Materials Science

Ultramid Deep Gloss wins German Innovation Award 2018

BASF’s specialty polyamide Ultramid Deep Gloss has been awarded the German Innovation Award 2018 in the category “Materials and Surfaces”. The award is presented by the German Design Council to recognise products from different industries that offer additional benefits compared to previous solutions. Introduced on the market at the end of 2017, Ultramid Deep Gloss combines the chemical resistance of semi-crystalline polyamides with the high gloss and depth of view of amorphous plastics. It is therefore particularly suitable for automotive interior components which are high-gloss and yet at the same time resistant without coating.

Components made of Ultramid Deep Gloss have a piano-black, high-gloss surface that for the first time does not require an additional, elaborate protective coating. The specialty polyamide can be used to make UV, scratch and chemically resistant high-gloss surfaces with an exciting interplay of light and shadow. It allows designers to realize unusual textures such as ripples, waves, hammer finish, lines and diamonds with a piano-black look, or structure surfaces with haptic design elements – into an integrated, functional design for the autonomous driving concepts of the future.

Ultramid Deep Gloss is suitable for components such as air vents and decorative trims, inlays in car doors, central consoles or dashboards. The requirements of the automotive industry regarding emissions and odors were also taken into account during the development. During processing, the new BASF polyamide offers interesting cost saving potentials  as it is done without vario-thermal mold technology and there is no need for the components to be coated.

Specialty polyamide wins in high-profile environment
The German Innovation Award was presented for the first time, there were 650 submissions. Only companies nominated by the German Design Council could participate. The jury consists of independent experts from industry, the scientific community, various institutions and the financial sector. The submissions were evaluated according to the categories of level of innovation, user benefits and cost effectiveness. The jury also took into account aspects such as social, ecological, and economical sustainability as well as the use of energy and resources.

“We are proud of the award”, said Xaver Hopfenspirger, project manager for Ultramid Deep Gloss at BASF. “It confirms that we hit the mark with this material: In automotive interiors the demand for piano-black surfaces is increasing. And it is to be expected that the amount of resistant, but high-quality and functionalized surfaces will rise. This trend will even intensify as a result of new operating designs in the transition to autonomous driving. So we are now also offering other colors apart from deep black to allow for different customer wishes regarding individualized car interiors.”