Win A Dominator Kit

Valspar Automotive Australia is pleased to announce its “Why Do you Need Dominator?” competition! There is over $1000 worth of prizes to be won!

Prizes on offer

Win 1 of 5 Dominator Kits. The winner may choose between a black or tintable kit.

How to enter

Simply take a photo of an object that is in need of Dominator Urethane Liner and post the photo to the Valspar Automotive Australia Facebook wall with an explanation why. There are no limitations on how many times you can enter or what items you can submit, so get creative!

Entries will be judged on practicality and creativity.

Terms and conditions

To be eligible you must be an Australia resident over the age of 18. All entries must list why they need Dominator Urethane Liner. Multiple entries are allowed, however there is a maximum of one prize per person.

For full Terms and Conditions visit

Closing date

Competition closes on Monday 1st August 2016 at 23:59:59 AEST. Winners will be notified on 2nd August 2016.

Competition is conducted by Valspar Automotive Australia Pty Ltd. ABN 41080461230

Trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Nothing Gets Through The Dominator

They say it’s not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog. Bad news for the other dogs, Dominator has both. The urethane based Dominator Tray and Body Liner features superior coverage, outstanding chalking resistance and easy application with a tintable formula option. Dominator sets a new standard in resin technology for unmatched toughness, solvent resistance and durability.

Dominator Features
No measuring necessary

The Dominator mixing process involves simply mixing part A with part B. As no measuring is required, the process saves time and reduces potential for mistakes.

Excellent UV durability

In a 1000 hour UV lab test, Dominator out performed other products on the market by retaining its rich deep colour whilst the others started to noticeably chalk and fade.

Excellent colour match on tintable product

Dominator is closer to the solid colour OEM finish colour match than other competitors in the market with only 10 pre cent tintload.

Superior gloss

Dominator has noticeably higher gloss which helps to make the finish closer to the sheen of the OEM finish especially on the tintable version. In a 1000 hour UV lab test the leading market competitor lost 38 per cent of its gloss while Dominator only lost one per cent. So not only does Dominator start with more gloss, it also continues to look better for longer.

High solvent resistance

No need to worry about leaks while hauling! Dominator is resistant to a wide range of common solvents and chemicals ensuring a long lasting durable finish.

Textured high build finish

Dominator’s textured high build finish gives you the highest level of protection, yet with still excellent coverage rates. The textured finish not only looks good but hides minor surface imperfections. One kit will cover a standard ute tray (approx. 6.5m2).

Long pot life

Dominator has a 45 minute pot life (working time) which allows for time for touch-ups, which are sometimes necessary. For more information on Dominator, speak with your local Valspar Automotive distributor or contact Valspar Automotive on (02) 4368 4054.

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team Relies On Spies Hecker

Mercedes-AMG Petronas, the reigning World Constructors’ Champions based in Brackley, England, is passionate about the Spies Hecker paint used on its race cars and team trucks. Spies Hecker is one of the three global premium brands of Axalta Coating Systems (NYSE: AXTA), a leading global manufacturer of liquid and powder coatings.

“It’s important that the race cars look great on the track and that our sponsors’ logos are displayed clearly. But what is exceptionally critical for us are the weight of the paint, the speed of its application and the ability of the entire paint system to be used over and over again, all season, season after season, with the same great results. Spies Hecker delivers that for us,” says Andrew Moody, Head of Paint and Graphics, MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One™ Team.

This season – which sees 21 Grands Prix over eight months – the W07 car, in addition to new external body parts and wings, is sporting a new design in the instantly-recognisable colours from 2015. The 2016 race car has eight colours, none of which are commercially available: three shades of green and five shades of the main colour, called Stirling Silver, after Stirling Moss who drove for Mercedes in 1955.

Thousands of hours and thousands of parts

With such an intricate livery on the car, Moody and his team face tough challenges. “It takes about 150 hours to paint a race car, with the nose and rear wing each taking about 12 hours,” says Moody.

Over the course of this season, they will paint literally thousands of panels and components, sometimes as many as 150 in one week. “The speed of application and reliability is essential; we don’t have time to accept anything less than perfect,” he says.

