New Lexus Paint Inspired By A Butterfly

“Structural Blue” is the result of research into how technology can produce a finish that is deeper, more vibrant and “bluer” than anything seen before.

The Lexus research team’s inspiration for the new colour Structural Blue came from the American Morpho butterfly which is known for the deep, shimmering blue of its wings.

First presented on the Lexus LC grand tourer at the 2016 Geneva motor show, it has now been developed for production. Due to the intricate technologies and fine quality of the process, only two Structural Blue cars can be produced in a working day at the Lexus Motomachi factory, where the LC is produced.

The 15-year quest to develop Structural Blue was a collaboration between the company’s US and Japanese technical centres along with California-based VIAVI Solutions Inc., a provider of thin-film optical coatings and pigments.

Lexus said the creation of Structural Blue is an achievement that presented exceptional technical challenges. In the company’s search to create the new colour, the team studied the structure of the Morpho butterfly’s wings to determine how a similar iridescent effect could be achieved with vehicle paint.

Despite their appearance, the wings are colourless. The blue seen by the human eye is created by light interference on the microscopic lattice surface structure of the butterfly’s wings.

Replicating such high luminance and colour saturation required unprecedented efforts to develop a new kind of multi-layered pigment. At first it seemed the challenge was simply too great; the desired quality could be secured only by using a pigment with 40 separate layers. But the team persevered, constantly improving the process until the effect could be achieved with just seven layers, making it practical for use on highly exclusive vehicles.

The pigment is used to produce a new paint in a production process taking eight months, including 12 production steps and 20 quality inspections. The paint is applied to the LC’s bodywork in a 15-micrometre layer between the primer and clear coats. Nano-structures – super-small flakes – in the paint generate iridescence, giving the impression of the colour constantly changing with the light.

Conventional pigment paints reflect less than 50 per cent of incoming light as a visible blue colour, but with Structural Blue the level is nearly 100 per cent. In total, 300g pigment with 300 billion pigment flakes are used for one LC.

LC models in Structural Blue will feature a cabin presented in the LC’s Breezy Blue colour combination, with a mid-blue semi-aniline leather for the upper door trims, steering wheel, instrument panel and centre armrest. This contrasts with white fine leather-accented seat upholstery and vivid orange for the shift lever surround and the draped Alcantara door panels. The headlining is also finished in Alcantara.

In Australia, Structural Blue will be offered in extremely limited numbers on the LC flagship from the first quarter of next year.

Auto Repairs Direct Running Big Sale

Auto Repairs Direct, an industry “new kid on the block,” was established in Australia some 18 months ago to provide the next wave of body shop owners, purchasing managers, panel beater specialists and general DIY shed warriors an online alternative in the quest for buying affordable and quality auto refinish products. The company is now offering 20 per cent off all its products for visitors who sign up for an account.

The company says it was established to serve the needs of busy shops with growing customer demands. As body shops gradually accept the idea of purchasing stock online, Auto Repairs Direct says it hopes to be just ahead of the curve in the automotive refinish industry, with the aim of supplying all major customers nationally.

The company’s customer base was modest to begin with – when it first started, online procurement was only beginning – but now, 18 months later, Auto Repairs Direct’s customer base is in the thousands and the owners say they couldn’t be happier with what they’re providing.

Now, Auto Repairs Direct is launching a 20 per cent off storewide campaign for any customer who simply signs up to the company’s website. According to the company, it wants to grow a community of “great” customers, in return offering “some unbeatable prices to help garner the bond between online store and customer”. Auto Repairs Direct says it also plans to build a content side to its website that includes referrals for the best body shops around Australia, DIY information and a forum for experts and newcomers to connect and share hints and tips.

Auto Repairs Direct’s range can be found at

The Jollift 1330 Fast Repair Bench

Looking for a space saving repair bench with all the features of a large bench? Can you park a car over the top of your current repair bench?  With the Jollift 1330 Fast Repair Bench you can now equip each work bay with a quality European-manufactured car bench.

The flexibility of the modular design means that multiple benches can share one pull post, one set of clamps and one set of wheel stands which makes it totally affordable for each work bay to have its own repair bench. The Jollift 1330 is ideal for small to medium repairs and while it can be used for stripping, refitting and pulling repairs it is also a great tool for estimating.

The SAPE Group has been representing Jollift benches in Australia for many years. They’re made in Italy by the FI.TIM Company, and these benches have been a great success for SAPE. The best part about the Jollift 1330 Bench is the ability to ‘mix and match’ any combination of components to suit your body shop’s needs. “We have customers who have purchased three benches with lifts but only two sill clamp sets and one pulling post,” say the staff at the SAPE Group. “It is a very versatile unit which doesn’t take up much space, but when lowered to its 100mm height does not take up the car bay. It is low enough that a car can be parked over the top of it.”

The company says the modular Jollift 1330 Bench is the perfect combination for the body shop and fi t up area. To find out more call (02) 9772 9013 or visit

New Specialty Reducers From ChemSpec USA Offer A Universal Appeal

ChemSpec USA has recently launched its new Metalux® Universal System Reducers 1156/1157/1158 into the Australian market. These premium reducers offer exemplary overall performance for all climates and provides optimum metallic control.

Following the acquisition by Axalta Coating Systems in 2015, ChemSpec USA has a renewed focus on growing and strengthening its relationships with customers in Australia. This includes reviewing opportunities to ehance the product range and deliver benefits to customers. The new Metalux Universal System Reducers can be used across the Metalux range, including the Metalux Basecoat, 2K Single Stage, Undercoats and Clear Coats, which means less stock holding and better inventory turnover for shops and distributors.

The new range of universal reducers includes, 1156 (FAST), 1157 (Medium) and 1158 (Slow) and are available in quarts (0.95L), gallons (3.79L) and 5-gallon(18.95L) pails.

