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BASF receives design award for XFine automotive color innovation

Published September 6, 2011
BASF Coatings has been honored with a design award for XFine, its automotive color innovation. The German Design Council selected the paint manufacturer as a winner of the 2011 Automotive Brand Contest, the first international brand and design competition for the automotive industry.

“Being selected as a winner of the Automotive Brand Contest for this intensive metallic special effect paint underscores that our design and technology competence is highly valued and that XFine has helped us to attract a great deal of interest,” said BASF color designer Mark Gutjahr. “As a coatings manufacturer, we are highly honored to receive the award. After all, nearly all the other prize winners are our customers, the automakers.”

XFine has also been nominated for the 2012 German Design Award, one of Germany’s most prestigious design awards, sponsored by the German Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi).

With XFine, the challenge and the innovative solution involve the arrangement of novel aluminum flakes in the surface of the finish. The particles, which are not aligned at all in the liquid coating, must be perfectly positioned after the coating has been applied. BASF Coatings has succeeded in inserting physical and chemical structures that support the alignment of the aluminum particles during drying. This promotes the even distribution of the aluminum flakes, bringing about the mirror effect of the coating.

This mirror effect creates powerful contrasts. The color appears particularly bright on the edges of the car body, while it has a very dark effect when viewed from the side. This flip effect between bright and dark highlights the contours of the car body.

With XFine, a stronger metallic effect has been achieved for OEM waterborne basecoats without posing highly specialized requirements for the coating process.

The winners of the Automotive Brand Contest will receive their awards at the 2011 IAA as part of the Automotive Designers’ Night in Frankfurt. The independent jury of experts is made up of representatives from universities, design agencies, automotive journalists, as well as a member of the German Design Council.

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