A project team consisting of employees of Audi, BASF´s Coatings division and Covestro has now passed a new milestone: for the first time, a clearcoat containing a biobased hardener was applied to test bodies of the Audi Q2 under near-series conditions at the Audi plant in Ingolstadt, Germany.
According to Covestro, BASF developed the clearcoat using its biobased hardener Desmodur eco N 7300. It claims that a total of 70 percent of the hardener’s carbon content is sourced from renewable raw materials. This innovation reduces the consumption of fossil resources. The clearcoat forms the top layer of the coating system, lending it 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,” says Dr. Matthijs Groenewolt, Head of Clearcoat and Topcoat Development Europe at BASF.
Dr. Markus Mechtel, Head of Marketing for Automotive Coatings at Covestro, adds, “Using renewable raw materials in the production of bio-based hardeners helps to conserve fossil resources. At the same time, the biomass, as it grows, captures CO2 in the environment.” In addition, process steps are eliminated during bio-based raw material production for this hardener, thus leading to an additional reduction of CO2 emissions.
“The use of biobased raw materials in automotive coatings is still in its infancy,” says 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.”
After successful coating of test bodies of the Audi Q2, Thomas 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.”
Image provided by Covestro
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