BASF Corp. Receives Red Dot Award for Xspark Coatings

BASF is the first OEM automotive paint to receive the award.

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BASF Corp.’s (Florham Park, New Jersey) XSpark coatings division developed a color effect that was honored with the prestigious Red Dot Award for Product Design.

For the first time in the 60-year history of the competition, an OEM automotive paint has been awarded the coveted Red Dot. The 38 jurors, all of whom are independent design experts, chose the winners from among the 4,928 submissions from all areas of industrial design. The evaluation criteria included the product’s degree of innovation, its durability and its symbolic and emotional content.

XSpark’s exclusive color effect for the automotive industry sparkles in an eye-catching manner that creates a much more intensive effect than other special-effect pigments. The material is applied in a single step in a mere 10- to 20-µm-thick layer, paired with the pigmented paint. The result is a homogenous surface with a pure, solid-color reflection.

Head of the Basecoat Pigments/Dispersions & Color Design Lab at BASF’s Coatings division, Stephan Schwarte, described XSpark as follows: “The glass particles integrated in the paint layer are particularly effective only in light. The sparkle created this way enables the automotive finish to look exceptionally luxurious and elegant without being intrusive.”

The interaction between color and special effects makes automotive colors more complex and multifaceted, expanding the range of applications. Tailored to the particular model, such finishes can accentuate the shape of a car in terms of style.

Head of Design at BASF’s Coatings Division in Europe Mark Gutjahr says, “The award underlines our design competence and sends an important signal to our customers in the automotive industry.”