Work to smooth

Each part, particularly the aerodynamically-sensitive parts, requires a huge amount of attention to detail. The substrates of the race car vary depending on whether they are of a structural or of a cosmetic nature, and this impacts how the part is painted and its bake cycle. But regardless of the part or of the substrate, two things always hold true.

“For us everything is about weight and aerodynamics. Carbon fibre, for example, can be tricky, as it can be porous. So we have to get a lovely finish with the minimum weight of paint. The acceptable tolerances for an aerodynamic part might be 0.3mm, which would be miniscule for most refinishers. That can be hard to determine visually in the spray booth, so we have a “work to smooth” rule,” explains Moody.

The team in Paint and Graphics use a variety of Spies Hecker products on the race cars, which can all be used by bodyshops in their everyday work. The team often start with Priomat® Wash Primer 4075. Permasolid® HS Vario Primer Surfacer 5340, or Permasolid® HS Performance Surfacer 5320 are then used before the application of Permahyd® Hi-TEC Base Coat 480.

Moody says, “we finish the components off with one of two Spies Hecker clearcoats. Permasolid® HS Optimum Plus Clear Coat 8650 is a hugely reliable clearcoat and we use it on many parts. But for parts we need to get done and dried quickly, we trust the new Permasolid® HS Speed Clear Coat 8800. It’s a fantastic High Solids clearcoat that’s very, very fast.”

To ensure the race cars remain as aerodynamically sound as possible, 80 per cent of the sponsors’ logos are airbrushed onto the paint, including the iconic Mercedes-Benz star on the front of the nose.

“Airbrushing the star is a fantastically creative skill, but we need repeatability, consistency and accuracy. The star takes nearly an hour to complete, and there are 30 different stages in the process, but only four colours: blue, brown, white and black.”

Work doesn’t stop after the race

After every race, the Build Department strips the cars and then the individual parts are sent to Moody’s team in the paint shop. The parts are checked carefully and then usually repainted.

It may seem rather excessive to refinish the entire car after every race, but as Moody explains, there are valid reasons for it. “Consider qualifying or racing somewhere like Abu Dhabi or Bahrain, where there is a lot of sand in the air. Given the speeds at which the cars go, the paint can almost look sandblasted after a while on track. Or, if a piece of gravel hits our car, it can take a piece out of the body, or can cause craters and nicks in the paint, which certainly will interfere with our aerodynamics. It goes back to how aerodynamically important it is to “work to smooth”, even after a race.”

Not just race cars

Spies Hecker paint isn’t reserved just for the race cars though. There are eight team trucks that are painted with Spies Hecker about every two years. And Moody’s team paints hundreds, if not thousands, of garage and hospitality boards, as well as everything from grid trollies and water bottles, to the engineer’s station on the pit wall.

Joachim Hinz, Spies Hecker Brand Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa, says, “we have a long-standing relationship with Andrew Moody and his team so we understand the pressure they are under and, in turn, the requirement that our products must meet, day after day, season after season. We’re very proud that we can deliver the results they need so that the team can deliver on the track.”

New DNA Custom Paints Fluorescent Basecoats

DNA Custom Paints says that customer feedback has led to a new range of Fluorescent Basecoats being released. After many emails, phone calls and requests for fluorescent colours, DNA has now released its latest custom creation for 2016. Five new fluorescent colour basecoats – Green, Yellow, Orange, Red and Pink – have been added to the ever growing range of Australian-made custom paints. The new fluorescent basecoats are high quality, easy to use and affordable.
DNA Technical & Training Manager Josh Schuster says that fluorescent paints are now in great demand and the company is proud to be the specialist paint company in Australia that tooled up and delivered. Schuster particularly points to the boating industry, mentioning that safety rules in Australia require all racing helmets used on water to be fluorescent red in colour.
The new Fluorescent Basecoat colours are comprised of a semi-transparent basecoat that is applied over a white groundcoat to achieve the fluorescent colour effect. They are available in one litre cans online and from all DNA Custom Paint distributors.
For more information contact DNA Custom Paints on 03 9764 2088, or visit

HERE Maps To Offer Real-Time Digital Service

Intelligent real-time maps, location-based services and highly-automated driving: the future of mobility lies in a digitized world – one that can be reached through the products and services of HERE. First-rate maps and a new understanding of location-based services are the foundation for HERE to continue on its successful growth course – as an open, independent and value creating company. This is to the benefit of the many hundreds of HERE customers from multiple industries.

