What is a Ceramic Coating?
What is a Ceramic Coating?
Hey everyone, I’m jason with Chicago auto pros and I’ve created a video series that will explain everything you need to know about ceramic coatings.
This is a 5 part video series including explanations on what a ceramic coating is, who should get a ceramic coating, what coating is right for you, coating myths and coating maintenance,
In this first video your going to see I’m going to explain what a ceramic coating is.
You may often hear them called by different names ceramic coatings, nano technology, glass coatings, and quartz coatings, but generally speaking they are all one in the same. They are Long term protection options.
Before we talk about ceramic coating options were going to get into why you even need to protect your vehicles paint in the first place.
Your vehicles paint is made up of a primer layer, a base coat or color layer and a clear coat.
Your clear coat is what gives your vehicle’s paint that shine and depth. If you choose not to protect this layer, the exterior of your vehicle is going to start to deteriorate very quickly. Your vehicle is exposed to all kinds of elements like UV rays from the sun, dirt, debris and salt from the roads, Tree sap, pollen, and bird dropping. All these things will damage, fade and cause your vehicles paint to oxidize leaving your car looking old and dingy.
If you want to prevent this premature damage to your vehicle’s paint and keep it looking showroom new you have use something to protect your paint from these elements. Think of these protection options as sacrificial layers that will absorb the damage instead of your clear coat layer.
There are four main types of protection for your vehicles paint: you have carnauba waxes, polymer sealants, ceramic coatings and paint protection film.
The first and most common protection option you probably already know of is a carnauba wax. they are easy to use (wax on, wax off) and provide good protection for your vehicles paint. The problem with wax is that they have to be reapplied every 6-8 weeks to be effective. Waxes sit on top of the paint and doesn’t form a very strong bond. They can easily be stripped off by detergents and, because they have a low melting point they can literally melt on a hot day leaving your paint unprotected.
A better protectant for your paint is a sealant. Paint sealants are synthetic polymers that bond better with your paint’s clear coat making them more resistant to heat than a wax. They are just as easy to apply as wax but will last 6-8 months instead of weeks. Waxes and paint sealants both can be striped off the car if you use a harsh chemical to clean it
The newest protection technology is a ceramic coating. They usually contain silica dioxide which is an incredibly hard glass-like polymer. A bit more skill is required to prepare the paint and apply them but the result is a thick glass like layer the will protect the paint. The thickness gives it an incredible deep gloss. The hardness gives you long lasting durability. And unlike waxes and sealants, they are resistant to detergents and chemicals. When properly maintained, ceramic coatings will last several years.
Ceramic coatings are unique because they have a very low slip angle where water rolls off any surface that’s not perfectly level. The car stays cleaner for longer and sheds dirt easily. It also makes cleaning the vehicle much easier and safer. Dirt has a harder time sticking and because of the hardness of the coating it reduces the fine scratches and swirls caused by washing.
I did mention a paint protection film and the reason for this is that we have several customers who get these two products confused, they often ask if they should go with a paint protection film or a ceramic coating and franky, most customers do both. Paint protection film, which I will get into in a different video series, and a ceramic coating are two different things. Paint protection film is a polyurethane film that is designed to absorb damage. It provides physical protection from small impacts and road debris. Ceramic coatings will not prevent rock chips but provide protection for your vehicle just like a wax or paint sealant. So in short a ceramic coatings will protect your car just like a wax or sealant but ceramic coatings are much thicker, more durable, Have better scratch resistance, chemical resistant, are very hydrophobic which will keep the car cleaner for longer and they are going to last years instead of weeks.
So now that you have a better idea of what a ceramic coating is, are you and your car right for a coating?. Check out the next video in the series where I explain who should and who shouldn’t get a ceramic coating.