IRO Surfactant » BASF Coating Systems on Smartforvision

BASF Coating Systems on Smartforvision

As the world’s largest supplier of chemicals to the automotive industry, BASF offers energy-efficient sustainable mobility solutions for the future of mobility.

To further strengthen its position as a global innovation driver and preferred R&D partner, BASF has developed a forward-looking electric concept vehicle in cooperation with Daimler.

The smartforvision combines design, lifestyle, and technology aspects to create a new functional whole that offers a glimpse into the future of mobility.


The white body contrasts with the tridion safety body structure, which is covered in liquid metallic bronze paint, making the smartforvision very attractive.

The smartforvision features transparent organic solar cells, solar roof transparent organic light-emitting diodes, the world’s first all-vegetable wheels suitable for mass production, specialty foam for advanced insulation solutions, and infrared reflective film for window glass – all five technologies used for the first time in a car.


White water-based special effects paint gives SmartForVision a high-quality appearance that highlights its unique design.

The white coating containing the glass sheet not only creates a sparkling effect, but also has important functionality: white is particularly good at reflecting sunlight and heat radiation, and is an important part of smartForVision’s efficient temperature control system.

Even dark cars stay cool thanks to BASF’s special “cooling paint”. Because heat radiation is mostly reflected rather than absorbed, paint surface temperature can be reduced up to 20 degrees Celsius, and the temperature inside the car can be reduced to about 4 degrees Celsius.

Therefore, the temperature in the compartment will not increase significantly, which can reduce the energy consumption of air conditioning, not only let passengers enjoy a more comfortable riding environment, but also make the material in the car from high-temperature attack, reduce the loss.


Smartforvision’s body surfaces and body frames are coated with a highly scratch-resistant iGloss® varnish that ensures lasting gloss and durability.

BASF’s patented liquid metallic paint gives the body a futuristic look. BASF has successfully developed a water-based liquid metallic special effect paint for automobiles. The brass-colored liquid metallic paint uses thin aluminum flakes to create a reflective surface that changes light and dark depending on the angle of view, thus accentuating the curves of the body.

This “color change with angle” effect varies with the size, distribution and shape of the aluminum particles. In other words, the thinner the aluminum sheet, the larger its average diameter and the more evenly distributed it is, and the more intense the contrast between light and dark.

BASF’s latest generation of liquid metallic paints uses pigments known as physical vapor deposition aluminum (PVDA). PVDA pigments are between 30 and 50 nanometers thick, which is about 10 to 20 times thinner than conventional pigments. As a result, not only is the granularity of the paint substantially reduced, but the aluminum flakes flow better in the liquid paint coating and are more easily distributed evenly over the surface of the material.

As a result, the coating has a more uniform appearance, like a metallic film covering the body, resulting in a more reflective surface and a higher gloss. This metallic feel is difficult to achieve with conventional metallic paints.

At the same time, BASF has developed a water-based coating system specifically for the more uniform alignment of aluminum flakes, which essentially guarantees a beautiful surface for this special effect paint.

Both the body surface and the frame of the smartforvision are coated with the highly scratch-resistant iGloss® clearcoat.

The high scratch resistance of iGloss® is due to its special lattice structure. iGloss® hybrid coatings combine the “hardness” of inorganic substances with the “flexibility” of organic substances, thus guaranteeing a long-lasting gloss and durability. This allows the vehicle to look as good as new for a long time. In addition, this technology does not require any additional adjustments to existing application processes.

The hexagonal transparent area of the smartforvision roof is quite striking – it is the world’s first energy-generating, light-transmitting roof. The entire roof is covered with transparent organic photovoltaic (OPV) and coated with a special varnish. BASF’s varnish is not only highly scratch-resistant but also has added UV absorbers that are ideally suited for organic solar cells. The UV absorber protects the cells from UV radiation while allowing sunlight to penetrate the panels and be converted into electricity. This coating hardens when left at room temperature for ten hours, while baking or drying would be fatal to solar cells.


For the first time in the world, the smartforvision features all-plastic wheels suitable for mass production. The exterior features a white special effect paint from BASF. This creates a uniform visual effect with the panel.

For the first time in the world, smartforvision is using Ultramid® all-plastic wheels for mass production. This application not only significantly reduces the weight of the body, but is also unique in its design.

The wheels are finished with BASF’s white special effect paint, which creates a uniform visual effect with the fascia. BASF’s many years of expertise came into play during the painting of car parts such as side view mirrors and bumpers.

The coatings not only had to meet all the technical standards for plastic parts but also had to maintain color uniformity with the body paint. BASF has outstanding skills in color contrast and matching, thanks in part to its ColorCARE® software, which provides optimal color matching and ensures that all separately painted body parts end up with a uniform color.

BASF offers coating systems that are high-tech products no thicker than a strand of hair. Not only do they provide color and outstanding appearance, but the highly scratch-resistant varnish and temperature management system used on the smartforvision concept model demonstrate the importance of coatings in meeting the transportation challenges of the future.

The combination of BASF’s expertise in materials and systems and smart’s extensive experience in the automotive sector makes smartforvision a worthy showcase for the future of sustainable mobility, combining futuristic style with energy efficiency.