Ceramic Coating or also known as nano coating on the automotive market is a liquid serum that hardens into a solid form once it’s applied and cured on to the paint work of a vehicle. The purpose of this coating is to protect the paint surfaces and enhance the appearance of the paint’s gloss and shine. These ceramic coatings usually consists a combination of silica and titanium dioxide, which together form a nano structure to create a semi-permanent bond with the vehicle’s paint. This protective layer of coating will resist and reduce common contaminants such as road tar, acidic/alkaline conditions, bug splatters, bird droppings, UV, oxidation, swirls and minor scratches.
Does it replace waxing?
Yes it does! Most conventional wax only lasts for a month or two and it will naturally wears off. Ceramic coating is more permanent and can last to more than 5+ years depending on the ceramic coating product you used. What this means is that you longer need to wax your vehicle after every wash and still get the same high gloss and colour depth throughout the life of your ceramic coating.
Why does water bead off?
The hydrophobic (water repelling) property is a popular feature for ceramic coating. Under microscopic vision, the paint surfaces on vehicles contain many pores even if the surface has been paint corrected or “buffed”. Ceramic coating fills those pores on the surface of the clear-coat and creating a self-leveling smooth surface on top. As a result, water and other contaminants do not adhere to the surface as easily as the factory clear-coat.
What is 9H hardness?
Most ceramic coatings on the market are graded 9H, and they do their jobs against surface swirls and marring for typical daily use of the vehicle. So what does this grading really mean?
You may have heard of this term 9H when it comes to the hardness of pencils. 9H is the hardest grade of pencils available, and 6B being the softest. The hardness is a measurement of resistance against surface scratches and marring when another object is used to create a surface flaw. The higher the grade, the less prone it is to be scratched from other materials. For example, diamond has a hardness rating of 10H, and only a 10H graded material would be able to create a surface scratch on a 9H material (based on specific testing parameter, and even a 10H grade material is not “bullet-proof”.)
What does ceramic coating do and not do?
Hydrophobic: A very common feature shown in ceramic coating videos is the showing the ability how the coating can allow water to bead off the from the paint surface.
Dirt Repelling: ceramic coating repels dirt and mud much better than any factory clear coat paint.
Atmospheric Protection: namely UV rays, oxidation, and acidic or alkaline conditions.
Rock Chips: a ceramic coating may prevent a minor chip against a small pebble on the highway, but it will not protect the paint from a rock hitting your front bumper at 100km/h resulting in loss of paint.
No cleaning required: This is a very common misunderstanding, ceramic coatings will ease the process of cleaning. Cleaning the surfaces of your vehicle is still a mandatory process in order to keep your paint and your ceramic coating fresh and looking new.
How To Maintain Ceramic Coating
There isn’t anything special you need to do in regards to maintain ceramic coating, the most important thing is to use a PH Neutral car shampoo. Car shampoos that contain high acidic value may degrade the coating and shorten the life of the coating. You will also need to make sure your wash mitt and microfiber towels are clean and free of contaminates. Most ceramic coating brands will require the owner to return for an annual maintenance and inspection to keep the warranty (if any) valid.
Speed Projects Lab
At Speed Projects Lab, we carry a wide variety of ceramic coating products. We have 5 professional grade ceramic coatings (Ceramic Pro, Revivify Self Heal, Xpel Fusion Plus, Gtechniq, CS-II) and 2 consumer grade ceramic coatings (Hydrosilex, XPEL Ceramic Boost) that can be used as a post care product to our services or simply include as part of your regular car wash. We can also provide annual maintenance and inspection for all the brands we carry as well as supply post care products such as PH Neutral car shampoo.