BASF Coatings’ paints used to customize private jets
Dream technicians work with Glasurit® paints
Münster/Hamburg. BASF Coatings’ Glasurit® brand paints are ready for take-off. When Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg wants to customize the private jets of VIPs, BASF Coatings’ paints are on board. Before the “Dream Technicians”, as the Lufthansa Technik magazine recently dubbed them, send up the VIPs in their customized private jets, they design the planes both inside and outside so precisely and with so much attention to detail, that the client’s personality is perfectly reflected. When designing the interior décor, the designers rely on BASF Coatings’ paints and colors. They not only decorate the interior of the cabin, but also need to meet the strictest air safety regulations. We paid a visit to the airplane refinishers at their site at the Hamburg Fuhlsbüttel airport.
The buildings and workshops located near the airstrip at Hamburg Airport go by the name of “Completion Center”. Engineer Jochen Bauch is the manager of the Interior Workshop. Calling what he and his colleagues create a “dream world” is an understatement. The team’s definite strength is the high level of individuality of the jets that roll out of their hangars. Paints and colors are a central, eye-catching design element in this customizing process. A mosaic for achieving this goal is the energetic support, service, continuous availability, and just as important, the supply of paints by BASF Coatings in Münster. Closely connected to the Lufthansa-BASF Coatings’ partnership is Coatings’ employee Theo Kötter, color formulator and employee at the Automotive Refinish/Commercial Transport Coatings Solutions unit. With a great deal of personal commitment, decades of know-how as a BASF Coatings’ employee, as well as a love of “design” and “airplanes”, he works with Katrin Schumillas (Technical Design Lufthansa Technik) to find solutions for all the demands posed by Lufthansa Technik’s customers and their customers, the clients who order the designing of private jets.
Just recently, the latest creation among the approximately 40 planes designed by Lufthansa Technik left the hangar in Hamburg. It was a dream come true, that proudly left the ground after two years (!) of highly intensive work, some of which was carried out in three shift-per-day operations. Here are just a few details: The texture and paints were precisely coordinated with the rest of the interior such as floor coverings, window trim (some with pearl effect) and so-called credenzas, which combine shelves and storage space on the side walls, or any special features you can imagine. Here are some examples of extra features that are outside Joe Public’s range: different temperature zones in the different areas, such as bedrooms, dining rooms, living rooms, and conference rooms, 50-inch plasma screens in many locations, a complete entertainment package with perfect acoustics, room dividers made of polished glass, heated towel racks, showers and bidets, a one-of-a kind bar, artistic lighting, and so much more. For the three-member cockpit team, there is even an exclusively designed crew room. A fantastic guest suite on the upper deck of the plane including bathrooms and bedrooms awaits any guests who may be on board.
“We only use high-quality materials,” says Bauch. And that’s where BASF Coatings’ paints come into the game – a game where money is no object, but quality and aesthetics play a major role. Right at the outset, the Coatings’ products had to pass various fire tests. The trim and the furniture are subjected to a Bunsen burner for 60 seconds. The small fire then has to extinguish itself within 15 seconds. The application itself posed a new challenge. The first test was coping with the material used for the furniture, usually so-called honeycombs, which are sturdy paper honeycombs that are soaked and covered with a protective film. These honeycombs have completely different properties than the automotive products that BASF Coatings’ usually deals with. “But in this case we also guarantee good hiding power and durability,” says Kötter. And it goes without saying that he guarantees a wide range of colors: During the completion of the recently delivered “jumbo”, 44 colors were used for the interior of the plane – most of them subdued, matte colors like gray, beige, and anthracite in all possible hues.
Once the surfaces have been sanded, and the filler surfacer and Glasurit® 22 and 55 Line paints have been applied, six to eight layers of clearcoat are required. Not to mention the final polishing. “In order to bring about effects like the appearance of a windless sea (as opposed to a sea with waves), we need good refinishers and polishers, and of course, the best paint,” says Bauch. From Münster, Kötter sees to it that the color matching is spot on. Using the color samples sent to him, he identifies the colors and creates spray-outs. Here’s a final example: “We need spray-outs of RAL 1013 pearl white – twice in mat, twice in satin, and twice in high gloss,” as requested by Lufthansa Technik. Theo Köffer delivered . . . just as he’ll continue to do in the future.
In addition to designing other Boeing 747, 737, MD11, Airbus A319, and A320s, as well as “Bombadiers”, work is continuing on a large scale as well. The design blueprints for the new Airbus A380 are moving in a whole new dimension. For the first time, the designers and employees of the Completion Center have the opportunity to use two entire decks for a completion. They constitute a cabin area of 602 square meters. No wonder the new jet’s name is A380 VVIP: for very, very important persons. On that note, Have a great flight!
BASF : A major international player in coatings
BASF Coatings AG belongs to the global Coatings Division of the BASF Group. In 2005 the Coatings Division achieved world sales of about 2.2 billion euros. The Coatings Division develops, produces and markets a high-quality range of innovative automotive OEM coatings, automotive refinishes and industrial coatings as well as decorative paints, and also the processes needed to apply them. In this business, eco-efficient water-based, powder and high-solids coatings as well as radiation-curable systems play a special part. In Brazil, the company has been successful in the decorative paints market for years and holds the leading position. BASF has a major, global presence in the Coatings sector, with significant market positions in Europe, North America, South America and the Asia/Pacific region, for example with affiliates in Australia, China, India, Japan, and the Philippines. The internet address of BASF Coatings is www.basf-coatings.com
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