Car Paint is thin. How thin?

Car Paint is thin. How thin? The majority of cars being manufactured today and starting since the 1980’s use what’s called a basecoat/clearcoat paint system. With this system, a clear layer of paint is sprayed over the top of the basecoat which is also the color coat or the layer of paint that has pigment in it. If the car has a metallic finish then the metallic flakes are also in the basecoat. The basecoat doesn’t offer any gloss or shine and in fact it’s dull or matte looking after it’s sprayed. The basecoat gets it’s gloss, shine, depth and reflectivity by the spraying of the clearcoat layer of paint over the top of it. This is why if a person removes too much clearcoat when buffing and they expose the basecoat it will appear to be a dull round or oval spot on a body panel. The part of the paint system that adds beauty has been removed revealing the dull or matte basecoat layer of paint. Just how thin is the clear layer of paint on a factory paint job? The factory clearcoat on a new or modern car measures approximately 2 mils or 50 microns thin. Very-Shallow-Paint-Depths-Mazda-CXIf you look carefully at this picture you will see that this BRAND NEW Mazda CX-9 has less than 50 microns of paint on the bonnet. Careful sleuths will also pick up the other significant damage of circular scratches on the paint. Clearcoat_Paints_Are_ThinThe average post-it note is around 3 mils thin. What does this mean? This means the factory clearcoat on a new or modern car is thinner than a post-it note. The next time you have a post-it note in front of you, feel a single post-it note between your fingers. Like this… adelaidepaintprotectionThis experience will drive home the point as to just how thin the clear layer of paint is on modern car with a factory paint job. It should also drive home the importance of using the least aggressive pad, product and even tools to get the job done. When I say, get the job done, the context of this usually means someone is polishing a car to remove paint defects like swirls, scratches, water spots and oxidation to make the paint and thus the car look better. By using the least aggressive products you “get the job done” while leaving the most paint on the car to it will last over the mechanical service life of the car. So this is top of mind when we are working on our customer’s cars. We take this professional approach on each and every customers cars. If you’re reading this and you’re going to do the work yourself or hire a detailer then do some research and make sure you hire a detailer that knows this type of stuff because the factory clearcoat on your car is thin. Big picture? At 2 mils or 50 microns thin I treat it all like it’s precious because it is… Dr. David Ghodoussi (the chemist behind Opti-Coat Ceramic Coating) said that the UV protection used in car paint has a half-life of 5 years! This means if you bought your car in 2010 – by the year 2015 half of the UV protection originally used to make the clear layer of paint is now non-functioning. To me, this is why you should always install a Ceramic Coating. Don’t install just ANY Ceramic Coating. Install the industries recognised most durable. Coatings that have a 10H pencil hardness. There are currently 3 products on the market, and YES Adelaide Paint Protection is the only place you will find them in Adelaide. You should also use the least aggressive product and process to get the job done because by doing this YOU LEAVE THE MOST PAINT ON THE CAR Remember… 1. Sanding removes paint. 2. Compounding removes paint. 3. Polishing removes a little paint. You only have a limited amount of paint on the car and even the best in this industry, sooner or later will sand or buff through a factory clearcoat finish. Crazy huh? And if Dr. David Ghodoussi is correct, that is – if the long term testing the paint companies have conducted have shown that in order for the entire paint job to hold up over time the clear layer needs to be at least 2 mils in thickness, (actually thinness is a more accurate word), then the car manufacturers have gotten the science of the ecoat, primer and color coat down to less than 1 mil according to your readings. To conclude… Have your car prepared by experts like Adelaide Paint Protection.

KEEP YOUR TESLA LOOKING LIKE-NEW!

Your new Tesla is a beautiful vehicle. But will it stay that way? What will it look like a year from now after bug splatter, bird droppings, tree sap, UV rays, acid rain and a host of other environmental contaminants get a shot at marring your car’s paint. Thankfully, there are powerful aftermarket Ceramic Coating products to defend against the hazards of the road and keep your Model X, Model S, or Model 3 looking like-new.

