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October 05, 2022 6 min read

What is TopCoat® Functional-Ceramic Technology (FCT™)?

The market for ceramic coatings has never been more popular than it is right now. However, there’s more than enough misleading information to go around and more and more quick detailing or sealant products claim to be hard ceramics,  but they actually are not.

We first must identify what ceramic technology is and how it benefits you when you utilize a trusted product like TopCoat® F11PRO® that has proprietary formulated Functional-Ceramic technology, (FCT™) for short.

Simply put, there are two different kinds of ceramic technology on the market today.  One is a direct variant of the other, developed for simplicity of application and use, yet designed to achieve many of the benefits a true "hard coat" permanent ceramic offers.  The industry refers to these non-permanent ceramics, or "soft" ceramics, as Hybrid-Ceramics.  Hybrid-Ceramics are non-permanent, Hard-Ceramics are permanent.  TopCoat's Hybrid-Ceramic technology is called a  Functional-Ceramic technology (FCT™) which uses reactive SiO2 in it's formulation that has ionic bonding capabilities that allow it to bond stronger to any surface, and itself, creating a longer lasting barrier against the elements than traditional waxes or SiO2 coatings that have no ionic bonding capabilities, rather just fill in the micro-pores.  The advantage of TopCoat's FCT™ coating is it is easy to apply, lasts longer, wears better than Hybrid-Ceramics, and is detergent, chemical, and solvent resistant.  It offers many of the benefits of a professionally applied hard ceramic without the hassle of controlled conditions like humidity issues that could effect proper bonding, 24-48 hour cure times in clean rooms, sealing in foreign particles that need to be clayed or buffed out first, and so on.  The biggest benefitis it's not permanent!  Permanent hard coat ceramics are difficult to remove or correct if there is an issue, can lead to cracking, flaking, or chipping after application as they are too thick and can't flex or bend, can't layer or stick to itself, and often lack chemical or UV resistance making them susceptible to environmental damaged. 

 TopCoat® F11PRO® Function-Ceramic (FCT™) technology is also a H2O-SiO2 formulation, meaning its water-based, not a solvent-based, unlike every other ceramic on the market, making it truly safe for all materials and surfaces, especially sensitive finishes.  This is a huge advantage over any other Hybrid or Hard Ceramic coating on the market.  Solvents, Isopropyl Alcohols, and other non-water based formulations damage materials and surfaces by drying them out, potentially leading to discoloring, shrinking, or cracking.

So Why Choose a Functional-Ceramic Over a Traditional “Hard” Coat Ceramic?

Traditional hard ceramic coatings, especially many of the cheap ceramics that use inferior additives, may lead to many major problems versus the use of a Functional-Ceramic. We’ve seen the use of inferior additives in many countless products that claim to have a ceramic technology where they may use cheaper additives like tin instead of titanium as the catalyst. This can cause performance issues immediately and down the road. 

Many times, such inferior products boast a 9H hardness rating, which is completely false and nearly impossible. That's like saying your new applied ceramic has a hardness of a diamond!  It just not true.  Marketers as usual have mislead the consumer to create the perception that hardness equates to protection, the higher the number the better the protection, and this is totally inaccurate.  To make that claim, they use what's called the Morhs Scale which is not the proper scale for measuring a coatings hardness, rather the correct method is the Pencil Scale.  A high H rating on the Morhs scale, like a 9H or a 10H could actually be a 2 or a 3H on the Pencil Scale depending on what material they are matching it too.  It's not about matching to a material they think works, its about actually testing the real coating on the applied surface with graphite (pencils) from soft too hard until you break the coating's surface.  The actual graphite hardness  that damages the coating becomes the hardness rating, period.  

However, hardness isn't necessarily your friend either, as the harder it is the more you run the risk of the coating cracking, flaking, peeling, and chipping over time.  These hard ceramics can't flex or bend, rather brittle, like glass.  Try bending a piece of glass or a piece of porcelain and see what happens!  

