A few years ago now, jewellery with a matt surface became increasingly popular.
After automobiles with a matt finish attracted attention at trade fairs and the general public showed an interest, BMW started a project in 2006 to make automobiles with this type of finish available to customers, too.
The matt clear-coat finish used creates velvety surfaces with a high-quality look and a pleasant touch, and the technical, sporty appearance visually reflects key characteristics of the BMW brand for customers.
It took three years to develop this new surface technology, which uses silicates in a clear-coat finish as a matting agent. It was a complex process since the paint had to be fully suitable for everyday use. What is more resilience to chemicals and abrasion are required for serial production. The matt finish must not develop a shine over the course of time, and has to be able to cope with passing through a car wash, too. Even after years of use, automobiles with so-called Frozen paint finishes still have to look just as customers rightly expect them to.
In 2009, the first BMW M Automobile with a Frozen finish was presented: the BMW M6 Competition in a series of 100. To this day, automobiles with this paint finish are a very exclusive phenomenon on the roads. In 2012, over 1,000 of these gems produced at the BMW plants in Dingolfing and Regensburg will likewise enrich street scenes the world over.
On behalf of all those who already own a BMW with a Frozen finish, we spoke to Dr. Peter Siemsen, responsible for the qualification of new exterior paint finishes for automobiles in the Surface Technology department of the BMW Group: what is the correct care procedure for BMW automobiles with a Frozen paint finish?
The first and most important point: Frozen paint finishes must never be polished. And the usual waxes are also taboo.
Otherwise BMW matt paint finishes can certainly stand up to a lot in everyday use. "You can run the car through the car wash every day if you like," says Dr. Siemsen. "The paint finish can take it. That was a point we tested very early on in development. Our vehicles went through the car wash virtually every day for years. The so-called "leather trousers effect" - i.e. the development of a shine on the surface - did not appear.
Nor did any nano waxes used in car washes result in any permanent change to the matt effect. If possible, however, a car wash program should be selected without wax application.
If you wax your car yourself manually, however, you can end up with unwanted gloss effects: this is because commonly available waxes can contain abrasives. .
BMW has now developed a complete care series for these automobile gems with their silky surfaces. Why? Dr. Siemsen: "The paint finish can get soiled in a way which is difficult to remove by means of a conventional car wash - such as tree resin, insects and bird droppings. With gloss finishes, this type of deposit can simply be polished away in case of doubt. With matt lacks, however, such action would destroy the surface structure."
This is why the BMW Original CareProducts program includes a special matt paint cleaner which can be used to remove stubborn soiling of the paint finish as quickly as possible. It offers such a high level of cleaning capacity that residue can even be removed without polish.
A special matt paint shampoo is provided by BMW CareProducts for all those who prefer to wash their automobile with Frozen paint finish by hand.
From some time now, a special matt paint express wax has been available for customers who wish to provide the surface with optimum protection from environmental impact.
And a new product recently put on the market is a special matt paint nano wax with even more lasting protection.
Here it is important to note that when applying these products, no auxiliary agents may be used with a polishing effect. "This is why we have developed a special matt paint application set which includes suitable microfaser towels and sponges," says Dr. Siemsen. This avoids unwanted shine and irritating streaks.
And what happens if the paint finish does get mechanically damaged? Dr. Siemsen has reassuring advice here: "It is only necessary to partially retouch the damaged surfaces. The advantage of our matt clear-coat finishes is that this type of repair is possible. It is not necessary to repaint the entire vehicle to recreate a homogeneous surface. Incidentally, this does not apply to all paint systems available on the market. But BMW regarded this is a key focus and quality feature in the development of the Frozen paint finishes."
So all eyes will continue to be drawn to those attractive surfaces with Frozen paint finish - making them all the more exclusive.
1 Matt Paint Special Shampoo 2 Matt Paint Special Cleaner 3 Matt Paint Special Express Wax 4 Matt Paint Special Nano Wax 5 Matt Paint Applications set (2 Microfaser towels and 3 sponges)