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Tailor-made materials for a long-lasting, solid and weather-resistant automotive exterior

From headlamp housings via door handles to the roof – BASF´s engineering plastics, polyurethanes and additives offer for all exterior applications the right combination of lightweight, appearance, functionality and system costs.

Elastolit<sup>®</sup> Automotive Window

Polyurethanes and Engineering Plastics

BASF´s plastics portfolio covers a wide range of materials for the automotive exterior: Elastolit® R and COLO-FAST® R are polyurethane systems for flat and complex components like glass roofs, body panels and structural components. The engineering plastics Ultradur® and Ultramid® as well as the thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) Elastollan® enable long-lasting components that are UV and weather resistant, withstand high temperatures and show attractive design.

Our versatile PU systems and engineering plastics for the automotive exterior

With their versatile properties and unlimited applications possibilities, our PU systems can make the automotive exterior safer, lighter and more robust. BASF polyurethanes can be adjusted to many different densities, they can be flexible or stiff and they are resistant to hot and cold temperatures. The engineering plastics Ultramid® and Ultradur® combine strength and stiffness with good UV-stability, resistance to agressive media and good surface quality especially for different kinds of attached parts and their special requirements.

Elastolit® R and COLO-FAST® R are compact systems with exceptional flowability for large and complex components like automotive sun- or panorama roofs, body panels or structural parts. Typically, they are processed in closed injection processes like RIM (reaction injection molding) and RTM (resin transfer molding). These materials are adjusted to high reactivity and therefore allow very short demolding times. Depending on the part requirements, they can be either tough-elastic or rigid and high-strength. The latter are often combined with reinforcing short fibers to achieve special properties. High-quality parts with a UV- and weather-resistant surface can be obtained, but even paintability to achieve Class A surface requirements is given.  

The low-density Elastoflex® E and Elastolit® D semi-structural foams are designed for producing very light and stiff composite as well as sandwich structures for various interior and exterior applications such as load floors, interior lining parts, roof modules and engine hoods. Reinforced with long-glass fibers in state-of-the-art composite processes, thin-walled parts with good mechanical properties yet light in weight can be realized. Such composite substrates can be combined with various surface materials like textiles or thermoplastic films, either by back-foaming or glueing.

Where conventional materials reach their limits, Elastollan® in vehicles can make all the difference. It is noted for its excellent haptics and mechanics, as well as its superior long-term durability and resistance to weathering. It gives freedom for a lot of design possibilities. Its strength lies in its versatility: the properties of Elastollan® can be readjusted and recombined time and again – depending on the application and the specific requirements of the component. For example, it shows high temperature as well as good media resistance and has superior dynamic properties. Its damping behavior is excellent as is its resistance against abrasion, scratch and wear.

Lighting bezels made of Ultradur® S4090 G4/G6 can show a textured surface or metallic effects. They are also the material of choice for perfectly fitting headlamp and foglamp housings.

The Ultramid® grades B3WG6 GIT and B3GM35 are the materials of choice for exterior door handles when excellent surface quality and mechanical performance are required. Ultramid® B3GM35 is a coloured, UV-stabilized compound which fulfills several OEM specifications for exterior purposes. Ultramid® B3WG6 GIT is also optimized for high flowability and good paintability.  

BASF offers Ultradur® S4090 G4 and Ultradur® B4040 with different glass fiber contents and with good flowability for exterior roof parts. There are different grades for visible as well as non-visible sunroof frames and covers as well as for wind deflectors.  

Ultradur® B4040 G10 is a high-strength and high-stiffness PBT for replacing metal conventionally used as base or bracket of exterior mirrors as well as for LED module frames within modern headlamps. 

The Ultradur® grades B4560, B4570 and B4580 fulfill different demands posed on lighting systems: With the PBT Ultradur® B4560 bezels can be directly metallized and that with excellent surface quality. Ultradur® B4570 and B4580 are premium PBT grades with excellent fogging behavior and demolding properties.

Possible applications for our PU systems and Engineering Plastics for the automotive exterior

Whatever your specific needs for your exterior application or attached part: BASF connects new material developments and services in order to create system solutions which give your exterior application the distinctive advantage, look and durability.

Application in a serial vehicle: Airbumps® in the Citroën C3

Optimum combination of design and safety

After the technology was introduced as standard in the Citroën C4 Cactus, the automotive manufacturer PSA Peugeot Citroën uses the TPU grade Elastollan® AC 55D10 HPM (High Performance Material) for cladding the Citroën C3 with so-called Airbumps®. These are large air-filled cushion bumpers: They are fitted on the sides as well as on the front and rear of the vehicle, protect the car exterior from impact and scratches and give the vehicle its distinctive look.


Competence in lighting components

New lighting technologies and design elements raised the challenges for headlights and the materials in vehicles. With a wide range of engineering plastics, BASF keeps pace with the latest development. Spot on for a variety of Ultradur® grades for the housing, bezel and LED module frame or the thermal resistant Ultrason® for reflectors.

Housing, Lighting

Plastic Additives

Exterior plastic parts for bumpers, rocker panels, fenders and tailgates increase impact resistance, improve design options for better styling and reduce air resistance. Plastics also enable various functions to be integrated into a single part, resulting in lower manufacturing and assembly cost.
Resistance to weathering is a crucial requirement for exterior plastic parts. BASF’s range of light stabilizers maintains the appearance and mechanical properties of a vehicle by providing protection against degradation.


Vehicle windows and windshields are becoming larger and panoramic roofs are growing in popularity. The impact properties of the windshield are provided by a polymer interlayer requiring a light stabilizer system. BASF light stabilizers protect the interior of the vehicle from damaging ultraviolet light. To meet the stringent long-term requirements in automotive, Polycarbonate (PC) applications such as glazing require dedicated light stabilization. BASF’s Tinuvin®, Chimassorb® and Uvinul® light stabilizers protect head and taillights, glazing and laminated windows against all sorts of weather conditions that lead to loss of mechanical properties and discoloration of surfaces. Therefore, they help increase safety, durability and appearance of vehicles.

Artega Doorframe
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