AUDI AG, BMW Group and Daimler AG will provide strong support for this development as new HERE shareholders. The three premium manufacturers successfully concluded the acquisition of Nokia’s mapping and location business HERE on 4 December, 2015 after receiving approvals from all competent authorities. The new shareholder and governance structure is designed to secure HERE’s independence and allow for the seamless continuation of their day-to-day business.

HERE’s location platform is set to deliver high definition maps combined with real-time location information, providing customers a detailed representation of the real world in real time. This is achieved through HERE’s leading mapping technology combined with countless data sources such as cars, mobile phones, the transport and logistics sector as well as infrastructure elements.

While HERE currently powers its map with data from more than 80,000 sources and billions of probe points daily, the company is actively engaged in connecting to millions of vehicles and their on-board sensors that generate information about the car’s surroundings. The more data added to the HERE platform, the better its maps, products and services become. This brings a huge benefit for all customers leading to more comfort when travelling, safer roads for everybody, less congestion, and cleaner urban areas.

HERE being secured as an independent and open company creates new options to accelerate this effort with customers providing the company with huge quantities of anonymized data. In that context the currently more than 2 million connected vehicles from AUDI AG, BMW Group and Daimler AG which are capable of collecting advanced high quality location based data already offer enormous potential to accelerate the development of HERE’s location platform. To enable HERE to further enhance its location platform, improve its products and generate new services for all customers, the three companies, together with HERE, are evaluating the benefit of providing sensor data from their fleets to HERE. All customers – automotive, enterprise, consumers – are invited to join and benefit, as such a step would make HERE even more attractive for customers and additional investors.

HERE already plays a central role in the development of highly automated driving, because no vehicle manufacturer can successfully develop this future area of mobility without high precision, up-to-date maps. Generating these maps is precisely where HERE leads the way. Four out of five new vehicles sold in Europe and North America with in-car navigation have first-rate digital maps from HERE on board. In future, maps will give vehicles the ability to effectively ‘see around corners’, enabling them to anticipate road hazards and prepare and adjust driving strategies accordingly in a way that increases driver trust.

“No one understands the potential of digital maps better than the HERE team with its 6,500 employees worldwide. The shareholders will therefore give HERE free rein in accelerating its growth strategy,” said Prof. Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG. “HERE has again and again redefined the map over the last 30 years. It is our expectation that it will continue to lead the industry in its next phase of innovation, thereby creating further value.”

“The combination of this leading map technology with data from vehicles, devices and infrastructure will give HERE and its customers a clear advantage in the development of future mobility services,” commented Klaus Fröhlich, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG for Development. “As more partners and customers join this model, HERE will be able to provide even better, more up-to-date maps and a precise digital real-time representation of our world of mobility.”

“Customers from the automotive industry are particularly interested in highly-automated driving. But HERE is much more than a market leader in digital maps,” explained Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, Memberof the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. “With its high level of innovation and exceptional employees, the company has the potential to become the leading provider of technology for real-time location services in the digitized world of mobility.”

To achieve this, HERE will build on its current strengths and will add new capabilities. HERE aims to strengthen its market leadership among automotive customers and expand its consumer and enterprise businesses – through organic growth, as well as strategic partnerships and acquisitions. HERE’s aim is to create one of the world’s leading location platforms, which will combine data regarding all forms of mobility and the interfaces between our daily life and the world of digital maps.