Additionally, just because companies advertise a high hardness level doesn’t mean the coating is protecting from all the elements.  Hardness doesn't equate to UV stable or chemical resistant.....meaning bird droppings, bug splatter, water-marks, sap deposits, and tar will still damage and etch the hard ceramic coating, and the sun will discolor and oxidize the coating and the surface under it.  That's why professionally trained ceramic installers actually warn consumers to immediately remove any bird poop, bug guts, and sap or it will damage the coating, or don't coat over graphics as it will still turn color.

So, what happens when you have to fix a scratch, or a chip, or a crack in a hard ceramic coating?  You now need to have a professional high speed buff, even wet sand the ceramic coating off in that area, causing further issues that will likely damage your paint, causing reapplication problems as well.  Most of these companies are now selling "renewers" that are expensive as well, to help maintain the ceramic, you know, the hard ceramic that protects against anything and everything for years!  C'mon.....LOL....

TopCoat® FCT™ Functional-Ceramic Technology Has Durability That Lasts Just As Long Or Longer Than Traditional Hard Coat Ceramics, and offers more technology......

So why pay crazy money and deal with all of those potential issues with a "professionally" applied hard ceramic that is permanent, when you can get better protection from the environment, better shine, and easier long term maintenance, with a Functional-Ceramic that you can do yourself as often as you want, at a fraction of the cost?  A coating that can be applied to all surfaces, not just your paint, offers UV stability, extreme hydrophobic properties, improved color enhancing capabilities for improved shine and depth of image, designed for clear-coats and matte finishes alike, offers superior optical clarity, pliable and flexible, eco-friendly, water-based, and resistant to detergent, chemicals, and solvents making it hard for elements to damage a treated surface?  A coating packed with advanced technologies like Self-Healing (SARCT™) that fills in micro-scratches, Mycroglide™ that offers non-stick and easy-release coating properties, and Self-Leveling technologies that fill in the treated surface for a smooth and flat surface, or able to continually re-coat improving with ever application ensuring your vehicle, boat, RV, motorcycle, plane and more stays in like-new condition for years.  Yet, a coating that isn't a hard or permanent by design, enabling you to remove it easily at any moment without damaging your treated surfaces?

TopCoat® F11PRO® also benefits from being easy to apply in one stage where you simply spray it on and buff it in using a TopCoat® MycroTowel or the unique TopCoat® LUVGLUV® for hard-to-reach crevasse that you normally wouldn't reach or get to.  

Often, there is a misunderstanding that soft ceramics don't last as long as hard ceramics. The fact of the matter is Functional-Ceramic technology can last a long time, such as in the case of TopCoat® F11PRO® lasting for 12+ months or more with a single application.

TopCoat® F11PRO® with Functional-Ceramic technology will not only save you time and effort during application, but it will prevent you from dealing with all the negative aspects associated with hard ceramics, or solvent based ceramics that are not all they are “cracked” up to be.   Now ask yourself...does your coating do all of that?

No Maintenance Required! 

The maintenance of traditional ceramics is often a process that is very involved and rarely communicated to the owner of a vehicle that has had a hard ceramic application. Most times, hard ceramic coatings are not properly maintained giving them a short lifespan and subjecting them to cracking, flaking, peeling, discoloring, or chipping in just a short time. With a functional ceramic product like TopCoat® F11PRO®, there is no need for constant maintenance, just simply reapply the F11PRO when your vehicle gets dirty, wipe it down with only water, or choose to wash it with TopCoat® PolyWash®, the choice is yours, but you won't need to wash your vehicle ever again if you just use the F11PRO.

There are also cases where you may be required to remove a hard ceramic due to a surface scratch or stain from bird droppings, bugs splatter, wet leaves, mud, sap, water marks, tar, road film, or any other substance that could etch your paint or get baked in from the sun. Functional-Ceramic technology affords one to make corrections or reapply the coating themselves instead of going to a professional to perform the difficult and strenuous task of stripping a hard ceramic coating by wet sanding and high-speed buffing, which can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars.

Don’t cheat yourself out of these advanced technologies of today – Be sure your next sealant is TopCoat® F11PRO®, with advanced proprietary Functional-Ceramic technology for the best results in protecting and enhancing your finish.

When you want the best, but need the best.....TopCoat® F11PRO®!