New car protection
Recently I was asked the following question: “What can you do for a brand new civic?” Well the answer to this question can easily be found in most modern user manuals.
In a single phrase, according to the Honda manual, a decent wax layer helps protecting your car’s paint from nature’s elements. So now here lays the fundamental question first; what are nature’s element that a paint surface needs to be protected from? Environmental damage to paint comes in a varied range of threats.
This is a list of potential environmental hazards:
Acid rain, Ash, Artillery Fungus, Bird and Insect Excrement, Brake Dust, Asphalt Tar, Bug Residue, Calcium contaminants, Corrosion (metal oxidation), Detergents (Harsh), Exhaust Gas Emissions, Infrared Radiation, Industrial Fallout, Ozone, Pollen, Sand, Ultra violet radiation, Water Marks (Water Spots)
Most of these hazards given the right catalyst (heat, moisture, both) they can become acidic. The automotive clear coats are mainly based on urethanes and acrylics which are porous, so acidic contaminants can erode the paint system very quickly. Best way to protect all your vehicle’s surfaces is to introduce a sacrificial layer which will be the protection media against these. Generally there are 3 protection media.
- Carnauba wax
Carnauba wax is a botanical product used in a large number of industries. It has a much higher melting point than other waxes and is also extremely hard. It is highly durable and it will not flake over time. This makes it ideal for creating extremely strong coatings for automobiles. Eventually, hard wear will strip the wax from most surfaces and a fresh layer should be reapplied. This effectiveness normally lasts2-4 months.
Paint sealants are synthetic products designed for long-term paint protection and easy application. They are composed mainly of amino functional polymers, which last longer than any natural wax and are highly resistant to the elements. The main benefit of a paint sealant is their durability compared to a wax, polymer-based sealants will last anywhere from 3 to 6 months.
Nanotechnology coatings form a very tight chain-link matrix nano structure. Basically, it comprises a clear thin film of tightly packed nano particles forming an extension of the surface. These very dense particles have a very strong bond that is not easily breached by chemicals or detergents. They provide a far superior all-around protection compared to traditional waxes or sealants. The layer of protection that a coating provides is measurably thicker and has a much better chemical resistant. This would prove beneficial in the event that a vehicle is subjected to acidic attack from bird drops, insect inners, acid rain and etc. The thick chemical resistant coating will make it more difficult for these types of contaminates to penetrate the protection and damage the paint. They also improve paint surface clarity and reduce light scattering, providing improved light reflectance.
Unfortunately, a major issue with many coatings is misleading information claims. For example, the advertising will make frequent mention of Hardness. The problem isn’t with the coatings. The problem lies in the methods in which many of them are marketed and sold. Many coating products claim an obtained surface (Pencil) hardness of 9H but this has little if anything to do with scratch resistance. Scratch resistance is something completely different and is be related to higher cross-link density and elasticity of the coating network as well as the surface’s friction resistance. This is the main reason to take vendor claims of ‘provides 9H hardness ‘for what it is – totally irrelevant.
I think Corey Carruth, who led the CarPro CQuartz professional programs in North America, has put it just right:
<< Our belief is that treating our clients as we would like to be treated is the only way to go. Fraudulent and/or deceitful terms such as, “permanent”, “9H”, “10H”, “12H”, “rock hard”, “rock chip proof”, “never wash again” and a bevy of utter nonsense do not belong in our vocabulary. Unfortunately confronting this sort of nonsense can become extremely time consuming and frankly we truly dislike the negativity it brings from a mass of un-educated people and marketing companies throughout the industry. >>
Properly educating the customer so they understand a coating’s possibilities and its limitations, while they offer better protection than waxes or sealants, as well as greater durability, still needs to be properly taken care of.
In this article I shall give more details on the major steps included in a new car protection utilizing a nano-coating. As with any detailing session the first on most import stage is decontamination. To start with, a pre wash foam is important to loosen and remove road grime before any contact wash stage.
Next step is a premium car soap that properly but safely removes dirt, debris, and old layers of wax to prepare the surface for further detailing treatment.
Further remove all contaminants from the surface using a quality clay bar.
Once we are 100% certain the surface is free of any surface contaminants we also have to make sure that our paint is free of sub-level imperfections such as swirls and marring from dealer’s de-wax process. So a slight polish stage is often necessary.
Surface preparation is equally important prior to coating application. Thoroughly cleaning any polishing oils with a silicone remover is essential. Specifically, either for CarPro Professional or CarPro Finest reserve, Essence is a product that I came to value really high when preparing the clear-coat.
And on to the fun part.
However the protection does not stop with the paint. All surfaces should be properly protected. For example wheel, wheel arches and unpainted plastics.
Metal and inox surfaces.
The windshield and all exterior glass surface of the vehicle should also be protected. A quality coating on glass windshields and windows should resist the friction and abrasion from road rash, wipers, dust, car washes, harsh cleansers, and the environment. But most importantly with a high water droplet contact angle and low sliding angle also gives fast water repellency with glass easily cleared from rain increasing safe driving standards in rain conditions.
Finally one major factor in choosing the correct coating is its manufacturing company support. As with any product the adequate company representation is equally important to the quality of the product itself.
Thank you very much for reading this.