Updated: Jun 1
What is a nano ceramic car coating in the first place? How much is nano ceramic coating? Are they worth it?
It’s certainly all over the internet these days with countless videos across social media showing water being flushed with pressure washer and mud being thrown over a hood and sheeting off instantly leaving barely a dirty mark.
For many viewers, this is the first time they’ve even heard of the terms “Ceramic Coating” or “Nano Coating”. Others are skeptical – have the videos been staged in some way? Will the coating ruin my car? And why do they seem so expensive when the bottles are so tiny?
In today’s post, we’re going to look at the realities of ceramic coating your car, whether they do what they claim and help you decide whether it’s for you or not. Although the protection these coatings offer is unrivaled, they do have some potential downsides depending on what you’re after.
Let’s spend some time clearing the facts from the fiction. This is what we’ll be covering today:
What is a Ceramic Coating
What Are the Cost?
What Does a Ceramic Coating Do?
What Does a Ceramic Coating NOT Do?
Car Coating Myths
You want your car to look as amazing as it did the day you drove it off the dealer’s lot. But despite your efforts maintaining and washing, the scratches, chips, and stains start to spread across your car’s exterior and the paint begins to dull & fade from the sun.
Anything and everything is constantly attacking your car’s surface. Mud, dust, dirty rain, water spots, unsightly brake dust, grime start sticking to your car almost immediately after cleaning it. And let’s face it, having to wash your car is boring, monotonous and time-consuming. Snow, ice, salted roads, tree saps, bird shit doesn’t help either.
Automatic car washes scratch and mars your paint, while the chemicals used are terrible for the surface. Not to mention daily life scratches from kids, shopping carts, bikes, and scooters.
Wax adds a good level of shine and gloss, and a small amount of protection, but lasts a few months at best.
Here’s where auto Ceramic Coatings come in.
What is a Ceramic Coating for Cars?
What is a 9H nano ceramic coating? The easiest way is to understand Ceramics Coatings are to think of them as a second layer of skin, or a sacrificial layer of protection over your car’s clear coat.
They utilize nanotechnology, which are essentially tiny particles that form a very fine, thin layer completely invisible to the eye. Because these particles are so small, when applied to a surface, they seal all the pores making the surface hydrophobic (water-repellent), but also resistant to UV, scratches, chemicals, extreme heat and even anti-graffiti. This 9H nano ceramic layer is completely transparent.
This also explains why the bottles contain so little liquid (typically 30ml or 50ml). The particles are so small, that this is all that is required to coat a single car.
A high quality nano ceramic coating forms a semi-permanent bond with a vehicle’s surface, resulting in a ‘sacrificial’ layer that will not wash away under strong cleaning detergents, or break down over a short period of time. In fact, usually, it lasts years.
They repel dirt and water like nothing else, which makes them easier to clean. Their hardness helps to prevent swirl marks and marring from washing.
What are the cost?
Professional Application Ceramic Coating Cost: € 500 – € 1,500
Although car ceramic coatings can be applied by everyone after a few hours of training. It is advisable to be carried out by trained and certified professionals. The use of advanced tools and equipment, years of experience and labour is that makes the cost relatively high. On the very low end as far as professional ceramic prices you can expect to pay at least € 500 for just the application. Pre-prep and professional preparation will add several hundred Euros more at a bare minimum.
The nano ceramic process typically takes anywhere between 1-5 days depending on the condition of your paint, and weather, the size of the vehicle and the packages you select. For premium ceramic coating packages such as AUTOTRIZ 3D Matrix, expect to pay upwards of € 1,500 from an approved applicator.
What Does a Nano Ceramic Coating Do
There is a good reason why their popularity is growing a lot. A lot of the benefits are simply unheard of in the automotive industry, but that said, there are also some minor precautions you need to be aware of.
1. Hydrophobic & Non-Stick Effects
Otherwise known as being very water repellent.
An important feature of a Nano Ceramic Coating is that it is hydrophobic. This basically means that water will be repelled instantaneously. When your car is ceramic coated, the incredible hydrophobic effect of the coating will cause water to bead up and roll off the surface along with most dirt, grime, or mud (as it has all been unable to bond to your vehicle’s paint). When people ask “what is ceramic coating” this is often the first demonstration.
Any remaining dirt on the car can be removed with less effort. A lot less effort.
The hydrophobic effects can also be compared and tested by its water contact angle and water sliding angel. Higher contact angle means the water droplets will bead up and roll off from surface more easy.
Water sliding angle is measured by observing water droplets move on a surface at certain degrees. Lower sliding angle means the surface is more slippery, it tends to allow water droplet to release from the surface quicker, therefore improving clean-ability.
Comparison test between two different brands of coating.
Ceramic paint coating works much harder at protecting the surface of your vehicle than an ordinary paint job. Rain and water bead as opposed to accumulating on the surface. Snow and ice does not stick to the surface. And mud as demonstrated above just slides off.
2. Scratch Resistance
Integrates a hardness protection above 9H, protecting surfaces from scratches and wear. When clear coat hardness is increased, it acts as an extra sacrificial layer to protect against micro-scratches, and the swirl marks that appear in the clear coat/ lacquer caused by car washing. This also means paint correction can be carried out safely in the future with lesser damage to original paintwork.
