How Do Ceramic Coatings Age?
When considering a significant investment, it’s important to know how that investment will pan out over time. We all know about the incredible performance of ceramic coatings – chemical resistance, stain resistance, abrasion protection, easy maintenance, and deep gloss – but these advantages would be meaningless if the coating only lasted for a week. Coatings aren’t cheap, so people want to know that they will stand the test of time and maintain their performance the whole time.
High quality ceramic coatings will not fade, crack, or turn yellow due to age. They will maintain their incredible performance until it is time for a new coating, which can be up to 7 years. That’s over 2,500 consecutive days of performance – read about the most durable ceramic coating on the market right here.
At this point, you may be thinking, “Hold on a second, I’ve seen some pretty ugly coatings out there. Where do those come from?”
It isn’t totally uncommon to see a vehicle that looks like it’s moulting. This look is so ugly that we understand why people are so concerned with adding anything to their vehicles. Here, we can reassure you about the longevity of ceramic coatings.
Usually, the culprit behind the shedding-snake look is old, crappy paint protection films (PPF, aka a “clear bra”). PPF is the best product out there for protecting your paint from rock chips and serious scratches, but cheap PPF degrades quickly. When PPF degrades, it turns yellow, cracks, blisters, and becomes opaque.
High quality PPF have UV inhibitors built in, which is why they can withstand the UV radiation. Cheap films don’t have inhibitors to protect them from UV rays, so they quickly degrade and break down.
How Does UV Radiation Affect Ceramic Coatings?
Considering that the spirit of ceramic coatings and PPF are the same (they both protect your vehicle), they couldn’t be more different. PPF is composed of a vinyl or polyester sheet with an adhesive backing – essentially a fancy, clear sticker. A ceramic coating is a liquid resin with ceramic nanoparticles suspended throughout. The resin forms a molecular bond with your vehicle’s clear coat, rather than just being stuck on with glue.
Ceramic coatings are unaffected by UV radiation and don’t react chemically with anything except extremely strong alkaline solutions. Ceramic coatings actually block UV light from hitting your paint, which prevents fading and oxidation. The only thing ceramic coatings can’t do is protect your paint from rock chips as well as PPF.
Which is Right For You?
PPF is the gold standard for protecting your vehicle from rock chips. Ceramic coatings protect your vehicle form UV radiation, chemical damage, light abrasion, and help you keep the vehicle clean. Ceramic coatings also seal in paint perfection, giving you a freshly detailed look every day.
PPF might make sense if you do a lot of off roading or spend a lot of time on unfinished roads. Ceramic coatings are a great choice if you want your vehicle to look perfect with minimal effort. The great news is that you can actually choose both. CJ’s Autobling carries a range of ceramic coating formulas, including one that is designed to be applied on top of paint protection films. Take a look at our range of products to see what’s right for you, or get in touch with an expert right here.