• Decorative paints
In 2010 BASF Coatings saw its sales rise above 2009 levels due to higher volume and prices to $3.421 billion. Broken down regionally, 41 percent of BASF Coatings’ sales came from Europe while 28 percent from South America, Africa and the Middle East, with the largest chunk from South America. Asia Pacific and North America are smaller markets for BASF Coatings with 17 percent and 14 percent of sales respectively, though Asia Pacific is growing the fastest.
The improved market environment for the global automotive industry and rising consumption in South America were key drivers for sales growth. These developments offset a decline in sales due to the divestiture of industrial coatings businesses in Japan and North America.
BASF said its automotive coatings business was very successful due to the quick recovery of the automotive industry in Asia, especially in China. Sales in the automotive refinish business also grew. Demand for coatings for transport and agricultural machinery began to slowly recover in the second half of 2010.
In Europe, BASF Coatings benefitted from strong demand for coil coatings from the Eastern European steel industry. Sales volumes of coatings for wind turbines stabilized at high levels, the company said. Sales of architectural coatings were higher than in the previous year, particularly in South America.
During the year BASF established a technical center for developing eco-friendly coatings technologies for the automotive industry in Korea. BASF and the Gyeonggi Provincial Government of the Republic of Korea (GGPG) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to confirm their collaboration in constructing this center.
The agreement called for BASF to set up a coatings technical center at the Gyeonggi Techno Park in Ansan City, Gyeonggi Province, with the support of GGPG. In this technical center, BASF plans to conduct research and development of eco-friendly waterborne coatings for use by automotive OEMs as well as the technology for an integrated coating process, which yields more cost-efficient results.
Also during the year BASF Coatings Spa sold its Italian production site in Burago Molgora for the manufacturing of industrial coatings to Alcea Industries Srl. In addition to the manufacturing facility for liquid paint, the transaction encompassed the business of BASF Coatings Spa in Italy with anodic, electrodisposition coatings for home appliances, heating and general industry and liquid paints for automotive supply metal (ASM) as well as the related customer portfolio.
On the R&D front, BASF Coatings GmbH and Henkel AG & Co KGaA signed a joint venture agreement to develop corrosion protection solutions for the automotive industry. The 50/50 venture is headquartered in Düsseldorf.
New technology innovators, BASF Coatings joined forces with automaker Daimler in 2010 to develop the Alubeam Liquid Metal paint for the F 800 Style Mercedes Benz. BASF's Liquid Metal basecoat immerses the car in a radiant deep gloss, making it look as if it were made of chrome rather than painted.
The new coating gleams like liquid metal and stretches around the body like a metallic skin. The integration of a special-effect pigment into a waterborne paint system is the key to the metallic look, according to the company. Liquid Metal paints use aluminum flakes as effect pigments. For the latest generation of Liquid Metal paints, BASF uses so-called PVDA pigments (physical vapor deposited aluminum).
BASF Coatings’ Liquid Metal is available today as an environmentally friendly waterborne basecoat and complies with the required specifications for adhesion and weathering. Add-on parts can be painted in the color of the vehicle as well.