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BASF Coatings' finishes make luxury dashboards gleam
BASF Coatings is one of the world's leading manufacturers of wood trim coatings for the automotive industry
The coatings used on the vehicle interior make a dazzling impression not just because of their glossy and luxurious appearance, but also because of their high level of sturdiness and scratch resistance. They share these properties with piano coatings, which are used to give upright and grand pianos their luxurious appearance. For this reason, up until just a few years ago, the same coatings used to finish pianos were used for dashboards. In the automotive sector, however, additional requirements were added. Since then, BASF Coatings has produced two separate product lines. One of the special properties of coatings for vehicle interiors is their high elasticity, which ensures that the finish can even withstand fluctuations in temperature from -35°C to +90°C without incurring any damage. In addition, the finish must be very low in emissions, an important precondition for parts used in vehicle interiors.
The basis of the clearcoat used for wood add-on parts is unsaturated polyester resins, which at BASF Coatings are condensed from alcohols and acids at 200°C. Additives are then added to the resins. The additives ensure that the paint does not sag when it is applied to vertical surfaces and also influence the speed at which the paint cures.
In order for the dashboard to radiate a deep luxurious appearance, the painter must apply between five and eight layers of paint. This means that in order to coat one square meter of wood trim, the painter needs the same amount of paint as that required to completely coat an average size car body with clearcoat. Once the coating of a wood trim part has cured and has been sanded and polished, it has a film thickness of approximately one millimeter and is thus about 20 times thicker than the clearcoat on a car body.
BASF is the world's leading chemical company: The Chemical Company. Its portfolio ranges from chemicals, plastics and performance products to agricultural products, fine chemicals as well as oil and gas. As a reliable partner BASF helps 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 has approximately 97,000 employees and posted sales of more than €62 billion in 2008. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt (BAS), London (BFA) and Zurich (AN). Further information on BASF is available on the Internet at www.basf.com.
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