Has anyone used the new ceramic coatings vs. wax?

Discuss anything after that final masking comes off.



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:23 am
I've heard just a little about them. I live most of the year in Florida, and even waxing my car two times doesn't last more than 6 months. Any thoughts or opinions? Thanks!
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 10:15 am
I am not sure what ceramic coatings you are referring to.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 4:34 pm
It is a permanent coating, that supposedly does not wash off, protecting the paint, while providing a deep shine. A friend of my brother had it done to his car. I don't know what it cost, but it sure looked good.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 2:56 am
Ceramic paint protection systems vary a fair bit in quality and performance but what they do have in common is how they work. Essentially they fill all the tiny imperfections in the surface and then set hard leaving a very smooth surface which, by nature is going to be shiny.

That's the good bit. Some of the realities are that these coatings are thin, very, very thin. 1-2 microns thin. Now compare that with clear coat, for which the correct thickness is 50-60µm. This kind of thickness provides sufficient depth for surface scratches to be polished out and, importantly, for the UV blockers in the clear to stop damaging UV rays reaching the bond between the clear and the base and, indeed, the base coat itself. Clear coat is, to some extent, soft and flexible enough to be able to cope with the expansion and contraction of the metal panel.

So, if you put a super hard coating on your paint it will resist very minor scratching and retain its good looks. But if the scratching is any more than very minor then it will go through the coating into the clear below. Being so hard these coatings make buffing and polishing very difficult so any scratches that do mar the surface will be more likely to remain there.

The situation is similar to cars that have "ceramic clear". The much harder clear does resist scratching but my guys groan when we get a Mercedes or BMW in for buffing. It's much harder work and takes twice as long as a car with normal clear. Some years ago I had to "undo" a ceramic coating which was applied incorrectly and then got dust in it before drying. It took me a day and a half to remove it all and restore the paint.

From the perspective of protection I have trouble understanding how any coating, no matter how good it is, can stop UV if it's that thin. Consider headlights. They get a protective coating in the factory which is much thicker than these ceramic coatings and specifically designed for the purpose, yet within a few years they start to go cloudy and yellow.

Your alternative, wax, is even worse. It doesn't last at all. Better to use a good quality polymer polish that will interlock with the paint surface and last 3-10 times longer than wax. For $20-30 you can buy a bottle of Meguiars that will do at least a couple of applications on the average car - up to a year's protection. Compare that with the cost of a ceramic paint protection system which, here, run $1000-2000.

There are dozens of Youtube videos extolling the virtues of these ceramic paint protection systems. Strangely enough they all seem to make their final judgement on how well water beads after application, rather than submitting the products to proper real world testing.

In my opinion they're a waste of time and money.
Chris

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 9:56 am
Great answer and very informative post, Chris. Thanks.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 3:26 pm
NFT5 is spot on and yes, I haven't used waxes in probably 20 years or so. I'm sold on polymers and have found one I settled on about 10 years ago..... Check out this origin story on Rejex..... http://coreex.blogspot.com/2007/06/rejex-story.html
I always like to see real use and research backed results with products. Rejex has that history in the aircraft industry which is brutal on surfaces. Here is a little more on characteristics/applications....
http://www.corrosionx.com/rejex-FAQ.html
Metal, wood, fiberglass, we work it all... www.furniturephysicians.com We can restore the irreplaceable!



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 10:50 am
Thanks guys, I appreciate the input!
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