Can a Car keep Looking New for Years?
If you mention the word “Ceramic”, one of the first objects people tend to think of is a bowl. This is funny because they would be right – and wrong. See, the sheer range of products and applications that can be connected to ceramic is so wide that it could fill up an entire book. Ceramic is used in everything from window tint, flooring, ornaments, bricks, glazes, missiles, space shuttles, and dental implants, to synthetic bones, turbines, and -drumroll- CARS!
There is admittedly a need for some specificity here. Ceramic, because it is lightweight, thermally insulative, and corrosion resistant, is generally considered to be a safe and reliable material in automotive manufacturing. The average person probably has a car with components made from ceramic, whether that is his cam roller, injector pump, brakes, bearings, spark plugs, or even his car sensors. While the sheer range of uses for ceramic is truly incredible, the amusing thing is that the make-up of car components is not exactly fascinating to the average person.
Instead, car owners are typically very concerned with car exteriors. Everyone wants their car to look like it just rolled off the assembly line. Unfortunately, no one can wish away the constant assault from time and the elements that our cars must endure. Washing and waxing are only good fixes for a limited time and succumb to the elements in a relatively short amount of time. Hence the new craze for modern polymer “skins”, especially ones made from you get one guess…Ceramic.
What is Ceramic Coating?
Off the bat, Ceramic coating is a great way to block contaminants and the elements and prevent their onslaught against the exterior of your car. Used to minimize effects such as high-temperature degradation, corrosion, erosion, and wear; ceramic coatings are, today, a very popular form of paint treatment/protection for car owners. The term describes a liquid polymer that is applied by hand to a car’s exterior, that creates lasting chemical bonds with the car surfaces as it cures, forming a non-metallic, water-repellent layer of protection. Ceramic coating is typically composed of a Resin (usually silicon, as the polymeric material that forms the base for coating), a Solvent, and an Additive. The most commonly used resins are silicon-based polymers such as Silica Sol, silicon dioxide (Si02), and polydimethylsiloxanes (PDMS). Some products and brands also use titanium dioxide (titania, Ti02) as an additional hardening agent. With ceramic coatings, “Ceramic” actually means “nanoceramics” which are nanoparticles that lack the rigidity or brittleness of macroscale ceramics. So, you don’t have to worry about the layer breaking or cracking. Ceramic coatings are a commercial success and well-established for use on car exteriors both home and abroad. Sometimes, they are marketed and described as “glass” or “quartz” coatings. This is because there are so many brands, and in reality, the lingo is to distinguish products that are not materially different from others in the market.