Paint Protection Film, also known as Clear Bra, has become one of the most sought-after forms of protection for your car. They offer excellent resistance to scratches and swirl formation, keeping your paint as good as new for years to come. In this post we’re going to go in-depth about PPF, we’re going to discuss the components that comprise a good quality PPF, the different types of PPF, what you can expect to spend for a PPF and what it can protect against. This will give a fair insight into what a paint protection film can and can’t do, so you can make an educated decision about if PPF is the right form of protection for your vehicle.
Who’s it for?
Paint Protection Film is for people that really.. and I mean really care about the appearance of their vehicle. If swirls and scratches are something that you’d like to avoid at any cost, PPF is for you. Paint protection film is also recommended if you do a lot of miles on the highway, as the chances of rock chips are much higher. The film will act as a sacrificial layer taking most of the brunt and protecting the paint underneath from damage. If you live in an apartment complex and are worried about kids scratching up your ride, paint protection films are something you’d want to look at. They’re the ultimate form of protection for your paint.
Types of PPF
- Glossy Transparent PPF
- Satin Transparent PPF
- Black Glossy/Colored PPF
The type of PPF you go with doesn’t really dictate its protective properties, the one you choose boils down to your personal preference.
Features of PPF
All PPFs offered at ReflectOn have self-healing properties and are hydrophobic. Giving you the best of both worlds. The PPF has a top self-healing layer that, as the name suggests, heals minor scratches and swirls. The PPF also protects against rock chips, debris, and deep scratches that would normally require an appointment with the body shop.
It is important to note that PPF is just a film on the paint, if the impact is strong enough to pierce through the film, it will damage the paint. Although it offers great protection, it isn’t invincible.
What’s the best paint protection film?
This is a good question, but there’s no straightforward answer. We’ve tested multiple brands of PPF over the years. The good ones make it to our list of recommendations. We have certain standards and benchmarks that we’ve set in order for a PPF to make it to the list. We do extensive wear testing on all the products. This makes it easy for you to choose their pick without worrying about the lack of quality.
Things a paint protection film does for you
Scratch and Swirl resistance
PPF is the ultimate form of protection for your paint. It not only offers the best protection against swirls and scratches but also heals light scratches and swirls. Keeping your paint in its best possible condition.
Better depth and gloss
Good paint protection films enhance the gloss and depth of the paint. Giving the paint an amazing look.
A good paint protection film makes it difficult for dust and contamination to etch into the surface. The hydrophobic properties make it really easy to clean the car. Because of the hydrophobicity, water glides off the surface, giving you a clean car in no time. Here’s a simple mechanism you can use after the PPF to help prolong the life of the PPF and also keep the car clean.
PPF offers protection from UV rays, which prevents the clear coat from fading and looking old. PPF keeps the paint protected and new for a long time.
Things to look for
Paint correction before application
Paint correction before applying paint protection film is mandatory, as paint correction will remove any imperfections on the clear coat, getting the surface as close to perfect as possible. Skipping this step will make imperfections such as swirls and light scratches to be locked in and look really bad. This is a step that’s skipped in most cheaper applications and is something to be aware of.
The thickness of the PPF offered at ReflectOn ranges from 160 to 200 microns. Generally, the thicker the PPF, the better is its capability to protect against scratches. For most people, 160 microns should suffice, feel free to contact any of our representatives to have a conversation about which is right for you.
Paint protection films at ReflectOn have warranties of up to 10 years. A longer warranty will give you excellent protection against yellowing.
Ceramic coating on top of PPF
Some get their vehicles coated after a PPF application to enhance hydrophobicity. But in our testing the self-healing properties of the film diminished after the coating application. It is because the self-healing layer is covered with a hard substance and loses its properties. So getting a coating on top of the paint protection film isn’t recommended.
Severe damage to PPF
Paint protection film does protect against most everyday damages. But if a severe impact has pierced the film and damaged the panel. The panel has to be repainted and the film also has to be replaced.
PPF vs Lamination
PPF and Lamination are two very different things and aren’t interchangeable. Paint protection film is far superior when it comes to protecting the paint. Cheap lamination is something that you should really avoid, as we’ve seen cases where the lamination starts cracking, and when we try to remove the lamination, it pulls the paint with it. Lamination does more harm than good and is something you shouldn’t consider being put on the paint. See our detailed comparison of PPF and Lamination.
Paint protection film is the ultimate form of protection for your vehicle’s paint, but it does come with a premium price tag. It’s well worth it if you fall into the categories we had discussed above, if you’re still not sure about how to go about protecting the paint on your vehicle you can check out this blog talking about the different types of protection options, or you can contact any representatives at ReflectOn and we’d be happy to recommend an option that suits your needs.
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