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October 18, 2023 3 min read
In recent years, the automotive industry and the world of detailing have seen a significant surge in the popularity of ceramic coatings. These coatings are renowned for their remarkable durability, water-repellent properties, and ability to enhance the appearance of vehicles. However, what many people may not realize is that most ceramic coatings on the market are not pure ceramics. Instead, they are hybrid formulations.
It is important to understand what ceramic coatings are and what they do. Ceramic coatings, sometimes called nanocoatings or SiO2 (silicon dioxide) coatings, are a protective layer applied to a vehicle's paintwork, glass, or other surfaces offering a protective layer from the elements. These coatings are designed to provide a long-lasting shield against various environmental contaminants, UV rays, minor scratches, and various elements that cause vehicles to get dirty quicker. Ceramic coatings provide this protection all while delivering a hydrophobic effect that causes water to bead and roll off the surface, along with resisting other elements so the surface is left cleaner longer.
A pure ceramic coating would consist primarily of silicon dioxide, which is a key ingredient responsible for the protective and hydrophobic properties. However, most ceramic coatings on the market are not pure ceramics, they are hybrid formulations. These hybrid coatings blend silicon dioxide with other chemical compounds and polymers that may alter the formula and claim to add additional features. In some cases, these inferior ceramic coatings have unknown chemicals to the user and may be damaging in some ways over time, which compromises the products durability.
It is always important to choose a ceramic coating from a trusted brand that can tell you what is in the formulation. Such is also important when selecting other sealants or coatings.
The primary components that you should look out for when selecting a ceramic coating that is not a hybrid formulation:
Enhanced Durability: One of the primary reasons for hybrid formulations is to enhance the durability of the coating because they lack the initial formula to create durability. Pure ceramics are usually incredibly tough, and high-quality ceramics are able to bend or flex to prevent becoming brittle. Some blended or hybrid ceramics incorporate other ingredients that may cause as minor scratches or even abrasions.
Ease of Application: Pure ceramic formulations should be forgiving during the application process, reducing the risk of streaks, high spots, or uneven coverage. The user-friendliness of a ceramic coating should be at a level where both professional detailers and DIY enthusiasts can apply the coating.
Enhanced Gloss and Depth: Pure ceramic coatings should contribute to the depth and shine of a vehicle's finish. Ultimately, apart from adding protection to a vehicle's paintwork, a good-quality ceramic coating should give a deeper and more vibrant appearance once applied.
Self-Cleaning Properties: Some hybrid coatings include specialized compounds that make bogus claims to enhancing their self-cleaning properties. These coatings may lack in certain areas and users should be cautious. Pure ceramic coatings should include the fundamentals of repelling dirt and contaminants, making the maintenance of the vehicle's appearance more manageable.
Selecting the right ceramic coating for your vehicle involves considering several factors:
Brand and Reputation: Research reputable brands with a history of quality ceramic coatings. Read reviews and seek recommendations from other enthusiasts or professionals.
Application Difficulty: Consider your level of expertise and comfort with applying coatings. Some hybrid coatings are more forgiving for beginners, while others may require professional application. Find one that can be used by professionals and DIY enthusiasts.
Durability: Assess the coating's expected lifespan and how well it will protect your vehicle's surfaces from environmental contaminants.
Appearance Enhancement: If you're looking for a coating that enhances the appearance of your vehicle, check for coatings that have a proven record of giving paintwork a deeper and more vibrant look after application.
Maintenance: Consider the ease of maintenance and whether the coating requires maintenance applications or enhancers over time.
In the world of automotive detailing, ceramic coatings have become synonymous with long-lasting protection and stunning aesthetics. While many coatings are hybrids, only some may offer advantages, such as enhanced durability, ease of application, and improved appearance. As the technology behind ceramic coatings continues to evolve, it is best to always do your research in selecting a ceramic coating that offers a winning combination of performance and user-friendliness and is from a reputable brand that aligns with your specific needs and preferences. With the right ceramic coating, you can enjoy the benefits of a protected and visually appealing vehicle for years to come.
Looking for a proven Ceramic Coating? Look no further than TopCoat® Crystaleen® 7H Ceramic Coating!
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