This long-term strategy is secured through a new governance structure, safeguarded by a supervisory board that will consist of representatives of the new owners and independent, recognized industry figures. AUDI AG, BMW Group and Daimler AG do not acquire joint control of HERE and there is a clear separation between their roles as customers, suppliers and investors. In addition, HERE will remain open to all customers, and be open to other investors who would create an even broader shareholder structure. All this ensures that HERE’s unequivocal commitment to openness and independence is firmly established. After the successful closing of this investment, the three premium manufacturers expressed special thanks to Celsius Capital, under Carlos Bhola, for supporting them from the start and achieving a successful conclusion to this investment.

Volvo To Develop Next Generation Automotive Technology With Microsoft

Volvo Cars will work together with Microsoft, the leading platform and productivity company, to jointly develop next generation automotive technologies. The two companies revealed how Microsoft HoloLens, the world’s first fully untethered holographic computer, might be used in future to redefine how customers first encounter and explore a car, as well as how cars might be bought and sold in future.

Areas of future collaboration between the two companies could include autonomous driving technologies and the utilisation of data generated from connected cars to create new services. Today’s HoloLens demonstration was conducted at Microsoft’s global headquarters in Redmond, USA, and showed how mixed reality might be used by customers to configure cars in three dimensions. With HoloLens, a powerful, wearable computer, holograms are mixed into the physical world.

“HoloLens offers the freedom to create a bespoke experience which customers can steer themselves. Imagine using mixed reality to choose the type of car you want – to explore the colours, rims, or get a better understanding of the features, services and options available,” said Björn Annwall, Senior Vice President, Marketing Sales and Service at Volvo Cars. He added HoloLens technology might also liberate dealers from more traditional sales environments and allow them to take a car configurator out on the road in small Pop-Up stores, shopping malls or on the high street, opening up new sales channels and introducing cars to a far larger potential audience.

At the HoloLens demonstration, participating journalists were also given a mixed reality preview of Volvo’s new S90 premium sedan, which will be unveiled in reality at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January. The event offered an indication of the potential of mixed reality to transform the relationship between the customer and the car. Journalists were able to experience Volvo’s new sedan and its latest autonomous driving technology in 3D before the car has even been built and launched.

“We are thrilled to be working with Volvo Cars to reimagine what is possible in car design, discovery and purchasing. We are excited to be at this intersection of technology and human-centric design with Volvo,” Scott Erickson, Senior Director, Microsoft HoloLens at Microsoft Corp.

The demonstration marks the beginning of longer term cooperation between Volvo and Microsoft that will embrace a range of new technologies, all of which have implications for the automotive industry. One area of focus will be autonomous driving. Volvo Cars is a pioneer in car safety and is leading the way when it comes to connected cars and autonomous driving. It has announced a programme called Drive-Me in which 100 self-driving and connected cars will be given to real customers on real roads around the Swedish city of Gothenburg by 2017, the world’s largest autonomous driving experiment.

Other areas of cooperation are expected to include how information gathered by cars and their drivers can be used to enhance the driving experience and the possibility of using predictive analytics to improve safety.

“We are extremely happy to innovate with Microsoft in the field of future mobility,” said Klas Bendrik, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Volvo Cars. “Today’s technology will allow us to achieve not only a more sustainable and crash-free future but also new benefits for our customers and society. Together with Microsoft we aim to pioneer in this field.”

Kevin McCann, Managing Director of Volvo Car Australia highlighted that “Volvo Cars has always put people first. Everything we do starts with ‘what can we do to make this person’s life better, easier and more comfortable?’”. We have always used this philosophy when we design our cars. Designing cars around people has led to many innovations over our 89 year history. â€œA collaboration such as this further entrenches Volvo as a leader in safety and an innovator in technology advancement”, added McCann.

Queensland Team Powers Up For Race To Chase The Sun

Clenergy TeamArrow, which includes seven current QUT students and seven alumni in its ranks, will race teams from across the world to be the fastest car under the sun at the 2015 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. The biennial challenge tasks 46 teams from 25 countries with completing a gruelling 3,021km journey from Darwin to Adelaide while showcasing the latest advances in solar technology.

Clenergy TeamArrow, one of three Australian teams in the ‘Challenger’ class, will leave Darwin on Sunday (October 18) in their $250,000, 220kg vehicle, capable of reaching a top speed of 126km/h. The solar panels of the solar electric vehicle power a battery pack or can solely power the car, which runs on less power than a toaster.

