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The latest buzz in detailing is ceramic coatings and boy oh boy are there many options.
This article will help you understand the ins and outs of ceramic coatings, why get ceramic coatings, does my car need a ceramic coating and what is the best way to look after ceramic coatings. Stick around as this will put all your questions at rest.
Ceramic coatings (Paint Protection) are a micro protective layer that seals the pigments of the paint to add strength, durability, shine and UV protection to the top layer of your vehicle. Very loosely, think of it as sunscreen for your car, but one that cannot come off unless you scrub it with sandpaper or a machine polisher. It is often coined as the “sacrificial layer” as it protects the car’s real paint from minor scratches and blemishes caused by incorrect car washes, small scuffs as well as the harsh Australian climate.
But what makes paint protection coatings better than the clear coat you already have on your car?
The answer is simple, a ceramic coating is a minimum of 9h hardness tested, meaning it can withstand far more scratching, fading and chemical etching in comparison to your car clear coat. A 9h on the Mohs scale of hardness is a technical term used for the scratch resistance of certain minerals The highest on the scale is 10h which is diamond. It also means the level of a 9h pencil can be run along the surface of the paint without scratching. It is hard to imagine that this would ever be the case but think of all those times you have come back to your car after being parked in the local Coles car park and noticed a new scratch from a thoughtless customer with a handbag or trolley running down the side of your car. Therefore, ceramic paint protection is a must on any new car due to the level of protection it gives to the paint.
What Types of Paint Protections are out on the market:
There are three basic categories. There is the Si02 based Nano-coatings which has great water beading properties and can last up to 6 months. These are excellent for topping over ceramic coatings or using to protect the paintwork instead of wax. These are not scratch resistant and are intended as a gloss enhancement layer that is also able to repel water and some chemicals.
The next category is glass Nano-coatings. They are slightly more resistant to scratching and give a fantastic “wet look” shine over the paintwork. They are easier to apply then ceramic coating but are semi-permanent, meaning once they cure onto the surface they are bonded until machine polished off. They have a life of 1-2 years and are a budget level paint protection. However, these do form a permanent bond with the paint once they cure so should only be applied by a professional. They still have a high level of hydrophobic properties but are paired with added scratch resistance.
The last category is ceramic paint protection coatings. Ceramic paint protection is the hardest out of all the Nano-coatings available on the market. It needs to be applied by professionally trained technicians due to the level of skill needed. Ceramic coatings are the strongest in the category and have a hardness level of 9h. They are scratch, chemical and stain resistant and often will protect against UV damage and bird droppings for the lifetime of the product. They are also highly hydrophobic meaning that they are water repelling and require far less effort when cleaning the car. Ceramic paint protections need to have a full paint correction done in advance as the scratches and imperfections on the surface will only be amplified when the coating is applied. Many ceramic coatings will also need adequate time to cure but can be reduced, thanks to IR cure lamps. This will also need to be performed in a dust free environment as anything that sits in the coating will bond to the car. With a coating such as ceramic, the most important factor is the warranty that is given to the customer. These often have many rules and stipulations that the consumer must adhere to, or risk voiding the warranty. The main clauses are around safe washing techniques and the once a year check up to see if it is performing to the best of its ability. Some people see it as a nuisance to have the car’s paint protection checked each year, but it is a great way of getting a full detail at a fraction of the cost as most car detailers in Sydney will have a maintenance package when the car is coated by them.
But why would I want it on my car/boat/truck/bike?
The question remains why someone would want to get a paint protection coating on their car. The answer is simple, it adds value. This is mainly through the protection that it gives to the car’s paint. It eliminates most micro scratching (swirls) and acid droppings from animals as well as being flame resistant and giving a lasting shine that means the car will not need to be polished or waxed for 5-10 years. This ensures that the car holds its value and is presentable to the next owner.
You are probably wondering why you would not go for the “recommended” protection from the dealer. This is a long running misconception. The dealer paint protection is in no way “better” or “made for this make and model”. Dealers are just authorised resellers of paint protection and can charge a large mark up on their products. There is no “recommended” paint protection for any car make, so make a choice based on the type of coating that is required for your car. If you do buy from the dealer, make sure they perform a full paint correction and use a reputable ceramic coating. Searching for your local car detailer in Google will give you a list of people that are ceramic coating specialists and can ensure that you get the best value for money and the right application for your vehicle.
OK, I am ready! But what should I look for in a coating?
There are several ceramic coating brands on the market each claiming different things. The most important facts to look out for are:
Length and condition of the warranty.
Country of origin.
Level of protection vs gloss level.
9h Mohs scale hardness.
If it has been tested in Australian conditions.
Our Ceramic Coating is made right here in Sydney and was designed to withstand the harsh Australian climate. The origins of this coating are from the US where there has been extensive lab testing as well as distribution rights around the world. All our coatings are 9H in hardness and will withstand certain chemicals and are highly hydrophobic. They come with a 5 year warranty and we also have wheel, windscreen and interior coatings that can be used. All the ceramic paint packages come with a stage 1 exterior detail to eliminate minor blemishes and marks. We are certified and trained applicators and best of all we are fully mobile! We come to you and perform this service at your office or at your home.
Ceramic coatings are especially important on 4x4’s and work vehicles as these are often neglected and lose value with each day out on the track. The ease of clean after the application of a ceramic coating is phenomenal. This is thanks to the level of hydrophobicity. Most ceramic coatings can be topped with a si02 based spray to add another level of shine and hydrophobicity making it like the ads you may see on Facebook with the muddy water being repelled when bucketed over the car.
Youtube video showing the benefits of a ceramic coating with a SIO2 spray applied.
If you are looking for a paint protection call us now for a obligation FREE quote and demonstration.
You can contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling us on 0481 083 258 and we can help guide you or provide information on what best coating you can use.
Also check out our website at www.fastsaledetailing.com.au/paint-protection
*Disclaimer: All information given is a guide. Please research each brand before committing to a protection as technology changes rapidly in this field.