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If you have a new car that you’re wanting to keep in great shape, you’ve probably done a lot of research into technologies such as ceramic coating. While you may know that ceramic coating provides a number of benefits such as helping your vehicle keep a glossy sheen, you may find yourself having difficulty explaining ceramic coating to others. Let’s break down ceramic coating and how it works, in a way where you can explain it to those unfamiliar, even your mom.
What Is Ceramic Coating?
Ceramic coating is a chemical product that is essentially created by combining three different elements: resin, additives, and a solvent. Let’s begin with the resin. This makes up the majority of the coating and is a polymer or substance with repeating sequences of large molecules. Think of it as a chemical pattern that is repeated over and over. This form – the largeness and repetition – creates strong bonds, which make the substance very hardy.
However, resins by themselves do not do a good job of bonding to paint. Thus, in order to ensure that it can stick to your vehicle’s paint job, additives are mixed into the formula. These additives help create a bond between the resin and the paint by sharing electrons. The strength of these bonds means that ceramic coating actually chemically adheres to your paint.
In other words, a ceramic coating essentially becomes part of your paint by creating very strong bonds. The strength of the bonds from repeating sequences of molecules also makes it very strong. Finally, ceramic coating has another important feature. It is hydrophobic. The design of the molecules repels water. This means that water will tend to bead on the paint once a ceramic coating is applied.
Essentially, you can think of a ceramic coating as an alternative to traditional car wax although with greater strength and more protective benefits. Additionally, depending upon the product and application, ceramic coating is either semi-permanent or completely permanent. This feature is again tied to the chemical structure. We’ll spare you the chemistry explanation here but essentially the bonds between the ceramic coating and your car’s paint cannot be broken by normal conditions your car encounters.
Why Not Traditional Car Wax?
A common question is why someone would want to invest in ceramic coating. After all, wouldn’t it be much cheaper to simply use regular wax? While the ceramic coating is similar to wax, there are benefits it provides that cannot be had with traditional car waxes.
The major benefit comes from the semi-permanent to permanent nature of ceramic coating. While you would reapply wax every month or so, you won’t have to reapply the ceramic coating. Thus, you’re saving extensive amounts of valuable time.
Additionally, ceramic coating has a wealth of other benefits. While traditional car wax provides protection for your car’s paint job, ceramic coatings provide more extensive protection. (Remember the strength of the bonds between molecules?)
Ceramic coating will protect your car’s colour from fading which naturally occurs by exposure to sunlight. This is because it reflects the sun’s ultraviolet rays which would normally cause your paint to oxidize. This also helps create the beautiful glossy look that people strive to obtain for their vehicles.
Another way that ceramic coating outperforms traditional wax is its protection against environmental concerns such as reactions against acidic substances, something traditional wax simply cannot stand up against. In fact, ceramic coatings were first invented with the goal of protecting vehicles in areas with very acidic rainfall.
Is There Anything a Ceramic Coating Can’t Do?
Why yes, ceramic coatings are not a perfect solution for all your automobile needs. You’ll still need to wash your vehicle periodically. If you’ve had your car for a while, a ceramic coating also won’t magically fix any existing imperfections. Actually, it will lock them in under its coat.
Ceramic coatings also won’t protect your car from damage. While the hardiness of the protective layer will help your car somewhat resist damage, it is still at the mercy of hazards you can encounter on the road such as rocks or stray shopping trolleys.
However, taking advantage of ceramic coating will provide you with the following benefits:
- Protect against sun damage
- Protect from chemical damage from rain and other substances
- Maintain value by preventing typical paint fading
- Provide some resistance to scratching
- Make cleaning easier
- No need for regular wax applications