The Art of Detailing
Paint Protection and Ceramic Coatings
February 28, 2023 at 10:00:00 PM
Ceramic coatings and some serious science!
Ceramic coatings are a type of paint protection for cars that create a barrier on the surface of the vehicle. This barrier can provide a number of benefits, including:
Increased shine and gloss: Ceramic coatings can enhance the color and clarity of a car's paint, making it look newer and shinier.
Protection from contaminants: The barrier created by a ceramic coating can help protect the paint from damage caused by things like bird droppings, tree sap, and industrial fallout.
UV protection: Ceramic coatings can also provide some protection from the sun's UV rays, which can cause fading and discoloration over time.
Hydrophobic properties: Many ceramic coatings have hydrophobic properties which means they repel water, so it beads up and rolls off the surface of the car, rather than sticking to it. This can make it easier to clean and dry the car, and can also help to prevent water spots.
Durability: Ceramic coatings can last for several years with proper maintenance, which is much longer than traditional wax or sealant.
It's important to note that ceramic coatings are a significant investment and they require professional application. Also, it's important to maintain the coating with proper washing and maintenance to maintain the coating benefits.
THERE ARE MANY TYPES...
Unlike traditional coatings, which are typically concocted from polymer resins, a ceramic coating is silicon dioxide or silica (SiO2) based. Commonly derived from quartz crystals and sand, silica creates an invisible, extremely resilient “nanotechnology coating” when combined with elements like titanium dioxide, polysilazane, triethanolamine, water, and various other ingredients. Once cured atop a hard surface, this viscous liquid forms a crystal-clear shell, a product that is referred to as a nano ceramic coating, or ceramic coating for short. Automakers use ceramic coatings due to its superior heat, abrasion, chemical, H20, and impact resistance, making it the ideal protective sealant for many car components
TRADITIONAL VS. MODERN
Traditional waxes and ceramic coatings are both used to protect and enhance the appearance of a vehicle's paint, but they have some key differences in terms of their composition, application, and longevity.
Traditional waxes are typically composed of natural or synthetic waxes, such as carnauba or polymer waxes, which are applied to the paint as a liquid or paste, and then buffed off to leave a protective layer on the paint. They are typically applied every few months and need to be reapplied regularly to maintain their protective properties.
On the other hand, ceramic coatings are a liquid polymer that is applied to the vehicle's paint and cured using UV light or heat. They bond with the surface of the paint, creating a semi-permanent barrier that protects the paint from the elements, UV rays, and minor scratches. They are more durable and long-lasting than traditional waxes and typically last for 2-5 years.
In terms of the intention, traditional waxes are designed to provide a quick and easy way to enhance the appearance of a vehicle's paint and add a layer of protection. They can be applied quickly and easily at home, and are a good option for those who want to maintain their car's appearance on a regular basis.
Ceramic coatings, on the other hand, are designed to provide a more long-term solution for protecting a vehicle's paint. They are more durable, long-lasting, and require less maintenance than traditional waxes. Ceramic coatings are a good option for car enthusiasts, or people who want to protect their vehicles long-term, or those who want to save time and money on regular washing and waxing.
In summary, traditional waxes are a quick and easy way to enhance the appearance of a vehicle's paint and add a layer of protection, while ceramic coatings are a more long-term solution for protecting a vehicle's paint and provide more durability, long-lasting and require less maintenance, it's a good option for car enthusiasts or people who want to protect their vehicles long-term.
It's important to note that while traditional waxes can enhance the appearance of a vehicle's paint and provide a layer of protection, they do not last as long as ceramic coatings, and the constant application of waxes can actually degrade the vehicle over time.
The constant application of waxes can cause a buildup of wax on the paint, which can make it difficult to remove, and can lead to an uneven appearance. Over time, this buildup can also cause the paint to become dull and faded, which can make it difficult to restore the original shine and luster of the paint.
Additionally, the constant application of waxes can also cause the paint to become softer and more prone to scratches and swirl marks. This is because traditional waxes do not provide as much protection as ceramic coatings and therefore, the paint is more susceptible to damage from environmental elements such as dust, dirt, and road debris.
Furthermore, the constant reapplication of wax can also be time-consuming and costly, and it can also be environmentally harmful as some waxes contain petrochemicals that can be harmful to the environment.
In contrast, ceramic coatings provide a long-term solution for protecting a vehicle's paint and they don't require constant reapplication like traditional waxes. They provide a hard, durable barrier that can protect the paint from the elements, UV rays, and minor scratches and help maintain the original shine and luster of the paint.
In summary, while traditional waxes can enhance the appearance of a vehicle's paint and provide a layer of protection, they do not last as long as ceramic coatings and the constant application of waxes can actually degrade the vehicle over time, by causing buildup, paint softening, and environmental harm. Ceramic coatings provide a long-term solution for protecting a vehicle's paint and do not require constant reapplication.
The best time to coat a vehicle with a ceramic coating is when the paint is in good condition. It's important to ensure that the vehicle's paint is properly prepared before the coating is applied. This typically includes a thorough wash, clay bar treatment to remove any contaminants, and a paint correction process to remove any swirls, scratches, or other imperfections in the paint.
Regular washing: To maintain a ceramic coating, it's important to regularly wash your vehicle to remove dirt, dust, and other contaminants that can build up on the coating and cause damage. Use a high-quality car shampoo and a pH-neutral soap to avoid stripping the coating.
- Avoid harsh chemicals: Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners on your vehicle, as they can damage the coating and the paint.
- Use a high-quality drying towel or chamois: When drying your vehicle after washing, use a high-quality microfiber towel or chamois to avoid scratching the coating.
- Use a clay bar: If you notice that your vehicle's paint feels rough or bumpy, use a clay bar to remove any contaminants that may have become embedded in the coating.
- Avoid automatic car washes: Automatic car washes can be too harsh on the coating and can cause damage. It's best to wash your vehicle by hand.
- Avoid parking under trees: If possible, avoid parking your vehicle under trees as sap and bird droppings can damage the coating.
- Regularly inspect the coating: Regularly inspect the coating for any signs of damage or wear, such as swirls, scratches, or water spots.
Apply a maintenance spray: To maintain the hydrophobic properties of the coating, you can apply a maintenance spray, like a ceramic spray coating, to keep the surface hydrophobic and to enhance the gloss.
In summary, maintaining a ceramic coating requires regular washing, avoiding harsh chemicals, using a high-quality drying towel or chamois, using a clay bar, avoiding automatic car washes, avoiding parking under trees, regularly inspecting the coating, and applying a maintenance spray to enhance the hydrophobic properties and gloss.