Ceramic Coating, also known as car paint protection, presents an extra protective coating for the surface of your vehicle. It is quite similar to a car sealant or wax but formulated with long-lasting durability (years) and unprecedented protection and hardness. Ceramic coatings, a liquid polymer, is coated to the car surface by hand and then binds together with the factory paint of the vehicle; a semi-permanent layer. But of course, not all ceramic coatings are sold equally as there are different types available for purchase, as we will go through with you and review below.
By formula, the quartz ceramic coating is fortified and typically harder than the other alternate types of ceramic coatings. Quartz, which is also known as silicon dioxide coatings presents an advanced degree of hardness that shields the car against physical trauma such via anti-scratch resistance properties. They are excellent for maintaining that glossy and clean complexion even after years of wear and tear.
The polymer or epoxy type of ceramic coating is one of the more popular types of ceramic coatings widely used and purchased. This layer creates a strong cohesive bond with the car paint finish. This type of bond is usually a near-permanent type as the polymer and the paint combine to become somewhat a single, yet dense layer that is heavily resistant to damage. That is the primary reason you can’t simply clear away a layer of ceramic coating. If you wanted to remove the polymer coating, you could only do so through a more aggressive technique such as using a machine buffer in combination with heavier grit cutting compounds.
As the name suggests, hybrid ceramic coatings combine the properties of polymer and quartz coatings. The hybrid ceramic coating, which claims to have the best of both coatings has been prophesied to be stronger and while presenting a protective barrier around the vehicle, better than the other two options. Although, take this with a grain of salt, as it is not entirely certain if hybrid coatings provide any extra protection than the polymer and quartz ceramic coatings, factually.
Reviewing the different types of Ceramic Coatings
Commercial Ceramic Coating (professional grade)
This is typically the most widely adopted type of ceramic coating that demands a skilled and trained professional to apply it. This industrial-strength ceramic coating requires advance preparation and application procedure. This ceramic coating usually occupies a longer time period to harden and typically needing at least a day to complete the curing process. Because of the heavy time required to correctly apply the coating, professional companies often charge from $1000 to $2000.
That can be huge among of money for a casual driver that just wants to protect his car against the elements while also enhancing cleaning.
DIY Nano-Ceramic Coating (retail grade)
This is the regular/basic coating available on the market now when it comes to paint protection. This seems to rightly address the needs of casual drivers who want to protect their cars against the element without breaking their budget. Of course, the durability and level protection are not quite comparable to the professional-grade coatings designed for professional use only, it can achieve a nice gloss, however.
There are a variety of grades of ceramic coating used in the DIY consumer kits, which are rated based on the percentage of quartz contained in the content. Most DIY Nano-ceramic packages consist of about 40-60% quartz, so not that much compared to professional-grade options.
Perhaps you are wondering what are the differences between these two options of ceramic coatings aside their cost. The DIY kits are not only more budget-friendly, as they only cost around $150, they are also specifically formulated for an easier consumer application. While it can also produce a similar result as the commercial-grade ceramic coatings, it doesn’t require the same advanced prep-work. Failing to apply ceramic coating properly can really ruin the appearance of your gloss. Especially when you deal with quick-drying paint protection, these will leave hazy marks across the vehicle if not performed correctly and a pain to remove if required.
Why Should You Ceramic Coat Your Car?
Ceramic coatings bolster your car’s protection by supplementing an additional barrier of protection. The coating is able to provide both protection and immaculate cosmetic appearance due to its advanced chemical composition and formula. Below are some excellent benefits you could expect when having it installed for your pride and joy.
Advanced UV Damage and Oxidation Protection
Regular exposure to the sun will cause the car paint to oxidize, resulting in dulled and faded paint. Using the best ceramic coating will help create a robust layer of protection on your car’s paint against the ultraviolet rays of the sun. That way, the amount of oxidation that happens on your car paint is substantially reduced. Think of it as like sunscreen for your vehicle.
Easy Car Care Maintenance
Chemical stains from acidic contaminants in your natural environment is another danger for your car. While environmental pollutants can still bond to your car, it is much easier to remove when you have a ceramic coating on the car because the bonding will be a very reduced one. This is because ceramic coating dramatically reduces the surface tension, therefore, preventing things like dirt, bird droppings, bugs, tar and graffiti from bonding to the surface. Pollutants such as these on a non-coated surface could cause serious harm and mind you, very expensive damages when it comes to repairing. Washing the car becomes a fraction of the usual time, all thanks to great super-hydrophobicity.
Their hydrophobic properties make them a better repellent of water. When you protect your vehicle, water will bead on the surface and easily slide off, similar to water sheeting. What this means is that grime and mud will find it more difficult to bind to your vehicle’s paint. Therefore saving you time and effort when washing your vehicle as contaminants become very easy to remove.
The nanotech coatings make the ceramic nanoparticles to rightly fill up the smallest pores in the paint. When this is professionally applied to your car, it will improve the reflective properties of the car paint. It will add more clarity and depth to the colour. It really achieves that immense hard candy gloss appeal; new car cosmetic appeal.
Since car wax only lasts about a month on average, you will need to re-wax your vehicle more than you may like. Ceramic coatings, on the other hand, is significantly more durable. When properly applied and well maintained, it can serve you for a few years before considering a replacement. In the end, you will be saving more money with Nano-ceramic coating compared to paint sealant or wax every day of the week. Although like wax, a nano-ceramic car paint protection coating can offer similar hydrophobic properties, a wax mind you has virtually no degree of hardness ie. protection against physical stress/trauma, that is where the ceramic coating is merely unmatched in the field of car paint protection.