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Desmodur® eco makes bio-based clearcoat competitive

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As one of the largest coating manufacturers worldwide, PPG Industries Europe Sàrl is constantly looking for innovative solutions aimed at achieving the highest quality standards while respecting the environment. Looking back at a long and fruitful business relationship, PPG and Covestro were excited to renew their collaboration for a very ambitious project: the invention of a high-performance refinish clearcoat based on renewable materials.

Task

Test a bio-based clearcoat solution under extreme conditions

As the sponsor of the so-called Sonnenwagen project, Covestro had the perfect opportunity to test a bio-based clearcoat under harshest conditions. Developed by students of the German RWTH Aachen University, Sonnenwagen is a solar-powered car that competed in the 2017 World Solar Challenge. The “toughest solar race on earth” covers more than 3,000 km across Australia, and aims to promote research on solar-powered cars. 
The high-performance renewable clearcoat for the Sonnenwagen is based on our Desmodur® eco N hardener.
Challenge

Develop a bio-based yet robust refinish clearcoat

Our long-time partner PPG contributed their expertise to the project by developing a new bio-based clearcoat using our raw materials. This advanced solution needed to withstand extreme conditions during the race, including extremely high temperatures, UV radiation and air dust content.

In times of growing electro mobility, we want to succeed in establishing eco-friendly alternatives to traditionally used materials.

Alban d’Épenoux

Marketing Director, PPG Refinish EMEA

Solution

Ultra-durable clearcoat with bio-based Desmodur® eco N 7300

The isocyanate hardener Desmodur® eco N 7300 from Covestro was chosen as a key component of the clearcoat. 70 percent of the hardener’s carbon content is sourced from biomass instead of fossil fuels, which reduces the carbon footprint of the clearcoat hardener by around 30 percent – without any compromise in performance or quality. “In times of growing electro mobility, we want to succeed in establishing eco-friendly alternatives to traditionally used materials,” says Alban d’Épenoux, Marketing Director at PPG Refinish EMEA. The carbon-fiber body of the solar car was coated with the novel, bio-based refinish clearcoat in a five-day application process at the PPG Training Center in Hilden, Germany. The outcome was excellent, as Dirk Czub, Technical Training Manager at PPG, sums up: “With Desmodur® eco, we are using a bio-based hardener in our clearcoat for the first time. In terms of both the application process and the required capabilities, this hardener delivers a high performance that does not differ from conventional solutions on the market!” 

With Desmodur® eco, we are using a bio-based hardener in our clearcoat for the first time. In terms of both the application process and the required capabilities, this hardener delivers a high performance that does not differ from conventional solutions on the market!

Dirk Czub

Technical Training Manager, PPG Industries Europe Sàrl 

Why Desmodur® eco N 7300 was the right solution for the Sonnenwagen

  • High renewable content: 70% of the carbon content of Desmodur® eco N 7300 is sourced from biomass.
  • Low carbon footprint: Around 30% reduction in carbon footprint.
  • 100% performance: Same outstanding performance as fossil-based alternatives.
  • Ease of application: Same application process as conventional market solutions.

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