forward-looking innovations. BASF's intelligent paint systems have turned the concept vehicle to be presented by smart and BASF at the 2011 IAA into a stylish technology trendsetter.

Painted in white, accentuated by the tridion safety cell coated with a copper-colored Liquid Metal basecoat, the smart is a real eyecatcher. The white special-effect paint, which reflects heat rays, provides for an intelligent temperature management system. Both the panels and the cell of the smart forvision are additionally painted with the extremely scratch-resistant iGloss® hybrid clearcoat. In addition, a special technology was used: a clearcoat system for the transparent organic solar cells in the roof of the forvision.

"We are proud to have joined forces with smart to develop the forvision. We have applied our intelligent technologies to integrate features such as outstanding scratch resistance into the paint," said Thomas Fritzsche, BASF's global account manager for Daimler. "As a complete system, the paint also allows even better temperature management. This helps us to make an important contribution to sustainable urban mobility."

White panels reflect heat radiation
With its brilliant high-quality appearance, the white waterborne special-effect paint accentuates the smart forvision's unique design. The integrated glass flakes create a gleaming look. An important side effect: White colors reflect light and heat rays from sun particularly well, supporting the extensive temperature management system of the smart forvision. But even surfaces coated with dark colors stay much cooler thanks to special color pigments - "Cool Pigments" - from BASF. They ensure that heat radiation is reflected rather than absorbed. This leads to a temperature reduction of up to 20 degrees Celsius on the paint surface and of up to approximately 4 degrees in the vehicle interior. As a result, energy for air conditioning can be saved because the passenger compartment does not heat up as much. This benefits the passengers, who enjoy the more comfortable environment, and the material is subjected to less stress due to the lower temperatures.

Liquid Metal special-effect paint applied to the tridion safety cell
BASF's patented Liquid Metal paint gives the passenger compartment a futuristic appearance. BASF successfully developed this waterborne liquid metal special-effect paint for automotive OEM coating. The copper-colored Liquid Metal paint uses aluminum flakes to produce a reflective surface that creates a transition from light to dark, depending on the viewing angle, and to strongly accentuate the curved surfaces of a car body. Known as the flip effect, this is influenced by the size, distribution and shape of the aluminum particles. Or, in other words, the thinner the flakes are, the larger their average diameter is, and the more uniform their alignment, the more powerful the interplay between light and shadows. For the latest generation of Liquid Metal paints, BASF uses physical vapor deposited aluminum (PVDA) pigments. To produce these, aluminum is steamed onto a paint-coated foil. Afterwards, the resulting aluminum film is peeled off and ground into the desired flake size. The thickness of these PVDA pigments is between 30 and 50 nanometers, or approximately 10 to 20 times thinner than conventional effect pigments. The grittiness of the paint is significantly reduced; at the same time, the thin aluminum flakes are more mobile in the wet film and fall into a position parallel to the substrate surface more easily. The result is that the paint film has a more uniform appearance and seems to stretch across the car's body like a metallic skin. The surfaces reflect the light with greater intensity and take on additional gloss. The metallic look created has an intensity that could not previously be achieved with conventional metallic paints. BASF has also developed a waterborne paint system that aligns the aluminum flakes in a homogeneous manner, which allows this special-effect automotive finish to be achieved in the first place.

Brilliant panels and cell thanks to iGloss®
Both the panels and the cell of the smart forvision are also painted with the extremely scratch-resistant iGloss® hybrid clearcoat. The clearcoat is the final layer of the automotive finish. The highly scratch-resistant iGloss® obtains its special scratch resistance from its special lattice structure. iGloss® hybrid paint combines the advantages of "hard" inorganic and "soft" organic substances. Combining the two ensures long-lasting gloss and greater durability. The new car effect of the automotive paint is retained longer, conserving the vehicle's pristine appearance for a longer period. The technology does not require any significant changes in the application process.

Clearcoat system with UV absorber
The hexagonal transparent areas on the roof of the smart forvision are an eye-catching feature - it's the first roof that lets light through and also generates energy. The entire roof surface is covered with transparent organic photovoltaic (OPV) that are coated with a special clearcoat system. BASF's clearcoat is not only extremely scratch-resistant, but it also has UV absorbers that are especially well-suited for organic solar cells. While these absorbers offer protection from UV radiation, they let the visible sunlight through that can be converted into electricity by the solar cells. The paint hardens at room temperature in a matter of ten hours. Baking or oven drying it would destroy the cells.

White special-effect paint for all-plastic wheels:
In the smart forvision, a world innovation yields a considerable weight reduction and a unique design: the first all-plastic Ultramid®-structure wheel rim suitable for high-volume production. The appearance is supported by BASF's white special-effect paint, which forms a single visual unit with the panels. When coating plastic add-on parts - from the side mirrors to the bumpers - BASF has years of expertise that it drew on for this project. The paint must meet all of the technical properties required for plastics and, at the same time, must ensure the color harmony of the body. BASF has extensive competence in colorimetry and color matching, partly thanks to its ColorCARE® software. ColorCARE® ensures optimum color harmonization, meaning that all parts of a car that are coated separately are the same color in the end.

High-tech no thicker than a hair for smart forvision:
BASF's paint systems are high-tech products that are no thicker than a human hair. They do not only provide color and a brilliant appearance, however. The smart forvision concept vehicle demonstrates the significance of intelligent paint systems for the mobile challenges of tomorrow with the high scratch resistance of the clearcoat and with its temperature management system.

About BASF
BASF is the world's leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics, performance products, and agricultural products to oil and gas. As a reliable partner BASF creates chemistry to help its customers in virtually all industries to be more successful. With its high-value products and intelligent solutions, BASF plays an important role in finding answers to global challenges such as climate protection, energy efficiency, nutrition and mobility. BASF posted sales of more than €63.9 billion in 2010 and had approximately 109,000 employees as of the end of the year. Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at or in the Social Media Newsroom at

BASF Coatings GmbH

BASF Coatings, the Coatings Division of the BASF Group, 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 2010 BASF Coatings achieved global sales of almost 2.6 billion Euros. The internet address of BASF Coatings is You can download a copy of BASF customer magazine Coatings Partner from