BASF Coatings has inaugurated a new research center for electrophoretic dip coating at its headquarters in Münster-Hiltrup, Germany. The electrophoretic or cathodic dip coat (e-coat) protects the surfaces, edges and cavities of a car body against corrosion, and evens out the roughness of the pre-treated metal surfaces, thus providing the optimum basis for the application of the subsequent paint layers.
“We invested 15 million euros in the new building at the Münster site,” said Mathias Schöttke, Managing Director BASF Coatings GmbH. “The health and safety of our colleagues is particularly important to us at BASF. This is why, during the planning stage, we have not only given high priority to the quality and efficiency of the coating process, but also to ergonomics and occupational safety right from the start.”
Frank Naber, head of the Automotive OEM Coatings Solutions EMEA business unit at BASF Coatings emphasized: “In our new e-coat research center, we can simulate our customers’ processes and paint systems. We can coat pre-treated original parts of our customers under the conditions of their individual paint lines in a 2,000-liter dip tank and bake them in a chamber oven. These parts can be doors, fenders or hoods.” In addition, the research center has two ultra-filtration and filtration stands with which the quality and stability of new e-coats can be tested under the conditions of the customers already before the tank is being filled for the first time. “In this way, we can ensure that the coating quality is at a very high level immediately after having changed over to a new e-coat material, and that it meets the customer’s specification. Thanks to these technical conditions, we are making another significant contribution to the success of our customers,” said Naber.
The center will mainly be used for the CathoGuard® 800 e-coat technology, which has already been applied to more than 100 million vehicles worldwide. The product does without organic tin compounds and has a very low solvent content. An optimized film thickness distribution permits material to be saved and, at the same time, guarantees protection of the entire body thanks to its good throwing power. The product also contributes to sustainability by reducing wastewater, which in turn reduces the amount of fresh water required for the process.