How hard is your ceramic coating?........
Investment in your car or bike is probably the second highest purchase you make and it therefore stands to reason that you will want to keep it as close to the manufacturers’ finish showroom condition. Over the years water spots, dirt and other contaminants will adhere to its paint surface and require constant maintenance to keep it looking pristine.
This cleaning process if not carried out correctly can create more problems with the inclusion of swirls, scratches, stains and marring that will detract from the factory finish. Fear not, there is an answer in the application of a Nano Ceramic Coating, applied by a qualified accredited Detailer.
What is a Ceramic Coating?
A ceramic coating is a liquid polymer is comprised of a collection of multiple, bonded molecules that utilize nanotechnology to provide a semi-permanent layer of water repellent protection.
The coating creates a permanent or semi-permanent bond with a vehicle’s paint, meaning that it does not wash away or break down and does not require repeated application every few months. It can infuse onto exterior clear coats, plastics, vinyl, glass, and even metals creating a microscopic layer of protection that can last up to 5 years. Once coated, it can only be removed by abrasion and not by any chemicals.
Let’s examine some of the benefits:
PROTECTION FROM UV DAMAGE / OXIDIZATION
PROTECTION FROM CHEMICAL STAINS AND ETCHING
EASE OF CLEANING
One of the most significant features of a Ceramic Coating is that it is hydrophobic and just hates water. See our related blog on Water Phobia: https://www.marque2pro.co.uk/post/may-2020-marque2pro-valeting-detailing
A ceramic coating can only achieve certain miracles, it will not remove the need to wash your car or protect against stone chips, however it does have an element of hardness referred to either as 9H or 10H.
So what does 9H or 10H refer to? It’s the level of hardness test of the ceramic coating once it cures on the surface. It’s based on the pencil scale of hardness, (Not the MOHS scale) used by professional artists, graphic designers etc. A pencil hardness test is a type of evaluation method that is performed to determine the hardness of a material, typically coating materials. To perform a pencil hardness test, graphite pencils of varying hardness are moved across a coating's surface. Its hardness relative to the graphite pencils is determined by the softest pencil that will leave a scratch on the surface of the coating.
So what is the pencil grading scale?
Most pencil use the HB scale, using the letter “H” to indicate a hard pencil and using the letter “B” to designate the blackness of the pencil’s mark, indicating a softer lead. The letter “F” is also used to indicate that the pencil sharpens to a fine point.
Historically, pencil makers also use combinations of letters to tell us about the graphite — a pencil marked “HB” is hard and black, a pencil marked “HH” is very hard, the hardness is determined by the amount of clay added to the pencil leads during production, and a pencil marked “BBB” is really, really black! Today, however, most pencils using the HB system are designated by a number such as 2B, 4B or 2H to indicate the degree of hardness. For example, a 4B would be softer than a 2B and a 3H harder than an H.
It’s this H grade that ceramic manufacturers use to denote the hardness of their product so a 9H is equivalent to a 9H pencil and a 10H to a 10H pencil so with the latter a pencil softer than a 10H will not leave a mark on the bodywork.
Given this it can be seen that any vehicle with a 10H coating will not be damaged by appropriate washing and cleaning providing the correct practice, materials and procedures are adopted.
So far we have discussed the hardness of the product but this is not the full picture as ceramic coatings also need to be flexible to cope with movement. The clear coat on a vehicle moves as the panels underneath warp and distort at high speeds or during temperature fluctuations, so the ceramic coating needs to do the same. Too hard and delamination can occur so careful formulation and testing is carried out to ensure our products meet the desired criteria and performance.
Once you have the ceramic coating applied there are considerations that need to be made in maintaining the coating and making it last as long as possible:
1: A durable bonding with a professional application.
2: Bi-weekly maintenance washes using appropriate materials.
3: Spot cleaning as required.
4: Quarterly inspection: The hydrophobic properties of a ceramic coating do require maintenance to keep up performance, as do
their protective abilities so a quarterly reinforcement treatment using either Body Guard Glass Coat which will give 3 month protection up to 7H or Ceramic Queen that also provides 6/7H protection.
If you have the Alpha Coat 10H ceramic protection than the reinforcement treatment is Alpha Coat which gives 10 months protection at 10H.
This added protection also carries the hydrophobic properties associated with coatings, thereby rejuvenating the effect on coatings it’s applied to.
5: Annual ceramic coating inspection are important in assessing how durable your coating is and what is needed, if anything, to ensure that durability is maintained.
Introducing our new Ceramic Coating
ALPHA COAT HYBRID 10H
10h Scratch Resistance, SGS Certificated.
Up to 5 Year Durability.
Accredited Detailer applied only.
The Alpha Coat series is one of the first coatings to be certified for 10H hardness by SGS https://www.sgs.co.uk/en-gb/campaigns/certification-services-from-sgs
It shows incomparable quality amongst not only single layers, but multiple layers as well.
It has incredible chemical resistance, anti-pollution, gloss, sleekness and water-repellency.
The Alpha Coat Hybrid derived from Aqua Coat Hybrid and has long-lasting anti-pollution and scratch resistant.