“It is rare for a single technology to have the power to dramatically influence almost every major industry in the world.” – SAE International.
THE LOTUS EFFECT (SELF –CLEANING)
This refers to the ultra-water repellent function (super hydrophobicity) exhibited by the leaves of the lotus flower and most plant life in general. Dirt particles are picked up by water droplets due to a complex nano-scopic architecture of the surface, which minimizes surface energy or adhesion. This is where the term self-cleaning was spawned from. Dirt just doesn’t hang on like it used to.
Across the board, having a coating with this self-cleaning function will indeed create new benefit to the beholder. Self-cleaning will show off in a few main forms:
- Cleaner, fresher surfaces even during rainy season
- Anti-stick property that allows the quick removal of road carnage like bugs, bird droppings and tar or even salt.
- Wash-downs are faster and ultimately more effective and complete
- Around the home counter-top surfaces, stainless steel grills or appliances, outdoor fixtures, sculptures become beautiful and give no resistance clean-up making you stay in control of them.
CHEMICAL and STAIN DAMAGE PROTECTION
Whether acid or alkali, ceramic coatings were built with the ability to be completely deterrent against chemical breaches of the treated surface. Because of the extremely tight molecular structure within the chemistry, these coatings are not willing to give up space to solvents, acids, degreasers, and many chemicals alike. They will not exchange electrons, period. “Wetting” is not possible in terms of chemical penetrating. This is notable considering that waxes, sealants, and other protective pastes have no chance at withstanding strong chemical interference.
Benefits vary across different applications:
Boats will see less staining, gas spills will not hurt gel coat, blood will not stain, and acids will not affect gel coat surfaces adversely. Sun block will be “blocked” and oil residues in the water will have no chance at penetrating the waterline or bottom
Cars, RV’s, and trucks of any kind will have no problem dealing with caustic bug remains, bird droppings, oily films accumulated driving on rainy roads, hi –detergents, and many other chemical offenders.
Residential and Commercial
Around the home countertop surfaces, stainless steel grills or appliances, outdoor fixtures, sculptures, and so many other substrates can be treated to resist degradation from cleaners, and mother-nature’s own powers.
Another way to describe this function is abrasion resistance. Ceramic coatings are formed by lacing the sol-gel with certain forms of silicon dioxide and carbon mainly. Silicon carbide films are harder than silicon dioxide films (old technology). ‘Hardness’ tables indicate that this is true. Since silicon carbide films are also less porous (i.e., more dense), they are also harder and more durable for this reason as well.
The coating is essentially acting as a glass structure with strength and ability to resist scuffing and regular wear and tear. These particular coatings mimic some qualities and abilities similar to diamond, this is true with when use of carbon and silicon allotropes. Simply put, these elements, building blocks, form a new hard layer and are extremely durable. With confidence we can say a protected surface will remain for long periods of years or even permanent in many cases.
Think about some examples of vehicles and other surfaces around your life. What is cleaned the most besides your body and your dishes? Your car, boat, grill, equipment, rec vehicles, etc. All of these will require cleaning at different frequencies. Different environments and cleaning procedures will either help or hinder those objects. Washing is wear at a minimal level. Boats docking against fenders would be medium wear level. Construction equipment out at a jobs site, high level wear. No matter the circumstances, a ceramic coating when used properly can yield a massive reduction in the everyday bang ups and will continue to keep the material underneath new.
- Protection against swirls, marring, and scuffs. When you wash it, dry it, and wipe it, it will continue to look new.
- Resistance to high temperatures
- No wax needed to maintain the protective properties
- Minor shopping cart bumps or kids dragging toys across paint become less frustrating
What’s the Bottom line to all of this?
We decided to only speak about the 3 main benefits in this fashion because of the parallels between the different characteristics. Overall, the science behind these coatings, the manufacturing of them, and the delivery of them to the surface by the professional installers all work together bringing the consumer a slick solution to frustrating cleaning challenges. Ceramic coatings will be developed and even improve and who knows the limits. It may end up being a strong standard in the very near future and cost of applications may fall due to improvements in processes within the application arena.