3. UV Protection
Vehicles often exposed to the sun will start seeing the paint fade and look dull. This is caused by the sun’s ultraviolet rays, which causes oxidation to the car’s paint. By adding a layer of Ceramic Coating to your paint, you can dramatically reduce the oxidation.
4. Chemical Resistance & Durability
Chemical resistance is the key elements that determines the durability of a nano ceramic coating. Vehicles are exposed to acid rain, cleaning detergents during car washes, or even magnesium chloride in winter. As mentioned earlier in the article, what makes the difference between a high quality and low quality ceramic coating is the nanotechnology hidden in the formulation. A low quality Silicone based nano ceramic coating tends to just form an added layer of skin on top of your paint but it could not penetrate into the microscopic pores of paint. The bonding is very weak resulting in bonding failures in months.
A high quality nano ceramic coating bonds with the molecular structure of your car’s paint and can’t be washed away with strong acid or alkaline cleaners, meaning it lasts years not months.
5. Anti-graffiti Effects
The coated surface repels permanent markers and graffiti, making these marks easy to remove. This anti-permeation technology helps prevent stain from penetrating into clear coat or substrate causing staining or yellowing issue.
What Does a 9H Ceramic Coating NOT Do?
A lot of misconceptions about what the protection does not cover. Some of it might be logical, but never the less, let’s start off by saying this. Even the best ceramic coating does not make your car scratch proof or stone-chip proof. And they’re not some magic all-encompassing product that will solve all potential hazards your surface is exposed to. The truth is not every vehicle will benefit from it.
They do not stop scratches, rock chips, they do not 100% prevent water spots, they do not replace proper care or maintenance, they do not prevent dings or dents, and they do not last forever.
Just because your vehicle has undergone the ceramic paint process or treatment it doesn’t mean you no longer need to dust, wash or remove bird droppings and tree saps. You still do. The difference is that maintaining your paint will require less effort and less time.
Ceramic Coating Myths
We thought we’d round up a few of the myths we most often hear about, so you can get your facts from a reliable source in case you’re wondering.
Myth 1: Ceramic Car Coatings Are Scratch Proof A lot of detailers and suppliers exaggerate the scratch resistance of 9H Ceramic Coatings for cars, even going so far as to call them scratch-proof or resistant to rock chips which is completely false.
Small scratches can definitely be resisted by a high quality Polysilazane based Nano Ceramic Coating and the sacrificial layer the car coating forms will certainly help against minor incidents that would otherwise mar your surface. For examples, driving through brush, small little knocks from bikes, kids playing, or animals jumping excitedly against the car
Many brands of nano ceramic coatings for cars are rated above 9H on the pencil scale, some are tested and certified, some are just self-proclaimed. Typically, hardness test is carried out by independent testing, certification, inspection bodies like TÜV SÜD or SGS according to JIS K 5400 method (scale from 9B to 9H). 9H the highest possible scratch resistance, however… 9H Ceramic coatings for cars are not thick or flexible enough to absorb the impact of a rock hitting your paint at highway speed or to resist against someone purposely trying to scratch your car.
Myth 2: Nano Coatings for your Car Don’t Require Maintenance Another myth is that ceramic coated cars do not require washing or maintenance. A coating will heavily cut down on the amount of washing and maintenance but not completely eliminate the need for it.
The fact is if you are going to drive your car, even if its infrequently, the road is a dirty and the surface is going to gradually get dirtier even with a ceramic coat.
It will still require washing, just with a lot less effort and less frequency. Overall with a car coating, it’s going to be much easier. Additionally, it eliminates the need for waxing every few weeks, saving a lot of money over the course of the ceramic coatings lifetime.
Myth 3: Thicker or More Layers is Better
This is partly true. 2-3 layers are sufficient to create a good protection. Many detailers tried to oversell their paint protection package look more attractive by offering more layers (5 to 10 layer using one single product) to their clients. Imagine a Silicone based coating as a normal paper glue while Polysilazane based coating as a super glue. No matter how many layers of paper glue you apply on a wood table, it still can be peeled off easily due to its formulation. A super glue does not need multiple layers to make a strong bonding.
Myth 4: Every Ceramic Coatings are Glossy Although the prep work done underneath is crucial. The truth is some nano ceramic coatings for cars doesn’t provide much gloss. If you have a faded paint and apply a coating to your car, it will still be faded, with a little bit of shine on top. A high quality one, the difference is big! A 50/50 test on a black colour front bonnet is the best way to compare the difference in gloss and colour enhancement of the nano ceramic coatings.
The same applies for haze or swirl marks, a low quality nano ceramic coating with high solvent content will “lock” the swirl marks or haze under the coating if they’re not removed first with proper paint correction process. Instead, a high quality nano ceramic coatings can fill up the microscopic pores of the swirls marks to form a strong bonding with clear coat.
So, hopefully that helps answer “What is a Ceramic Coating?”.
As for whether it’s worth it to ceramic coat your car? Yes, absolutely, for most cars and motorbikes. We’ve actually calculated a bit on it, and if you spread the upfront cost out on the duration of the entire protected period, you’re looking at a whopping lesser than €1.00 per day!
How to find a Professional Nano Ceramic Approved Applicator near me?
Contact your local distributor for more information: https://www.auto-triz.com/distributors