What’s Best: PPF vs. Ceramic Coating, or Both?

What is a Ceramic Car Coating?

Ceramic car coating is a coating process that covers your car surface with synthetic substances that contain the element Si (Silicone). These coatings are primarily used for their hydrophobic (water repelling) and anti-scratch properties.

Although there are different types of liquid ceramic coatings, they all contain at least small amounts of silicone. Silicone is known to penetrate deep into the micro pores of the paint and can be difficult to remove. This makes it problematic to repaint your vehicle even if you can remove the ceramic coating.

What is Paint Protection Film (PPF)?

You may have heard about paint protection film when people refer to “clear bra.” A clear bra is a section of PPF that is used to protect the front, rear fascias, hood, or truck. This special thermoplastic is a urethane that has better durability than the urethane paints that are sprayed onto commercial vehicles. Some brands are better quality than others, however. When shopping for PPF, be sure to look for brands that are non-yellowing and that are hydrophobic.

PPF also comes in different mil thicknesses. This makes it suitable for a variety of various applications and budgets. Most PPF is self-healing and will repair itself if it is scratched or marred. It may heat up in the sun and level out or when using a heat gun. This makes it the perfect addition to any vehicle because it protects the paint job from the damage and absorbs the impact from debris. 

PPF can even absorb the impact of minor hail, stones, and other road debris. This durable “skin” is a shield against the elements, including acid rain, bird droppings, sap, and even wind sediment.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Applying Ceramic Coating to a Vehicle?

Applying a ceramic coating helps seal the paint by repelling water. You can spray liquid silicone onto a snow shovel or the bottom of a sled to achieve the same hydrophobic function. This is hardly a revolutionary concept. Although the thin layer of ceramic coating acts more like a durable Carnauba wax, it does not provide the same warm glow as traditional waxing.

Most people apply a ceramic coating if they want the paint to hold up longer using a low-maintenance regimen that skips traditional detailing needs. Although it does create a very thin layer to reduce micro abrasions on the surface of the paint, it does not hold up to more severe abrasions.

What Are the Key Differences Between Ceramic Coating and Paint Protection Film?

The car paint protection film vs. ceramic coating debate is a bit confusing because they both seem to offer similar paint protection. However, the degree of protection in the ceramic coating vs. PPF debate is critical. The ultimate question is “paint protection film vs. ceramic coating what’s best?

And in answering this question, our lab set out to develop ceramic coating liquid products a year ago. After completing lab research, we reached the conclusion that ceramic coatings fail to provide car surface protection.

What we did find is that paint protection film (PPF) offers superior physical protection. It has the thickness and durability to protect the car paint from scratches, stone chips, and other external elements. 

Car surface and paint protection capability is the critical difference between ceramic coating and PPF. This is due to the thickness of the material, the composition, and how it’s applied. A ceramic coating is either applied as a liquid and wiped on or is sprayed on. This makes the thickness of it inconsistent in many areas. 

PPF, by contrast, is a thermoplastic that molds to fit the entire surface of the vehicle. The thickness is consistent throughout and, therefore, can protect the paint better with a higher degree of surface tension. The surface tension is the same reason why you can skip a rock across the water.

This secret increases the effectiveness at preventing damage to your vehicle even if the paint surface is impacted at high speeds with hail, stones, or other road debris. Think of the surface tension as an invisible shield that the debris must penetrate.

Can I Use a Combination of Ceramic Coating and PPF?

If you are considering applying a ceramic coating over paint protection film, there really is no need. The hydrophobic Creed PPF available from Rayno eliminates the need for a hydrophobic outer layer. Although traditional PPF does not have these hydrophobic properties that repel water, Creed product has it built in. 

No matter how liberally you slather or spray on the ceramic coating liquid, its thickness is too thin to measure. This thin layer of coating cannot protect the clear coat and paint. Although detailers have created videos featuring scratch tests of ceramic coated surfaces, we were unable to replicate these results in our own testing.

Silicone-based products are slippery and may deflect the force of some elements that can scratch and mar the surface. However, you can achieve an even higher level of paint protection by using traditional Carnauba wax. While this may offer a minimal level of scratch protection, it is hardly anything worth noting.

Because the impact of debris is deeper at high speeds, savvy supercar owners choose PPF over ceramic coating every time. In fact, when you consider that PPF was developed initially for the military to protect vehicles that are more expensive than any supercar, it is clear to see why it is the best choice. 

Although ceramic coatings are more budget-friendly and can be applied to all surfaces of the vehicle, including the undercarriage, they are more popular among money conscious consumers. But, for anyone looking for real paint protection, only a film like Creed PPF is worth their time.

Instead of applying ceramic coating on PPF, you can apply it to the areas that are less likely to be damaged from the external elements, such as the trunk. On the undercarriage, it makes sense to apply ceramic coatings to exhaust parts and other places to repel road salt and reduce the chances of corrosion.

Conclusion

Creed PPF is the top choice for your vehicle. It has the surface tension, hydrophobic properties, and full body protection that your paint needs. It is also self-healing, which means it can repair scratches and scuffs. Creed beats the other PPF brands because of its superior anti-staining and effortless washing.

