Helmets are vital in Formula One TM. The regulations require them to be designed to withstand high stresses and temperatures of up to 900°C (1652°F). But ensuring that they also look great is the job of the driver and their helmet designer. Jens Munser works with the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One driver Nico Rosberg to design his helmet and uses the Hi-TEC Performance System from Spies Hecker ®, one of the global refinish brands of Axalta Coating Systems (NYSE: AXTA), a leading global manufacturer of liquid and powder coatings. This Smart News Release features multimedia. View the full release here: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20161110006662/en/
Jens Munser works with MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One(TM) driver Nico Rosberg to design his helmet using the Spies Hecker® Hi-TEC Performance System from Axalta Coating Systems. (Photo: Axalta)
Helmets offer protection, but also share the limelight with the Formula One race car drivers. Helmets are one of the most visible parts of drivers' gear when they are in the cockpit of their race cars, and the only real estate the drivers can personalize with their own designs. Munser has been in this business for 27 years, and today he and his team are among the most well-respected Formula One helmet designers. "The paint process is very different from that of cars," Munser says when describing the challenging job of painting helmets. "We first produce graphic elements on the computer and transfer these to templates. Then, before the actual paint, we also apply a fire-proof primer." Munser uses the Spies Hecker Permahyd ® Hi-TEC Base Coat 480, with special effects achieved thanks to gold leaf, glitter flakes or transfer printing. Munser then uses Spies Hecker fast-drying Permasolid ® Speed Clear Coat 8800 or the efficient Permasolid Clear Coat 8035. The multiple paint layers, which must not exceed 500 grams in total, are used to create the unique helmet design in a process that takes anywhere between eight and 20 hours of work. Whether it is in Monte Carlo, Baku or Silverstone, Rosberg races around the tracks during the Formula One season at over 300km/h wearing his custom-designed helmet, sporting Munser's design and Spies Hecker paint.