QUT Mechatronics Engineering graduate and one of the drivers, Amy Gunnell (pictured), said the team were setting their sights high despite their underdog status.

“The 2013 race was the first time we had entered and we were the first Australian car to finish, placing seventh overall. We completed the course in 43 hours last time so this year we’re aiming for under 40 hours and hopefully a top five finish,” she said.

Amy Gunnell and the Clenergy TeamArrow car. “We know it will be tough – some of the top international teams have budgets more than 10 times what we have. We are just a bunch of students and graduates who have built a car that can go really fast but is really efficient.”

Gunnell said the slog across Australia would see the team drive from 8am to 5pm with a cruising speed of about 85km/h.

“You have to be strategic and work out how much time to spend charging versus driving to get the optimal output,” she said. “Last time we had to stop and charge the car on the home straight to Adelaide and crossed the finish line with only enough juice to travel another 250 metres. Our biggest challenge last time was inexperience. We spent two hours on the side of the road after we blew a tyre and other teams would have fixed that in five minutes.

“But we feel better prepared – the car is running brilliantly and we have a great team.”

Aussie Supplier To Build Carbon Fibre Wheels For Shelby Mustangs

Ford and Carbon Revolution are providing a glimpse into what is possible for the Australian automotive industry as the Geelong-based innovator begins production of the world’s first mass-produced carbon fibre wheels for the Shelby GT350R performance car in North America. The project is an example of the work Ford is doing with about 63 suppliers who will continue operations beyond 2016, including 17 who now have earned new business with the company’s global operations.

”While many people believe the auto industry is closing in Australia, Ford is actually investing $300 million in R&D in Australia this year alone – and our partnership with Carbon Revolution is an example of what can happen as we continue to innovate here,” according to Ford President and CEO, Graeme Whickman. â€œAs we move to a new phase in the Australian automotive landscape, enabling our supplier network to grasp new technology opportunities will be good for Australia, including our existing manufacturing team members who are seeking new opportunities and those tertiary students wishing to have a career in the auto industry.”

Ford has been working for around 18 months to ensure its employees are able to transition to the next phase of their lives through several Geelong supplier fairs, providing a $10 million contribution to the Federal and Victorian Governments’ Geelong Region and Melbourne’s North Innovation and Investment Funds. Carbon Revolution was a recipient of the investment and innovation fund and now employs several former Ford workers at its Waurn Ponds plant in Geelong.

“Geelong will continue to be important for the auto industry as we shift to a business model that is based on ideas and innovation more than hands-on work,” Whickman said. “This type of development shows that there is potential for the ongoing sustainment of a high-tech supplier industry here in Victoria.”

By the end of 2017, Ford expects to become the country’s largest auto employer with around 1,500 highly skilled employees across professions such as engineering and design.

Ford engaged Deakin University’s Carbon Nexus research centre to accelerate already aggressive research and development of advanced light-weight materials for lighter, more efficient mainstream vehicles that also maintain leading safety and quality.

“Consumers today want better fuel efficiency, but they also want more technology and features in the car, which usually adds weight to the vehicle,” said Dave French, director, Asia-Pacific Vehicle Programs. “A focus on light-weighting will be fundamental to our industry for years to come, and we are investigating many advanced materials applications as possible solutions for weight reduction in our vehicles.”

Ford and Deakin researchers have been focusing on the key challenge of manufacturing carbon fibre more affordably for mainstream vehicle production. The research focuses mainly on reducing energy costs whilst increasing production throughput. Energy represents up to 20 per cent of the cost of producing carbon fibre. Ford and Deakin University have a long history of collaboration dating back to the early 1990s beginning with work around technology management and training of company employees.

The university established the Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM) in 2012 to address some of the major challenges facing society through innovations in materials science, design and performance. In 2014, Deakin University established Carbon Nexus, a globally unique carbon fibre and composites research facility, to specifically focus on carbon fibre and composites research.

