You are about to purchase a new vehicle, and you want it to keep looking like it does on the first day. In order for that to happen, your car will need to have some protection, something guarding it from the forces of nature that decimates the vehicle’s appearance. You’ve heard about protective films, or something called a “Clear Bra,” but the details are not readily available.
Well, it is time for a formal introduction:
Car Buyer, meet Car-Protection.
And here’s what you should know about Automotive Paint Protection Film.
WHAT PAINT PROTECTION FILM DOES FOR YOUR CAR
Automotive Protective Films go by many different names: Clear Bra, Clear Mask, Invisible Shield, Clear Wrap, Rock Chip Protection, Car Scratch Protective Film, etc. The most common terms for car protective films are simply Paint Protection Film and Clear Bra.
Car Paint Protection Film is the most comprehensive form of defence you can establish between your car and those that are able to damage your car’s appearance. Because of the Paint Protection Film’s high impact resistance, its application will protect the paint from chips and scratches caused by rocks and road debris. The urethane film is resistant to corrosion and acidic contaminants, which means that it will create a line of defence from chemical stains and etching caused by bird droppings, bug splatter, mineral deposits and acid rain. It does not oxidize with exposure to the sun, and it will guard the paint from fading caused by UV rays.
The top layer of a quality film is made up of elastomeric polymers that returns to their natural shape after being stretched or disfigured, giving the film a “self-healing” property. That means when light scratches are inflicted in the film, it absorbs the damage and returns to the texture and properties it had before the incident.
With that in mind, applying a quality Protection Film is something you can do today in order to maintain the look and quality of your car’s paint for years to come.
Now, let’s remember, while Paint Protection Film is powerful and its benefits are numerous, it is not a cure-all when it comes to keeping shiny cars shiny. Nothing will make your car bullet proof. There are rocks that can puncture the Film. If bird droppings or bug splatter are allowed to sit on film for a long period of time, it can and will damage the film.
After applying Paint Protection Film, you will still have to maintain your car.
There is no perfect solution for an unending gloss, and that is not what Paint Protection Film promises. Rather, Paint Protection Film promises that after application, when the forces of nature fight against the depth and clarity of your car’s paint, the paint will fight back.
You will add value to your car by protecting it from damage you could not have avoided otherwise. In the words, Paint Protection Film keeps your car looking better for a longer period of time.
THE TECHNOLOGY AND PROPERTIES OF PAINT PROTECTION FILM
If you’re going to wrap something around your fine new vehicle, you’ll want to know what it is exactly. Let’s discuss a little bit more about what’s inside a sheet of Paint Protection Film. The key ingredient is urethane, a powerful and versatile polymer made from carbamate links. As a compound, it has unique attributes: It is lightweight and transparent, similar to plastic.
However, unlike plastic, it is not brittle or susceptible to tears and cracks. It has a high resistance to impact, abrasion, and corrosion. It is also incredibly flexible, and can return to its natural shape after being stretched or disfigured.
The applications of urethane as a polymer are broad, but today we are talking about your car, and for the benefit of your car, urethane serves as a central ingredient in a clear film around 8 mils (0.008 inches) thick.
Image from Crystgard™
In addition to the central layer made up of urethane (or polyurethane), a quality Paint Protection Film has at least two other layers.
First, the top is lined with clear coat made up of elastomeric polymers. This is the part that enables a good film to heal itself from small scratches. But it does much more. The clear coat on a good film will have a low surface energy, which prevents organic compounds, like bugs or bird droppings, from bonding with the film.
Second, the bottom is lined with an acrylic adhesive that is designed to be:
- Flexible, so that it can be stretched and wrapped around every contour or your vehicle
- Durable, so that the film will not detach over time
- Invisible, so that it will not affect the look of the paint.
So when it comes to keeping your new vehicle looking new, Paint Protection Film is the most comprehensive and longest-lasting solution. If you have additional questions, browse some of our Paint Protection Film blog posts. Fill out our contact form if you have any questions or if you are ready to schedule an appointment.
You’ve now been formally introduced to Paint Protection Film. We hope this is just the beginning of a long and rewarding friendship!