Tesla Paint Protection

Durable Ceramic Coating Paint Protection for your Tesla Model S, Model 3 and Model X, providing excellent depth of gloss, stunning looks.

Tesla Paint Protection Specialist

Based in Flinders Park, Adelaide Paint Protection are perfectly located to offer Tesla owners the industries recognised leader in Ceramic Coating Products.

We offer stand-alone Paint Protection installations as well as our very popular Packages consisting of Paint Protection, Window Tint and Interior Protection.

Tesla Ceramic Paint Protection Specialist

Tesla paint has been heavily criticised as being fragile and inconsistent in application. Tesla cars are manufactured in south Fremont, California, where the environmental requirements are quite strict. This results in the Tesla’s paint being not as “hard” as the paint finishes of some other premium manufacturers.

Some owners of Tesla Cars have been disappointed with the finish of the paint even only after a couple of months or as little of a 1000 km’s. Reports of swirl marks, light scratches and a grey haze over the paintwork which has dulled the true colour of the Tesla’s paintwork.

Adelaide Paint Protection have a solution to this problem is to install a Ceramic Coating Paint Protection treatment. The ceramic coating when cured to your cars paint, transforms into a transparent ultra hard glass film on top of the paintwork.

 

Tesla Paint Protection Specialists
Tesla Paint Protection Specialists-1

The ceramic paint protection will easily outperforms and outlast older products like wax, sealants and paint protection films (PPF).  Unlike the older generation of paint protections like wax and sealants, the ceramic paint protection forms a permanent bond with the coating of your Tesla paintwork which can only be removed by machine polishing.

 

  1. High gloss shine, scratch resistant layer that cannot be matched by premium waxes.
  2. Offers superior protection compared to paint protection packages offered by car dealerships.
  3. Protects not only paintwork, but alloy wheels, plastic trim, glass.
  4. Self-cleaning abilities means your car will stay cleaner for longer.
  5. Protects against swirl marks / light scratches.
  6. Superior gloss levels compared to car wax.
  7. Chemical resistant, can not be washed away like car wax and can only be removed with machine polishing.

 

Treat your Tesla to the ultimate in Paint Protection.

Protecting against harmful acid rain, bird droppings, light scratches and UV damage. Our Ceramic Coatings are installed on your Tesla’s paintwork, plastic trims, bumpers and wheels ensuring a minimum of 9 years durable nano ceramic coating Paint Protection for your Tesla.

The ceramic coated surfaces gain a highly-hydrophobic surface that results to an easy-clean surface requiring little to no time and effort for a superior shine. Your Tesla stays cleaner and shinier for longer with the ceramic coating paint protection. Always with a better than showroom look!

One of the most common questions I receive is, “Will this really prevent scratches like they claim”? When it comes to ceramic coatings, many companies make claims of how durable and long lasting their product is.

The answer to that is yes, in a way, but no coating will prevent stone chips, prevent a key scratch, etc. Paint protection Film or PPF is almost twice as thick as the thickest coating claim, and the only way to prevent damage is for the sacrificial layer (ceramic coating or PPF) to absorb that impact.

The claims of 9H Hardness is a little misplaced as well as it is not stated upon which scale, so many think to the more commonly known Mohs scale, which would mean it is almost as hard as a diamond. While that would be amazing, it is tested on the Pencil Hardness scale, meaning it is as hard as the most durable pencil lead. Still very durable don’t get me wrong, but that deliberately left out piece of info can be pretty misleading.

So how does it prevent scratching? In a very specific way. A ceramic coating will make the surface of the paint extremely slick and create high water contact angles. What this does it allow the dirt and debris on your paint to be less embedded in the paint, meaning it takes less effort to remove, thus less chance for that debris to damage the paint when removing. Also, less debris will stick the paint overall, again reducing the change for scratching.

 

 

So does it help prevent scratching? Yes absolutely. But the key work is help. Coatings are still an amazing protection option for your vehicle but they have their place and their limitations.

