By Prentice St. Clair, CD-SV, RIT
Of course, we know that Proje’ offers Premium Car Care Products. In keeping with that, Proje’ offers a full line of products that provide the premium protection afforded by ceramic coating.
The Proje’ ceramic coating products contain nano-ceramic particles that fill in the microscopic imperfections in the vehicle paint surface. By doing so, the ceramic layer makes the paint surface more microscopically smooth, which dramatically increases the surface repellency of foreign substances and liquids like water, thus the reason that ceramic coatings are so hydrophobic. Foreign substances like dirt, bird droppings, tree sap, industrial fall-out, car wash chemicals, acid rain, and weather-related contaminants simply cannot adhere to the ceramic-coated surface, nor can they penetrate the ceramic.
That super-smooth surface, even though it is achieved at the microscopic level, creates a macroscopic visual effect of a more solid and deeper clear layer, yielding a deeper shine and more glossy appearance. Moreover, when properly applied, the nano particles in the ceramic cross-link at a molecular level and they also stick to the paint molecules, making them very difficult to remove.
Everyone agrees that the final result of using any ceramic product is a vehicle surface that has a deeper shine, higher gloss, and better protection than any traditional wax or sealant product. Make no mistake, wax and sealant products still have their place for standard detailing packages.
There are three main categories of ceramic products: Serum-type curable coatings, “spray-and-wipe” ceramic-infused coatings, and ceramic-infused maintenance products. Serum-type coatings are characterized by the need for a specialized application procedure, the need to “flash off” for a minute or two before wiping off excess, and a necessary curing period after application to ensure that the coating reaches peak protection performance. This is in contrast to ceramic-infused “spray-and-wipe” coatings which do not require special procedures.
All serum-type ceramic coatings consist of “solids”, the nano-sized particles that give the ceramic coating it’s strength. Those microscopic solids are suspended in a special resin base. The combination of these two makes it possible to transfer (wipe on) the ceramic product onto the painted surface. Once the ceramic chemical is exposed to the air, it begins to “cure”, which is when the ceramic molecules align, cross-link, and grip onto the paint.
Generally speaking, the more solids a ceramic coating has, the stronger and longer lasting it is, but this also makes it more difficult to apply. To cater to both the detailing professional and the do-it-yourselfer (DIY), Proje’ offers multiple ceramic coating options, so that everyone who has an interest in protecting their car with ceramic coating may do so, regardless of application skill level.
Serum-type ceramics, like Proje’s Gold Label Ceramic Coating or 9H Professional Ceramic Coating, are designed to be wiped on, one section at a time, with a provided small sponge applicator. Then, the coating layer is allowed to “flash off”, while it reacts with the ambient air for a minute or two. The flashing is indicated typically by a noticeable “rainbow” or “iridescent” color effect presented as the coating reacts with oxygen. The look can be compared to the iridescent sheen that occurs when placing a drop of motor oil into a puddle of water.
Upon seeing this effect, the installer wipes off the excess coating using special towels, leaving a smooth and even layer of ceramic. It is important that the coating is wiped off within a certain amount of time so that the coating doesn’t set up unevenly, leaving streaks, dark blotches, or “high spots”, as they are known in the industry.
Serum-style coatings with less solids, like Proje’s Gold Label, are much more forgiving, allowing for longer flash times and working larger areas. Thus, this product is ideal for the vehicle owner or DIYer. (Please see the blog entry entitled “Ceramic Coating Options for the DIYer”.) On the other hand, Proje’s 9H Professional Ceramic Coating has a much higher solid content, thus requiring greater care in application. The 9H Ceramic is best applied by certified, experienced professional installers. Mistakes made with any high-solid ceramic coating can lead to ugly high spots that are extremely difficult to remove. (Please see the blog series entitled “Ceramic Coating for Pros”.)
It is important to understand the serum-type curable ceramic coatings require pre-application prep work to ensure a successful installation. Additionally, the longevity claims of a curable ceramic are highly dependent on proper maintenance of the coating. Of course, Proje’ has several products that can assist with these efforts before and after coating application. See the other blog entries mentioned earlier for a complete discussion of proper prep and maintenance.
Another way to add ceramic protection to your vehicle--without the need for the specialized procedures required to install serum-based curable coatings—is by using ceramic-infused products. “Ceramic infused” means the product indeed has nano-ceramic particles as part of its formulation. But these products do not contain the heavy resins, solvents, and high solid content of serum-style ceramic products, thus making them much easier to apply, without the worry about “flash times”, “leveling”, and post-application “cure times”.
For example, Proje’s Ceramic After Wash SiO2 Spray Coating is a simple mist-and-wipe product that allows the user to quickly apply a ceramic-style coating to a freshly washed vehicle. For those who cannot use water during the wash (i.e., because municipal water restrictions, indoor storage, no water available) Proje’ SiO2 Quick Coat allows one to fully “wash” a vehicle and leave it with a ceramic-infused layer of protection, using no water.
For spray and wipe touch-up on your vehicle, you can use Proje’s Show Shine. Utilize this product like you would your favorite “spray-and-wipe” detail spray, except this one leaves a light coating of ceramic over the wiped area. Great for touching up painted panels, door jambs, and wheels. Some folks like to wipe down the entire vehicle with a product like this after each wash.
And, speaking of washing, you can use Proje’s Ceramic Soap for a traditional weekly bucket wash of a vehicle.
It is important to realize that, although these products are ceramic-infused, and do leave behind a coating that offers short-term benefits that are similar to curable coatings, they cannot offer the longevity and exceptional strength of curable coatings. Nonetheless, these products, used consistently and regularly, will offer excellent protection and gloss.
Ceramic coatings offer superior protection and stunning appearance enhancement for vehicle paint. One can choose the longer-lasting and stronger benefits of a serum-style coating, or the ease-of-use of ceramic-infused products for regular maintenance.
Prentice St. Clair, CD-SV, RIT has been providing training and consulting for the professional automotive detailing industry since 1999, as well as detailing services to the motoring public many more years than that. Prentice holds many certifications within the detailing industry, and is a Recognized Industry Trainer through the International Detailing Association. Considered one of the industry’s leading experts, Prentice has been inducted to the IDA Detailer’s Hall of Fame.