Audi has announced a new patented process of matte lattering and graphics on painted surfaces for the R8 line-up. The patented process modifies surface sheen to create matte lettering and graphics, particularly for the sldeblades.
Available for the first time as part of the Audi exclusive program for R8 Coupe and Spyder models, owners are now able to make their marks on their R8s thanks to a new Audi-developed process for the partial matting of painted surfaces that enables virtually any lettering or graphics. The letters or graphics are to be precisely ‘blasted’ into the painted surface of the car’s distinctive sideblades.
A special powder roughens the clear lacquer on the surface to a depth of a few thousandths of a millimeter so that individual markings become visible, making each R8 which undergoes the process unique. As the desired symbols are applied to components after being painted, the process can easily be integrated into normal series production. This partial matting denotes flexibility of Audi’s production to implement individualization in normal series production.
Painting a car consists of; in addition to the cathodic dip coating to protect against corrosion; at least three further coats: filler, base coat and the transparent lacquer as the top protective coat. With the newly developed process, a template of the desired pattern is first placed on the component. A blasting system then sprays a special powder onto the surface, which roughens the clear lacquer to a depth of just a few thousandths of a millimeter, less than a tenth of the thickness of a human hair. This creates the effect of a matt and homogeneous pattern.
“With this process, we modify the brilliance of the paintwork and the intensity of its sheen. Light hitting the surface is then reflected diffusely by the individualised surface areas. This makes it appear matt,” explained project manager Dr. Erhard Brandl. Production section head Mirko Endres added, “This form of individualisation is weather resistant, unlike conventional lettering and stickers, and it has a much more high-quality appearance.”
The Audi paint shop can apply almost any pattern that a customer requests providing it does not affect any third-party rights. At present, components with a size up to a meter by a metre can be processed in this way. The Audi R8 super sports car in both Coupe and open-top Spyder forms is the first model for which this technology is offered through the Audi exclusive personalization program. This option will also become available for other models in the range in the future.