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  Mercedes-Benz CL65 Alubeam Chrome Paint

Polished Silver Paint Job - Alubeam

Alubeam - Chrome Paint

Mercedes-Benz, together with BASF has developed a new paint that is called Alubeam. The new 2008 Mercedes-Benz CL 65 AMG will be the first one to wear it. Chrome, polished silver, it's mirror like shine can't be missed. How do they do it? Well at $10,000 per paint job, very carefully.

No robots here, all the painting is done by trained experts. Each car is painstakingly coated with extra reduced paint that contains super-small aluminum flakes. The flakes in the standard metallic paint measure from 100 to 300 nanometers and this special paint has flakes that measure from 30 to 50 nanometers. It's like spraying liquid metal.

Alubeam - Chrome Paint

The most important task for the painter is to make sure that all the aluminum flakes lay down flat so when the light hits the car's body it will reflect uniformly creating a mirror like effect. As shown in the image above, the flakes in the standard paint end up randomly bunched up on the car surface which is why the light gets scattered around and the paint has a look of brushed or dull silver color. In this new paint the flakes lay down flat and reflect the light evenly. The image I created above is obviously exaggerated but it illustrates how this works clearly.

Because of the amount of reducing required in the application process this paint is currently illegal in the United States. PPG is currently working on creating a similar paint which is more environmentally friendly and developing automatic application solutions.



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Updated August 7, 2007
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