Understanding Ceramic Coatings

What is a ceramic coating?

To understand what a ceramic coating is you first have to understand the layers that make up your vehicle. Your vehicle has multiple layers from the metal/body panel to the clear coat.

Clear Coat

Base Coat

Primer

Metal/Body Panel

The clear coat on your car is the most important piece of the vehicle. Not only is it the layer that makes your car shine, it also is the layer that protects your actual paint. With that said, it needs to be protected from the outside elements. There are only 4 types of protection for your paint. These four types of protection are carnauba waxes, synthetic polymer sealant, ceramic coatings, and paint protection film also known as PPF. While these protected layers get the job done, they have their pros and cons.

Carnauba waxes are easy to apply and make your vehicle look good,  just ask your grandpa or dad on that sunny Saturday or Sunday morning in the garage or driveway washing their car and hand applying that wax. The downside of waxes is you have to apply it on average every 6-8 weeks give or take if the car is daily driven or not in the garage. Waxes do not bond to the surface of the paint, rather it just sits on there. Heat is another factor that plays on the duration of the wax. In hindsight, if you live in a hot climate area, the heat will actually start to melt the wax off leaving your vehicle vulnerable to the elements and that’s because waxes have a very low resistance to hot temperatures. Lastly, it’s very easy to have the wax stripped off with harsh wash chemicals.

Sealants are the next step up from your basic carnauba waxes. A sealant is a synthetic polymer that bonds to your clear coat making it more resistant to heat. Depending on how the vehicle is kept whether it is garage kept or outside in the element or if gets driven every once in a while meaning a weekend car or if it’s driven daily that sealant has a life expectancy on your vehicle. Instead of 6-8 weeks on average like waxes, again keep in mind the environment you live in and how it’s kept it has on average a 6-8 months durability. It can however, be stripped off easily if you aren’t using correct shampoos and chemicals.

Now, on the other hand if you are looking for something better and longer lasting than waxes and sealants. If you  want something that gives you that show car appearance all the time without having to constantly wash and wax your vehicle every few weeks. Then you need to consider ceramic coatings. Ceramic coatings are silica dioxide or SiO2 polymer that when applied correctly will give you a glass like thick protection on your vehicle. When properly maintained the ceramic coating will last for years. Not to mention, it has a very high level of heat and chemical resistance. Also, as it is cured and hardened to the paint’s surface a ceramic coating will produce hydrophobic properties on curved surfaces which means water will slide right off. Unlike other protectants like waxes and sealants, dirt and other environmental conditions and elements have a hard time sticking to the surface making it low maintenance or easy to clean.

Ceramic coatings is NOT some magical force field or turn your car into an armored car even though that’s what social media is claiming it to be. It is also not a one and done protectant meaning you can’t just apply it and think you don’t have to wash it ever again because it has self cleaning features. You’re still going to have to wash your car.

Ceramic coatings protect against:

  • Weathering
  • Acid rain
  • Industrial Fallout
  • Bird Droppings
  • Tree Sap
  • Love marks- light marring from bad hand washing methods and automatic car washes

IT DOES NOT PROTECT AGAINST:

  • Deep scratches
  • Heavy swirl marks
  • Rock Chips
  • Collision

With the knowledge you have been given the next question  would be IS A CERAMIC COATING FOR ME?