An all-German collaboration Audi, BASF Coatings and the material company Covestro has announced that for the first time, a clearcoat containing a biobased hardener was applied to test bodies of the Audi Q2 test bodies under near-series conditions at the Audi plant in Ingolstadt, Germany.
BASF developed the clearcoat using Covestro’s proprietary biobased hardener Desmodur eco N 7300. Some 70 percent of the hardener’s carbon content is sourced from renewable raw materials. The clearcoat forms the top layer of the coating system, providing scratch resistance, a glossy appearance and protection against sunlight and other weather effects.
“Our new clearcoat helps our customers to reach their sustainability targets, without having to compromise in terms of quality and performance,” said Dr. Matthijs Groenewolt, head of clearcoat and topcoat development at BASF.
According to Dr. Markus Mechtel, head of marketing for automotive coatings at Covestro, using renewable raw materials in the production of biobased hardeners not only conserves fossil resources, the biomass, as it grows, extracts CO2 from the environment. He added that process steps are eliminated during biobased 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,” noted 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.”
Buoyed by the success of the Audi Q2 test, 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. (KL)