For further information or to discuss options for your new vehicle, please call us to discover how we can provide the best protection available.

GTECHNIQ CRYSTAL SERUM ULTRA VS OPTICOAT

How to protect the appearance of your new car? How can you keep it looking like it did the day you bought it.

Here’s part of the answer to that question: Apply 

Ceramic Coating is a liquid polymer that is applied by hand to a vehicle’s exterior. After application, the coating creates a permanent or semi-permanent bond with the vehicle’s factory paint, creating a layer of protection. A premium coating will add value to your vehicle and help protect its appearance.

But even if you decide to apply a Ceramic Coating, there’s another question you have to answer: Which one?

There are dozens of coatings on the market, each with its own claims to greatness. Which one should you choose? In this article, we’ll help answer that question. We won’t be giving an exhaustive review of every Ceramic Coating on the market (nor would you ever findtime to read such a thing). Instead, we’ll be comparing two of the top Ceramic Coatings: Ceramic Pro and Gtechniq Crystal Serum Ultra. First, we’ll talk about the similarities between between to two coatings. Then we’ll go over some differences. We’ll conclude with some thoughts on how to make the right decision for you and your vehicle.

(Full disclosure: Adelaide Paint Protection is a factory trained and authorized installer of Gtechniq Crystal Serum Ultra)

SIMILARITIES BETWEEN OPTICOAT AND GTECHNIQ CRYSTAL SERUM ULTRA

Both Opticoat and Gtechniq Crystal Serum Ultra have gained excellent reputations among Professional installers. Here are some similarities between the two products.

FIRST, BOTH COATINGS PROVIDE HIGH-PERFORMANCE PROTECTION FROM ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINANTS AND UV DAMAGE.

If you go with either one of these coatings, you can be confident you’ll get some of the best protection available in the Ceramic Coating category (keep reading for some of the protection limitations of Ceramic Coatings. Both coatings are efficient at protecting a vehicle’s factory paint from things like chemical stains and etching, or oxidation caused by UV exposure.

SECOND, BOTH COATINGS WILL IMPROVE GLOSS.

Both Opticoat and Gtechniq Crystal Serum Ultra are top-of-the-line aesthetically. Both coatings will enhance the depth and clarity of your car’s paint, as long as proper paint correction was performed before application.

THIRD, BOTH COATINGS WILL MAKE YOUR CAR EASIER TO CLEAN.

Because both coatings create a hydrophobic and chemically resistant surface, they make cleaning your vehicle much easier. Dirt and grime will have a harder time bonding with paint coated by Opticoat or Gtechniq Crystal Serum Ultra. And any contaminants that do bond with your paint will be easier to remove.

FOURTH, NEITHER COATING IS A SUBSTITUTE FOR PAINT PROTECTION FILM WHEN IT COMES TO STOPPING ROCK CHIPS.

Despite any marketing claim by either company, neither Opticoat nor Gtechniq Crystal Serum Ultra can properly defend against things like rock chips and scratches. Even though both Paint Protection Film and Ceramic Coatings are quality paint protection products with some overlapping features, they are not interchangeable. If you’d like to learn more about the similarities and differences between Paint Protection Film and Ceramic Coatings, drop into our Studio and we can demonstrate the differences.

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN OPTICOAT AND GTECHNIQ CRYSTAL SERUM ULTRA
FIRST, GTECHNIQ CRYSTAL SERUM ULTRA IS HARDER THAN OPTICOAT.

The Mohs Hardness Scale is used to compare the relative scratch resistance of various minerals. Minerals are measured from 1H to 10H, with 1H being the least scratch resistant, and 10H being the most. For example, graphite is 1H-2H, while diamond is 10H.

Opticoat has long boasted of their Mohs Hardness rating of 9H. Gtechniq Crystal Serum Ultra, however, is rated at 10H.

SECOND, GTECHNIQ CRYSTAL SERUM ULTRA LET’S YOU CHOOSE BETWEEN A HYDROPHOBIC SURFACE THAT BEADS OR SHEETS.