It will always retain its clarity to keep an invisible barrier without diminishing respect for your showroom finish. You may still want to invest in ceramic coatings for other parts of your vehicle to take advantage of the anti-oxidation properties in places that are hard to wax. 

Yet, when it comes to protecting your paint, ceramic coatings are sub-par and may even be less effective than Carnauba wax.

Click here to find a PPF installer near you.

No Garage? Here’s How To Protect Your Car From Hail

The weather in the United States is getting more unpredictable and severe. Global warming is causing rapid changes in our environment and unique weather patterns. You are bound to encounter a hail or ice storm if you drive a lot or live in states, such as Nebraska, Colorado and Wyoming where heavy snowfalls occur or where thunderstorms are frequent, such as in Dallas, TX.

Large hail or intense ice storms will damage your property. But you don’t need a full-fledged hailstorm to damage your automobile’s finish and body panels. If it is cold enough outside, the rain can freeze and turn into pellets of ice that are similar to hail. They may not have the classic round shape of hail balls because they are freezing raindrops.

If the wind is strong enough, the freezing rain can hit with enough blunt force trauma to put dings in the soft sheet metal panels of your roof, hood, doors, and trunk.

How to Protect Car from Hail Damage

Few drivers know how to protect their car from hail if they happen to get caught up in a storm. It is not like you can push a button on your console to engage a hail cover or put your vehicle in “hail mode.”

In fact, the sheet metal in many late-model vehicles is thinner than ever to reduce curb weight for the sake of fuel economy and emissions standards. If you happen to own a new Dodge, for example, you are in for a surprise if you take that vehicle into areas where they have heavy winds and ice storms or traditional hailstorms.

Strangely enough, it just takes some ice beads falling off an electrical wire to put dings in the soft metal panels of your vehicle. This is because the impact is magnified by the speed of the car. These dings can cost thousands of dollars to repair using paintless dent removal techniques. Let’s consider how to protect your vehicle from hail damage in greater detail, below.

Garage Storage and Improvisation

The best way to protect your car from hail is to keep it covered in a fully covered garage. If you are driving on the highway, try to pull over under a bridge or overpass. Use this as a shelter to deflect the direct force of any hail that is blowing around. This will help protect the roof, trunk, hood, and especially the front windshield of your vehicle from direct blows.

Pulling over to the side of the road as quickly as possible is usually the best strategy if you are on the road and cannot get to a garage because it may also be impossible to see in the downpour. Using a hydrophobic water repellent like Rain-X washer fluid can help to clear up the windshield and improve visibility.

Can a Car Cover Protect Against Hail?

Although they do sell hail protection car cover kits for a variety of automobiles, these car covers may be frustrating to install. You have to practice putting them on in other kinds of rainy or snowy weather to truly be prepared. And even then, there is no guarantee that the body panels won’t be dinged. The quality of the cover versus the force of the hailstorm are the determining factors.

How to Protect Car from Hail with No Garage?

The best way to protect your car from minor hail is to invest in a high-quality paint protection film (PPF). Rayno Creed Paint Protection Film offers superior protection, clarity, and durability. This is because it is engineered using nano-coating technology. This molecular precision allows the PPF to self-heal when it is scuffed, scratched, soiled, or exposed to trauma.

This is similar to the engineering concept behind the undentable doors that were installed in Saturn vehicles. Except, this PPF is nearly invisible and protects the paint and retains that new car look for many years.

It is also hydrophobic and will repel water and, thus, protect your vehicle from corrosion. PPF provides a protection against many environmental factors that ruin perfect showroom finishes.

Don’t leave yourself unprotected. When you install Rayno Creed PPF, you have more than one benefit. It won’t just protect against minor hail damage, but will also protect against stones and pebbles being kicked up by traffic or your own wheels.

Creed PPF is like a bulletproof vest for your car that deflects the impact and resists damage. It works so well because minor hail is not able to overcome the surface tension that the protection film creates. 

Think of PPF like the peel of an orange. You can’t get into the soft center without first breaking through the tough outer skin. This surface tension deflects the pressure of each blow by distributing it across the entire layer.

Its ability to repel water eliminates the need for Carnauba waxing. Unlike some PPF brands, the Rayno Creed nano-coating technology is pure and consistent to prevent it from turning yellow over time. This ensures that it always looks as good as the factory paint job. The authentic colors can resonate.

When you consider how expensive it is to have a vehicle repainted ($7,000+) or the difficulty of finding a talented body shop, it makes sense to protect your paint. It is easy to scuff paint with doors in parking lots, road debris, and the erosion and softening from acid rain. Even bird droppings are acidic enough to eat away at the paint.

If you live in an environment that exposes your vehicle to road salt in the winter or sea salt from a nearby shore, PPF provides an even more significant benefit. It stops the corrosion process before it begins.

Conclusion

A garage is one inexpensive method of keeping your vehicle free of damage when it is parked. However, when you are on the roads, Rayno Creed PPF is your best insurance against having to make an insurance claim on your car. Find a Rayno dealer near you today to get your auto wrapped in “hail-proof skin.”