Ceramic Coatings - What do they do?
Updated: Mar 8, 2020
People have busy schedules these days. Busier than ever. Waxing your car for the weekend to take it to the drive in on Saturday night isn't usually feasible for most people. Wax makes your car look nice and glossy, but the protective properties are pretty weak and the lifespan of a wax job is typically a few days or until the next car wash. Most people are now looking for something that not only offers better performance and gloss but also lasts much longer than a few car washes. With the advent of nanotechnology, ceramic paint coatings have quickly become the preferred method of protecting your vehicle's clearcoat. It makes a lot of sense to invest in protection to protect your investment.
Nanotechnology, what's this?
Car wax doesn't actually bond to your vehicle's clearcoat in any way, it merely sits in the pores of the finish. Car wax is not just wax, it's a complex mix of silicones and oils as carnauba wax is actually hard like a rock and could be thrown through a glass window. What's the problem with this? When you wash your car, you are using a detergent. Detergents are used to break down grease ie oils, waxes, silicones and by cleaning, it will also clean away your beautiful glossed up wax finish. Nano coatings however are covalantly bonded to the clearcoat surface, this means it actually becomes part of the clearcoat by sharing electrons and is not easily removed unless if it's polished or sanded off. For this reason, ceramic nano particles will not be washed off the vehicle and will continue to shine, protect from uv damage, repel dirt, grime and water for a year or more.
That is the question! What is hydrophobic? Technically it's a fear of water. In scientific terms, it means that water does not have the ability to easily stick to a surface. I definitely find it satisfying to watch a hydrophobic finish throw water beads in every direction as I'm rinsing a car. The measure of how hydrophobic a surface performs is it's contact angle. Some ultra high performance coatings like MMT Ceramic Coating will offer a contact angle of 115 degrees, this creates such tension that the water really wants to run off of the car. What's the other benefit of hydrophobic coatings? As you're rinsing your vehicle, these beautiful beads of water will help to pick up some dirt and debris and carry it away from your car. This makes it so you are cleaning a cleaner surface and minimize the opportunity to induce wash scratches into it's finish. As you continue on to your foam cannon rinse, followed by a two bucket hand wash with grit guards and drying with plush microfiber towels, you will be rewarded with a ultra glossy finish that would impress the best of detailers.
Is the most expensive ceramic coating the best?
It may be the best for gloss, hydrophobics, protection and durability, but that doesn't always mean it's the best coating for your needs. There is a lot of technology that goes into these robust coatings so the cost of a top of the line coating can be substantially more than a lower priced option. Many other variables should be considered when choosing a coating including maintenance. How do you maintain your vehicle? Is it hand washed every week, even in the winter? If so, you would be a great candidate for a top of the line coating, this will not only make your maintenance much easier, but you will be rewarded with a coating that offers years of good service. And yes, you must wash your car during the winter, this is actually the time of year that your vehicle gets the most dirty. Ceramic coatings don't like to be dirty, they like to be clean and will perform their best when nothing is clogging it. If you're not the OCD maintainer of vehicles and your car is getting daily driver duty, we will usually recommend one of our entry level or mid grade ceramic coatings, this will cost less money up front and you will have set a proper expectation that you want to maintain your vehicle but it's better to bring it back every year or even every 2-3 years to have a new application of ceramic coating applied. Having ceramic protection is great, but if you don't maintain the finish at all it could be wasted money.
Are nano coatings just for paint?
Absolutely NOT. Durable nano coatings are designed to be used on pretty much every surface or finish on a vehicle. We have a high temp nano coating that works great for wheels and brake calipers. This makes them much easier to clean and also helps protect from corrosion damage and fading. Another coating is used for plastic trim to prevent it from fading, another product is used on the glass, this dramatically improves visibility when driving in the rain. Interior coatings make cleaning a breeze and provide you with antimicrobial properties. We literally have coatings for pretty much every surface and if you can afford to have it applied it's a cleaner way to live!