BASF was founded on 6 April 1865 in Mannheim, in the German-speaking country of Baden by Friedrich Engelhorn. It had been responsible for setting up a gasworks and street lighting for the town council in 1861. The gasworks produced tar as a byproduct, and Engelhorn used this for the production of dyes. BASF was set up in 1865 to produce other chemicals necessary for dye production, notably soda and acids. The plant, however, was erected on the other side of the Rhine river at Ludwigshafen because the town council of Mannheim was afraid that the air pollution of the chemical plant could bother the inhabitants of the town. In 1866 the dye production processes were also moved to the BASF site
BASF SE is the largest chemical producer in the world and is headquartered in Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF originally stood for Badische Anilin- und Soda-Fabrik (English: Baden Aniline and Soda Factory). Today, the four letters are a registered trademark and the company is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, London Stock Exchange, and Zurich Stock Exchange. The company delisted its ADR from the New York Stock Exchange in September 2007.
The BASF Group comprises subsidiaries and joint ventures in more than 80 countries and operates six integrated production sites and 390 other production sites in Europe, Asia, Australia, Americas and Africa. Its headquarters is located in Ludwigshafen am Rhein (Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany). BASF has customers in over 200 countries and supplies products to a wide variety of industries. Despite its size and global presence BASF has received relatively little public attention since abandoning its consumer product lines in the 1990s.
At the end of 2014, the company employed more than 113,000 people, with over 53,200 in Germany alone. In 2014, BASF posted sales of €74.3 billion and income from operations before special items of about €7.2 billion. The company is currently expanding its international activities with a particular focus on Asia. Between 1990 and 2005, the company invested €5.6 billion in Asia, for example in sites near Nanjing and Shanghai, China and Mangalore in India.
The primer is the first coat to be applied. The main functions of the primer are to act as a leveler and protector, and to make the base coat easier to apply to the component to which it is applied.
- As a leveler: this is important since the cab often has marks and other forms of surface defect after being manufactured in the body shop. A smoother surface is created by leveling out these defects and therefore a better final product.
- As a protector: the primer will protect from corrosion, heat differences, bumps, stone-chips, UV-light etc.
- Ease of application: by making it easier for paints to stick to the surface a more varied range of paints can be used.
The base coat is applied after the primer coat. This coat contains the visual properties of color and effects, and is usually the one referred to as the paint. Base coat used in the automotive applications is commonly divided into three categories, solid, metallic, pearlescent colors.
- The solid paints has no sparkle effects except the color. This is the easiest type of paint to apply, and the most common type of paint for heavy transportation vehicles, construction equipment and aircraft. It is also widely used on cars, trucks, and motorcycles.
- The metallic paints contains aluminium flakes to create a sparkling and grainy effect, or as people generally refer as a metallic look. This paint is harder to manage than the solid paints because of the extra dimensions to consider. Metallic and pearl paints must be applied evenly to ensure a consistent looking finish without light and dark spots which are often called "mottling".
- Pearlescent Paints contain special iridescent pigments commonly referred to as "pearls". Pearl pigments impart a colored sparkle to the finish which works to create depth of color. Pearlescent paints can be two stage in nature (pearl base color + clear) or 3 stage in nature (basecoat + pearl midcoat + clearcoat).
Usually sprayed on top of a colored basecoat, clearcoat is a glossy and transparent coating that forms the final interface with the environment. For this reason, clearcoat must be durable enough to resist abrasion and chemically stable enough to withstand UV light. Clearcoat can be either solvent or water-borne. One part and two part formulations are often referred to as 1k and 2k respectively.