Case study

Desmodur® ultra hardener for safer BASF refinish coatings

BASF’s Coatings division is a leading provider of paints and coatings to the automotive refinish industry. A broad range of Covestro hardeners, including Desmodur® ultra activators, enabled BASF Coatings to upgrade its Refinish Coatings portfolio to meet new occupational safety standards on the use of isocyanates.

Enhance occupational safety in automotive refinish coatings

Customers expect automotive body shops to deliver durable, high-gloss refinish coatings on all repair work. The collision repair industry is also striving to minimize hazards in the workplace, and to meet ever tighter occupational safety and labor standards. Automotive refinish coating products must be safe to work with.
Two-coat polyurethane (2K PU) is the state-of-the-art technology for refinish paint coating systems, and BASF Coatings is known for its high-performance, more sustainable products for the automotive refinish industry. As a leading supplier, BASF Coatings has set itself the task of upgrading the occupation safety of its entire portfolio of coatings to meet the highest standards on chemical use in the European Union.

Meet new EU safety standards without loss in coating quality

The European Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) Committee voted to require special training for all employees who deal with paint and coating raw materials, including primers and coating mixings that contain a diisocyanate monomer share equal to or greater than 0.1% by weight. 
To minimize the impact on the daily operations of its body shop customers, BASF Coatings set out to upgrade its broad portfolio of conventional refinish coatings, ensuring that all relevant products fall below the new 0.1 weight % limit for residual monomeric diisocyanate content. This continues the BASF Coatings philosophy of steadily improving the environmental health and safety of its coating solutions.

Desmodur® ultra and our entire range of low monomer hardeners deliver the high-quality finish of 2K polyurethane coatings while ensuring legal compliance with more stringent REACH occupational safety regulations.

Dr. Markus Mechtel

Marketing Automotive EMEA,Covestro Deutschland AG


Desmodur® ultra: safety with 2K polyurethane performance

With its broad range of Desmodur® ultra hardeners, Covestro is a pioneer in hardeners with a residual monomer content of less than 0.1% in weight. This wide portfolio of solutions is what enabled BASF Coatings to upgrade its full range of refinish coatings. 
All BASF Automotive Refinish Coatings Solutions in Europe fall under the 0.1% diisocyanate monomer limit, which enables their body shop customers to couple the performance of conventional 2K polyurethane coatings with improved workplace safety for their employees. For BASF Coatings, the drop-in solution means no changes in formulation, allowing for a smooth and easy adoption of Desmodur® ultra products. 
Our portfolio of low monomer hardener activators delivers 2K polyurethane performance united with best-in-class industrial hygiene standards and compliance with new, more stringent occupational safety regulations for the automotive refinish industry.

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Key Benefits

  • Safer: Hardeners with low diisocyanate monomer content meet REACH occupational safety standards.
  • High-performance: Desmodur® ultra hardeners deliver 2K PU performance with enhanced hygiene.
  • Direct drop-in: Low monomer activators can be dropped in with no change in coating formulation.
  • Flexible: Desmodur® ultra hardeners can be used across the entire BASF Refinish Coatings portfolio in Europe.
  • Compliant: Ultra activators comply fully with REACH industry hygiene standards.

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