Audi R8Germany – The patented process uses a special powder to alter the sheen on a vehicle body, so that matt lettering and graphics can be created. This method will enable Audi to offer personalised side-blade designs for all R8 customers.

“With this process, we modify the brilliance of the paintwork and the intensity of its sheen,” said project manager Erhard Brandl, Audi. “Light hitting the surface is then reflected diffusely by the individualised surface areas. This makes it appear matt.”

A template of the desired pattern is placed on the component before a blasting system applies the powder, which roughens the clear lacquer on the surface to a depth of a few thousandths of a millimetre and leaves the intended markings visible. According to Audi, the results are more weather resistant than conventional lettering or stickers, and have a higher-quality appearance.

Importantly, the technique can be incorporated into normal manufacturing operations. “The method of partial matting is an excellent example of the flexibility of our production,” commented Hubert Waltl, member of the board of management for Production, Audi. “Being able to implement individualisation in normal series production is one of the aims of our smart factory.”

Audi says that the technique can be used on components up to 1 sq.m in size at present. Following the R8 Coupe and R8 Spyder, the technology will be rolled out to other models in future.