Which Paint Treatment Provides the Best Protection From Rock Chips? | Bulldog Detail
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Which Paint Treatment Provides the Best Protection from Rock Chips and Road Debris?

It’s not always easy to know which vehicle treatment provides the best paint protection from actual pebbles or other hard debris that gets kicked up on roads.

Both nanoceramic coatings and graphene coatings are advertised as providing some protection from chips and swirling. While this is true thanks to their unique chemical compositions, ceramic and graphene coatings don’t exactly match the chip protection provided by a clear bra (paint protection film).

It’s important to keep a few things in mind if you’re deciding which option is right for you:

  • Some exterior treatments can be combined to provide the best of both worlds
  • Paint protection film doesn’t possess some of the same dust or water repelling benefits offered by graphene coatings

What Makes Paint Protection Film More Effective at Protecting Against Chips?

We’ve explained some of graphene’s unique protective properties in previous blogs about this new car treatment option. Graphene coatings are extremely thin, but they are 100 times stronger than steel at the same thickness (an equally thin layer of steel). That’s impressive, but it’s not exactly an invisible force field that will just bounce off high-velocity rocks without a chip or scratch.

Graphene coatings and ceramic coatings are liquids that are applied to a vehicle’s exterior. When done right and completely they add a physical barrier, but it’s relatively thin by its nature.

Paint protection films are applied kind of like a vinyl car wrap. It’s essentially a special polyurethane sheet that’s carefully attached to your vehicle’s exterior like a second skin, creating that force-field like effect.

The polymers used to create paint protection film flatten out to their natural, default state when they’re heated, so little rock impacts or minor scratches that may leave a mark on the film can be flattened back out to restore the appearance of your exterior to a pre-impact state.

This self-healing occurs naturally in places like Phoenix and Scottsdale but may take a bit of work in colder climates. In cold climates vehicle owners may need to use a heat gun, hot water or a warm, moist wash cloth to kick-start the self-healing.

Why Would Anyone Choose a Ceramic Coating or Graphene Coating if They Don’t Provide the Same Level of Chip Protection?

Some of the aesthetic benefits offered by a ceramic coating or graphene coating are enjoyed by clear bras as well, but not all. All the options can:

  • Help prevent stains and etch marks from chemicals
  • Reduce the effects of UV rays like oxidation
  • Help a vehicle maintain its new appearance longer

Ceramic coatings and especially graphene coatings also:

  • Have hydrophobic properties that repeal water (and dust in the case of graphene) to make cars look cleaner longer and make washing them to their pre-treatment glossiness a lot easier
  • Provide additional protection from a longer list of contaminants
  • Trap in optimal glossiness for as long as the coating lasts

Can You Apply Ceramic Coating and Clear Bra?

Yes, both clear bra and ceramic coating can be applied to the same vehicle so it can enjoy all the protection possible and double up on protection from UV rays and chemical etching.

Detailers can also do customized combinations of films and coatings. The front of your car – like the hood, side mirrors, fenders and bumper – are particularly inviting targets for rocks and other debris that’s tossed up at high velocity on highways. An auto detailer can apply paint protection film to these areas of your vehicle and then apply a ceramic coating or graphene coating to the entirety of your vehicle’s exterior.

You can also get the entirety of your vehicle covered in both, meaning you’ll have optimal protection from rock impacts, resistance to water spotting and chemical etching, easy washing and enhanced glossiness.

Find Out Which Option Is Best for Your Phoenix or Scottsdale Vehicle and Budget

Scottsdale and Phoenix car, truck and SUV drivers interested in learning more about reducing the risk for paint chipping on their vehicle should call Bulldog Detail for more information on their options. Our auto detailing experts would be happy to explain what each treatment accomplishes in greater detail and recommend which option or combination of options would work best for your car.

We can also explain our process and how we paint correct and maximize your exterior’s glossiness prior to applying clear bra or ceramic coatings to lock it in.

Call us at 602.653.3935 to learn about your exterior protection options.


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