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BASF Coatings' master spraypainters already in shape for the World Cup

BASF Aktiengesellschaft : 14 May, 2006  (New Product)
World Cup fever has already hit BASF Coatings at the M
World Cup fever has already hit BASF Coatings at the Münster site. And what better way for the multinational paint specialist to express itself than with a new original, creative paint job? Manuel Burmeier (34) and Dirk Assmus (39), both global trainers from BASF Coatings' SBU Automotive Refinish/Commercial Transport Coatings Solutions, jumped at the opportunity to use the World Cup as a 'deep forward pass' for their creative ideas. By redesigning a Mercedes CLK 500 body that was originally painted in blue metallic, they racked up a 1–0 score. A painted playing field, pitch, markings like the penalty area, six-yard box, sidelines, kickoff and penalty kick spots, as well as the national flags of the 32 World Cup participants now decorate the Mercedes.

Somehow, it wasn't all that different than a real game. In the team 'huddle', Burmeier and Assmus hung up plans on a bulletin board. There were four snapshots of the playing field of the Munich Allianz Arena, the venue of the opening match. They used them to develop the tactics to get through it successfully, applying themselves as offensive spearheads. The experienced master spraypainters weren't about to leave anything up to chance. By the way, the team counted on overtime from the very beginning, convinced that they wouldn't make it in only 90 minutes. It turned out to take two full days to achieve perfection.

But technique and 'playing nice' weren't enough. Right after the whistle, they showed why soccer is a contact sport. With painstaking efforts, the blue-metallic set of wheels was cleaned, washed, small dents pounded out, sanded, then primed and treated to smooth out uneven spots. After that, the doors, engine compartment, and windows were masked. Nonstop cleaning was key to the game, to prevent dust from disturbing the application process that would take place later. It was all hard, honest work, all done by hand. As the German soccer saying goes, this team's motto was 'fight to get into the game.'

Then it was time for meticulous handwork. In order to come up with the different shades needed to depict an authentic-looking pitch, the team used a sophisticated masking technique. For example, they used two green shades from the BASF Coatings' automotive refinish Glasurit brand 90 Line to get the effects they were looking for. Just in passing, Burmeier and Assmus managed to score two goals at one time. 90 Line is an environmentally friendly waterborne basecoat that completely fulfills the EU directives that will be binding throughout Europe starting in November 2007. The extremely scratch-resistant Glasurit 923-45 HS Clear scratch-resistant VOC 3.5 that was then applied in two coats, is also environmentally friendly and VOC compliant.

After drying for 35 minutes at a panel temperature of 60°C, it was time for another round of polishing before the clearcoat was applied again.

Manuel Burmeier and Dirk Assmus think the vehicle is now much more handsome than any World Cup trophy. Their application performance also makes them world champions. Now all the German soccer stars have to do is follow in their shoes.
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