Hydrophobic Ceramic Coatings are built to repel water, but different coatings do so in different ways. Some coatings cause the water to bead, while others cause the water to sheet off. Beading is certainly visually pleasing to watch, and it helps you know you have protection on your factory paint. But the downside is that, if allowed to dry on the paint, water droplets can leave harmful mineral deposits that can damage the coating and shorten its lifespan. Sheeting, on the other hand, leaves less water on the surface, thus minimizing the chance of water damage.

Car enthusiasts have long debated the merits of beading vs sheeting, and ultimately its a matter that comes down to personal preference.

One nice thing about Gtechniq Crystal Serum Ultra is that you get to decide whether you want a coating that beads or sheets. Standard Crystal Serum Ultra will sheet water off its surface. But if you add an optional layer of Gtechniq EXO (a hydrophobic topper), you’ll see the beading effect. This option is referred to as Crystal Serum Ultra Black.

 
THIRD, OPTICOAT OFFERS A LIFETIME WARRANTY AT THEIR HIGHEST LEVEL APPLICATION.

Opticoat offers a lifetime warranty, provided you maintain the coating according to their standards and have it inspected annually by an authorized installer.

Gtechniq does not offer a lifetime warranty, but Crystal Serum Ultra does come with a 9 year guarantee.

FOURTH, OPTICOAT HAS BEEN AROUND LONGER AND HAS A LARGER FOLLOWING.

If you’ve done some reading on forums you’ve probably head Opticoat thrown around more than Gtechniq Crystal Serum Ultra. That’s because Opticoat was an earlier player in top-of-the-line automotive Ceramic Coating market. Gtechniq released Crystal Serum Ultra a couple years ago. It has been well received by auto enthusiasts, and is gaining a larger following. But Opticoat certainly has a more established reputation at this point.

WHAT IS THE BEST CERAMIC COATING FOR CARS?
OPTICOAT VS. GTECHNIQ CRYSTAL SERUM ULTRA: WHAT’S BEST FOR YOU AND YOUR CAR?

Now that we’ve covered some similarities and differences, it’s time to make a decision on what’s best for your car. Here are some thoughts on how you can go about making the right decision.

AS FAR AS COATINGS GO, YOU WON’T GO WRONG WITH EITHER OF THESE PRODUCTS.

I hope the content we’ve covered so far has made it evident that both of these coatings are premium products, and both will perform at a very high level. If you have an expert apply either one of these coatings, you won’t be disappointed.

f a lifetime warranty is very important to you, you may want to go with Opticoat, however there are conditions to go with this. If you want the hardest possible coating or if you want a coating the sheets instead of beads, you may want to go with Gtechniq Crystal Serum Ultra. But when it comes down to it, there’s one other factor looming in the background that is really the most important part of this discussion.

WHAT’S MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE QUESTION OF WHICH COATING IS THE QUESTION OF WHO’S PUTTING IT ON.

That’s right. You could swap out these two coatings, or any of the top coating brands, and almost anyone on the planet would not be able to tell the difference. However, anyone can spot the difference between an expert coating application and a flawed coating application. Because these two products are permanent, the application process is meticulous, and there are a lot of opportunities for an amateur to make mistakes.

If you do some reading on the forums you’ll see experienced auto enthusiasts come back to this point again and again. Any protective product, be it a sealant, coating, or film, is only as good as the professional who applies it. If you have an inexperienced installer who improperly preps the paint and unevenly install the product, even the best coating product in the world will look terrible and perform poorly.

Do your research on coating installers in your area. Find someone who has been in the business for a long time. Read reviews on their service and reputation. Then ask that installer which coating he or she prefers. If it’s Opticoat, go with Opticoat. If it’s Gtechniq Crystal Serum Ultra, go with Gtechniq Crystal Serum Ultra. If it’s one of the other premium coatings like CQuartz Finest Reserve or Modesta, go with that one. And if you’ve picked the right installer, you won’t be disappointed.