MÜNSTER, Germany — BASF has started up a plant for coating foils on the company’s site in Münster, Germany. The Minister of Economics, Innovation, Digitalization and Energy of the German federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Professor Andreas Pinkwart, and Münster’s Lord Mayor Markus Lewe were at the site to mark the start up. Innovative materials applied layer by layer in an ultra-thin coat give foils additional properties, thus functionalizing them. BASF developed the innovative coating technology and the first product – a barrier foil – within a very short time. These barrier foils protect items such as thin-film photovoltaics from harmful environmental stresses.

“For these foils, we have joined forces with international partners to develop new applications and are also considering functions beyond barriers,” explained Jörg Lenz, head of the Beyond Paint business unit.

Professor Pinkwart said, “The chemical industry is a driver of innovations. It lays crucial foundations and is indispensable for coping with the responsibilities we face. Whether it’s climate change and the energy transition, food for the world’s population or mobility, chemistry’s innovations make progress possible. BASF’s new coatings technology is a good example of this, since the foils extend the service life of photovoltaic units.”

With this technology, BASF’s Coatings division is entering a new business area and is tapping into additional market segments. “This investment will strengthen the Münster site as the headquarters of the Coatings division and will help it position itself strategically for the future. At the same time, Münster’s significance as an industrial and technical location will increase,” said Münster’s Lord Mayor Lewe.

Other areas of application for the foils include OLED displays and thin-film batteries.