How a powerful industry cooperation opens up new perspectives for bio-based automotive components

On the road to sustainability

The first successful application of a bio-based, high-performance automotive coating under close-to-production conditions: this is the result of a joint project by Audi, BASF and Covestro. A central component of the clearcoat, which was tested on Audi’s Q2 model, is Covestro’s renewable hardener Desmodur® eco N 7300. It consists of 70% biomass and allows the same, high performance as traditionally used materials.

Sustainable coating for sustainable car production

In the automotive industry, manufacturers and suppliers are working constantly to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions in production. A project team consisting of members of the car maker Audi, BASF’s Coatings division and materials company 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.

Improved eco-balance, high quality

Improved eco-balance, high quality BASF developed the clearcoat using the biobased hardener Desmodur® eco N 7300 from Covestro. 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.
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.”
The Audi Q2, displayed at the European Coatings Show 2017, stands as an example for high performance meeting sustainability and foreshadows a new era in automotive production.

Desmodur® eco N 7300: Benefits in a nutshell

  • Bio-based hardener
  • 70% of the hardener’s carbon content comes from renewable raw materials
  • No compromise on quality and performance
  • First car with a clear coat based on a sustainable hardener painted under near-serial conditions.
  • This new clear coat enables BASF Coatings (in general Automotive OEM paint suppliers) to support their customers in achieving their sustainability goals
  • Can be applied in existing paint shops

Learn more about the project

  • Application: Bio-based coating
    Coating supplier: BASF Coatings GmbH, Germany
    Car manufacturer: Audi AG, Germany

  • With the Audi and Lamborghini brands, the German automobile manufacturer Audi Group has long been one of the most successful car manufacturers in the premium and supercar segment. The company is bases in Ingolstadt, Germany and runs production facilities in twelve production sites worldwide.

    Visit partner website :

  • BASF is the world‘s leading chemical company. Headquartered in Ludwigshafen, Germany, BASF supplies customers in over 200 countries with products from five different segments: Chemicals, Performance Products, Functional, Materials & Solutions, Agricultural Solutions and Oil & Gas.

    Visit partner website :

  • Documents Download
    Inventing sustainable car painting for you PDF

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