What is paint protection film and why it’s a great way to protect your vehicle.
What is paint protection film? Paint protection film, also known as PPF is a multi-layer urethane based film that is anywhere from 6-8 mils thick. It is designed to reduce the impact from stones and road debris to mitigate damage to the vehicle’s paint. Most current protection films are also capable of self healing light swirls and scratches out with heat. Ceramic coatings and other detailing solutions are not capable of resisting or preventing rock chips and medium-to-heavy scratches. Paint Protection film is the only solution currently available to prevent scratches and rock chips.
PPF consists of 3 layers: an adhesive layer, a TPU/PVC layer and a top coat layer.There are 2 general types of paint protection film: TPU and PVC. We will briefly touch on each one below.
PVC Protection Film
PVC film is frequently used in dealership and/or factory installations. This type of film lasts 3-5 years and typically carries a 3 year warranty. As it ages, it quickly yellows and gets cloudy. This film is designed for temporary protection from rock chips and light road debris. PVC protection film does not self heal light swirling and scratches out in the cold or the heat.
TPU Protection Film
TPU Films are used by most high-end detailing and film shops. These films have an 8-12 year average life expectancy and are capable of maintaining their gloss and performance over the entire lifespan. The TPU layer is what drives impact resistance ability of the film. All of the top name film manufacturers like SunTek and Xpel carry a 10 year warranty while a few manufacturers like Holy Grail Ceramics Lustro are able to provide a lifetime warranty.
What’s the difference between the film manufacturers?
Adhesive layer: This layer is more for the installer than the client. The adhesive layer determines the speed and wrap ability of the film. Inexperienced installers prefer less aggressive adhesives while more experienced installers prefer the more aggressive adhesives.
TPU Layer: There are only 2-3 TPU manufacturers in the world. The majority of the films in the United States all use the same TPU layer from the same manufacturer. Most likely, no matter what brand you go with in the U.S., the TPU will be the same.
Top Coat: This is where the PPF bread is buttered. The top coat is what is going to be different and make the most difference in the films. The top coat is what determines hydrophobic capabilities, gloss, clarity and self-healing ability.
What we use at Siramic Detail and why
We get a lot of questions about why we use the products we do. The answer is simple, regardless of brand name, cost or reputation, at Siramic Detail we look for the products that live up to our standards and bring our clients what we consider to be the best results. Specifically for paint protection films there are a few key characteristics we look for:
- hydrophobic properties
- retention of those characteristics over the lifespan of the film
Over the years we have had the privilege of installing and testing almost every film on the market. From SunTek to Xpel they have been in our shop, tested and reviewed by our master installers. It’s difficult to find a film that meets our standards. In the past, we would have to pick between a film that looks great OR performs great we weren’t able to find a film that met all of our requirements. They either looked great but yellowed and degraded fast or had great performance but added “orange peel” texture or cloudiness to the paint.
Holy Grail Ceramics Lustro
When we tested Holy Grail Ceramics Lustro PPF it was able to meet or exceed all of our requirements. It’s gloss, clarity and hydrophobic properties match our ceramic coatings and the lifetime warranty exceeds most other manufacturers. It is also one of the 2 films on the market that will self-heal swirls and fine scratches out without the addition of heat. We have access to almost any film on the market and we choose to install HGC Lustro PPF over other films because of the vast difference in performance and finish. If you’re looking for what we consider to be the best possible finish and performance from a paint protection film, the Holy Grail Lustro PPF is the only option. HGC Lustro provides the performance, clarity and hydrophobic properties without any added texture or cloudiness.