Supported by the Commonwealth and Victorian governments, the AUD $34 million Carbon Nexus facility located at the Waurn Ponds campus of the University has two carbon fibre processing lines, one of which can manufacture various types of industrially relevant quantities of carbon fibre up to aerospace grade. Scientists also are conducting research into the chemical, mechanical and nano-scale characteristics of the carbon fibre materials produced on-site.

In 2014, Ford approved several university research project grants with Deakin enabling the company to draw on IFM’s research capability, along with the Centre for Intelligent Systems Research (CISR) and other relevant areas of expertise within the university.

World’s Largest Fuel Cell Plant In South Korea

Fuel cells are often mentioned in the context of hydrogen-powered cars, but they can also be used to power homes. The world’s largest fuel cell power plant in South Korea’s Hwaseong city is home to what could be the next best source of renewable energy. Just an hour’s drive south of Seoul lies Gyunggi Green Energy producing 440 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year. Each 2.8 MW fuel cell takes up the space of one basketball court each. And 21 of them produce enough electricity to power 135,000 households in Hwaseong city.
Fuel cells produce electricity through the reaction of hydrogen and oxygen. Nothing gets burned, which means only steam comes out of the chimneys, making the plant ideal for locations closer to densely populated cities. And unlike other renewable energy sources, they can run 24/7, 365 days a year, unaffected by the weather. POSCO Energy, South Korea’s largest private energy producer, partially-owns and operates the energy park. The company’s invested significant resources into developing the technology, and later this year, it will become the first South Korean company to fully localise the manufacturing process of fuel-cells, a project that is worth more than 86 million US dollars. “The global market size of the fuel cell is from 5 billion to 15 billion US dollars per year. I think may be Korea is the only country who is intensively supporting fuel cell technology. Once fuel cell power plants and technology gets more familiarized throughout this country, we foresee this technology can be evaluated in a different level,” said Vincent Ghim, team leader of Fuel Cell Business Division of Posco Energy.
Experts agree that fuel cells can be an eco-friendly alternative. “So far, natural gas has been used as a fuel to generate electricity. But it’s also possible to use bio-gas from waste to run fuel cell plants. So, this is a great solution to solve two challenges: energy and environmental protection,” said Professor Kim Kyung-Nam, Green School of Korea University.
By the year 2035, South Korea hopes to produce 11 per cent of its power using new and renewable energy sources, and experts hope fuel cells could play a pivotal role in meeting that target.

Study Confirms Effectiveness Of Autonomous Emergency Braking

Australasia’s leading independent vehicle safety advocate, ANCAP, announced findings of a study into the effectiveness of low-speed autonomous emergency braking (AEB) in reducing rear-end crashes. Findings from the research project jointly commissioned by ANCAP, the Department of Infrastructure & Regional Development and ANCAP’s sister organisation, Euro NCAP:

    -Revealed low-speed AEB technology lead to a 38% reduction in real-world rear-end crashes; and
    -Concluded that low-speed AEB needed widespread fitment for maximum benefits.

AEB is one of the more promising safety assist technologies that is becoming available on new cars – more commonly overseas than in Australia and New Zealand. The low-speed version – referred to by ANCAP as”AEB (City)” – usually consists of an automatic brake function that operates for speeds up to 30km/h or 50km/h. “Previous studies have predicted significant benefits from AEB technology in low-speed rear-end crashes and current research is now demonstrating its effectiveness,” said ANCAP Chief Executive Officer, Nicholas Clarke. “ANCAP and the Department, together with Euro NCAP, established an expert group of representatives across governments, industry, consumer and insurance organisations to determine the effectiveness of AEB in reducing real-world crashes.”

Data from five European countries and Australia was used with the findings showing a 38% overall reduction in real-world, rear-end crashes for vehicles fitted with low-speed AEB compared to a sample of equivalent vehicles without AEB technology. “These findings strongly support ANCAP’s push to have manufacturers fit AEB as standard across all new cars,” said Clarke. ANCAP is supported by all Australian and New Zealand motoring clubs, the Australian Government, the New Zealand Government, Australian state and territory governments, the Victorian Transport Accident Commission, NRMA Insurance and the FIA Foundation.