Friday December 5, 2003

Mercedes-Benz has developed a scratch-resistant clearcoat using tiny ceramic nano-particles, each less than a millionth of a millimetre in size. The new clear lacquer is set to go into series production at Mercedes-Benz at the end of the year after four years of R&D with the E, S, CL, SL and SLK-Class series being first models to become in available with this new paint system.

The microscopic ceramic particles float around freely at first in the liquid clearcoat, before cross-linking as the drying process takes effect. The particles link in with one another in such a way as to create an extremely dense and smoothly structured network that is considerably more scratch-resistant than conventional paintwork.

According to Mercedes-Benz the nano-particles provide a three-fold improvement in the scratch resistance of the paintwork and ensure visibly enhanced gloss over an extended period of time. Following extreme tests in a laboratory car-wash, Mercedes engineers noted an around 40-percent improvement in paint gloss compared to conventional clear lacquers.

New nano-particle clearcoat will be introduced as standard for both metallic and non-metallic paint finishes.