For more information please contact your ChemSpec USA distributor or ChemSpec USA representative Corey Smith on 0419 552 868  or email [email protected]

The new Metalux® Universal System Reducers.

Tesla Approves Pro Spot PR-5 Riveting System

Pro Spot announced Tesla’s global approval of the PR-5 Riveting System and the Tesla die kit for collision repairs on Tesla vehicles. The approved Tesla Die Kit includes SPR (Installation & Removal), Flow Form Rivet (Hole Preparation and Installation) and Structural Blind Rivets (Installation) and more.

Options are available for new customers as well as existing PR-5 owners.

Contact your local Pro Spot distributor for more information:

Autoliner Australia on (02) 9603 8100 or email [email protected]

New Bigfoot Mille LK 900E Gear Driven Dual Action Polisher

The latest addition to the range of RUPES random orbital and rotary polishers is the Gear Drive Dual Action Polisher BIGFOOT Mille LK 900E.

The Mille, belonging to the BIGFOOT family of polishing tools, provides an optimized balance of power, ergonomics, efficiency and capability for operators who crave a gear driven solution. The BIGFOOT Mille delivers powerful defect removal, versatility, and consistent performance in an ergonomic package, designed with operator comfort and efficiency of work in mind.The revolutionary clockwise rotational movement allows increased levels of control and comfort for the operator. This feature distinguishes the Mille from the competitive tools which often featuring a counter- clockwise movement that is known to increase unwanted lateral movement and create operator fatigue.

The new BigFoot Mille LK 900E includes a progressive trigger to provide more precise control of speed through the entire range. The trigger, together with the variable speed dial, allows the operator to deliver the exact desired tool speed and to adjust quickly as needed, without interrupting the polishing process. Every aspect of the Mille has been considered in the design, even when the tool is not being used. Two rubber supports are positioned on the body of the machine to keep it stable when resting on a table or cart. The new extra long 9 meter cord, included as standard on the LK 900E, allows for better maneuverability within a work space, saving valuable steps and eliminating the hassle of extension cords.

The RUPES BigFoot Mille also allows the use of two different pad diameters, 125mm and 150mm, making the new polisher incredibly versatile for numerous polishing operations. The backing pad system has been carefully engineered to maintain the same low vibration performance regardless of the diameter of the backing pad installed.

As with all the BigFoot family of polishers, the new Mille LK 900E Gear Driven Dual Action Polisher is offered as a complete polishing system. Newly designed foam profiles, revolutionary new wool pad technology, and two completely new polishing compounds, all designed to work in harmony with the unique movement of gear driven dual action polishers have been developed and manufactured in house by RUPES.

For more information, visit Rupes website at

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DeBeer Refinish 8-245 HS Direct To Metal Primer Surfacer

Valspar Automotive recently launched the new 8-245 Direct to Metal Primer Surfacer during the Collision Repair Expo held last month at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

DeBeer Refinish 8-245 HS Direct to Metal Primer Surfacer is a two component, high solids, isocyanate-free, multi-use direct-to metal primer surfacer. Valspar says it has been designed to provide the highest performance in productivity, versatility, adhesion, durability, moisture and corrosion resistance. 8-245 HS Direct to Metal Primer Surfacer has “superior” sanding and sealing characteristics and may be used both as a high build sanding surfacer and as a wet-on-wet non-sanding primer.

Universal, Multi-Substrate Primer Technology

8-245 HS Direct to Metal Primer Surfacer is designed for application direct to a vast number of substrates. This feature provides significant benefits for body shops resulting in both labour and material savings. Multi substrate repairs can be primed with the one product cutting down on the number of process steps required for repairs.

8-245 Direct to Metal (DTM) Primer can be applied to suitably-prepared mild steel, aluminium, galvanised steel, fibreglass, sheet moulding composite (SMC), unsanded e-Coat and existing OEM finishes.

8-245 HS Direct to Metal Primer Surfacer is not only a high build sanding surfacer, but it can also be used as a high productivity wet-on-wet system. Other features including the following:

High Build Primer

The unique curing mechanism of 8-245 HS Direct to Metal Primer Surfacer allows the user to sand the primed surface in less than 90 minutes at 20°C, reducing the cycle time for priming and sanding processes, meaning increased productivity in the body shop. This feature may also reduce energy consumption as the need for baking is minimised.

Wet-on-Wet Finishing

Valspar says the wet-on-wet capabilities of 8-245 HS Direct to Metal Primer Surfacer are also designed to impress. With only a 12 minute flash off time, jobs can be primed and basecoated in minimal time. Compared to traditional processes, wet-on-wet finishing reduces downtime, allowing better spray booth utilisation and reducing cycle times.

Time and Material Savings

The use of a traditional wash / etch primer for corrosion protection as an initial priming step is no longer required with 8-245 HS Direct to Metal Primer Surfacer. This saves time in preparation, mixing, application and clean-up.

Reduced Inventory

Fewer primers are required by the body shop, resulting in reduced inventory holding and less product wastage when swapping between substrates.

Increased Productivity

8-245 HS Direct to Metal Primer Surfacer is designed to reduce job times – a key requirement for highly time-sensitive body shops. Productivity savings include:

   â€¢ Reduced mixing and wastage of primers as one primer may be used for many substrates
   â€¢ No sanding required for new e-Coat panels
   â€¢ Fast drying. Dry to sand in only 90 minutes at 20°C
   â€¢ Wet-on-wet finishing with a short 12 minute flash off time

To find out more about DeBeer Refinish 8-245 HS Direct to Metal Primer Surfacer, contact your local DeBeer Refinish distributor or call Valspar Automotive on (02) 4368 4054.