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Recommedations - ceramic coatings

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Old 09-01-17, 03:27 PM
  #31  
Break2
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Originally Posted by zmcgovern4 View Post
Paint coatings do not prevent swirl marks. You must use the same care and caution with washing and drying as you do with an uncoated vehicle.
Isn't that one of the main purposes of having it coated? I thought it prevented light scratches and swirls?
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Old 09-01-17, 04:06 PM
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No - in theory, a coating is "harder" than bare clear coat... but the actual real world resistance to swirls and scratches is relatively minor. If anything, a coated vehicle will resist some of the light marring from general maintenance, but if you are doing something to the point of causing true swirl marks or scratches in the paint, a coated vehicle will still show damage over time, perhaps at a slightly slower rate, but they certainly do not prevent any sort of superficial damage.

From my article The Truth Behind Wild Coating Claims by Zach McGovern

Hardness – What does it really mean?

Many companies like to dwell on the hardness rating, such as 9H. Some even include it in their product’s name to draw attention to it. What most of them are not advertising is what 9H actually means. The test used to determine the film hardness that is advertised for every coating I have seen to date is known as the “Pencil Hardness Test”. As I understand it, this test consists of a variety of standardized grading pencils that range from soft to hard depending on the composition of the pencil. Using a pencil, a line is made on the surface that is being tested, and if no scratch is visible, the test is repeated with a harder pencil until the surface is scratched. A coating with a hardness of 9H does not show a scratch with the hardest pencil.

This is far different than the MOHS Mineral Hardness scale in which minerals are rated on a scale of 1-10, where 1 is the softest and 10 is the hardest. In the past, I have seen detailers advertising products with a 9H MOHS hardness, however this is simply not feasible. If a coating had a mineral hardness of 9H, the only substance that would be able to scratch the surface would be one with a hardness of 10H or greater. For reference, a diamond, one of the hardest substances on earth, is rated at 10H. With that in mind, if a coating was truly 9H mineral hardness, it would not be possible to scratch the car with a key and you certainly would not be able to make swirl marks with a dirty towel (unless you’re smashing up diamonds and sprinkling them onto your towels).

Once a coating is applied, it can be scratched and swirled just the same as bare paint, so do not read too far into the hardness claims that are listed with any particular coating. In my opinion, they are nothing more than marketing hype.

Never Polish Your Car Again!

Say goodbye to swirls and scratches! … I wish. You know what they say, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Unfortunately, this is another completely false claim that is being used to lure customers in. While paint coatings may theoretically provide some small amount of resistance to fine marring, they are certainly not scratch proof or swirl proof, and improper washing and drying will absolutely lead to swirls and scratches on a coated vehicle. We typically recommend having a coated vehicle polished and re-coated every 2-3 years or so to maintain the highest gloss and clarity. A well maintained vehicle should only require very light polishing, never true correction, regardless of what type of protection has been applied.


From my article The Benefits of a Paint Coating by Zach McGovern
Clear coats are very sensitive, and sometimes it seems like no matter how careful you are, it is impossible not to leave behind some very light marring or swirls after washing and drying. Paint coatings are typically harder than your vehicle’s clear coat. This added hardness helps to protect your paint from light marring. Remember, coatings can still easily be scratched, however they can help to reduce the amount of lighter defects from appearing over time. This means you will need to polish your vehicle less often.
I encourage you to read both articles completely for more information.

Hope that clears things up.

-Zach
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Old 09-01-17, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Break2 View Post
Isn't that one of the main purposes of having it coated? I thought it prevented light scratches and swirls?
Main advantage of the coating is ease of maintenance and durability. A coating is tougher than a standard sealant or wax, but you still have to care for it properly like you would paint. It doesn't magically stop swirl marks from ever happening again.

I've had CSL on my car for 9 months now and it seems like it has less swirls than it would after 9 months uncoated.
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Old 09-01-17, 07:47 PM
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Don't sweat yourself over every swirl marks. Your going to need to clean your ride often as a daily and its almost impossible not to add a swirl somewhere here and there. I mean even with the gentle wash I am noticing very light wash induced swirling, definitely nothing like before but its there. Just take care of it properly and you will minimize the swirling greatly especially after a long correction to make your paint looking all perfect, nothing like all of the daily drivers on the road have.
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Old 02-01-18, 10:41 AM
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Just an update...finally got around to detailing the car 2 weeks ago. Clay bar, m205, IPA wipe down, CSL. CSL is super easy to apply. It's wipe on, wipe off almost. After initial application, very wet looking finish but to my surprise, not very hydrophobic (although I kind of attribute this to my first time applying a ceramic coating). Either way went through a whole week of rain and car still looks shiny and clean. Just washed and topped with C2V3 and it definitely adds a slick layer to it. Will report back on how it hold ups.

Last edited by PlatES300; 02-01-18 at 12:35 PM.
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