If you care about your car, you keep it in tip-top shape, you get all of your regularly scheduled maintenance, and you do everything you can to make sure it stays looking new. We understand. We care about our cars with the same care too. Yet, with shrinking government budgets, road maintenance is not what it used to be. That means more potholes, more debris on the road, and more rocks that could get kicked up and sail right into your car’s finish. So, how can you keep your car’s finish from succumbing to sun damage, road debris, and scuff? The answer is simple – paint protection film.
What is so marvelous about paint protection film installed by a professional is that the film is “self healing.” While that may seem like something out of science fiction, “self healing” paint protection film is what makes the film such a valuable investment.
This article will talk about how paint protection film can be “self-healing” and how the paint protection film specialists at Tint Tech install the film for maximum results. Remember that Tint Tech professionals have the training and experience to ensure that the paint protection film installed on your car is done flawlessly the first time. Call us at Tint Tech, Calgary’s auto tint leaders, at 403-968-8468.
Good Enough for the Military, Good Enough for Your Car
As a quick refresher from one of our previous blogs, let’s talk about what paint protection film is. Paint protection film is a durable, transparent, extremely thin urethane film. It is only millimeters thick, just slightly thicker than a strand of human hair. It is usually applied to the front fender of a car (which is why many people in the industry call it “clear bra”), sometimes it is also applied to the front hood and front part of the side view mirrors. Less frequently, some customers choose to have paint protection film on the entire car.
Paint protection film was initially invented during the Vietnam War to protect helicopter blades that were being destroyed by debris in the challenging Vietnam woods. The urethane film was remarkable in protecting the helicopter blades, saving a significant amount of helicopter repairs. The film was then repurposed for racecars, to protect the sponsor logos on the racecars, and to help hold a car together in a crash.
Finally, paint protection film hit the consumer market in the 1990s. After two decades on the market, the current trends indicate that paint protection film is more popular than ever. In fact, projections show that protection film will soon be one of the most popular aftermarket automotive products in the industry, with many of the big auto film players such as Xpel, SunTek, and LLumar introducing innovative new types of paint protection films into the market.
What About Its “Self-Healing” Properties?
The technology is truly amazing when it comes to the “self-healing” part of paint protection film. Here is how it works. First, the paint protection film is made up of not one, but three, layers.
The first layer is an aggressive adhesive so the film sticks to the car’s surface. The second layer, the thickest layer, is a polyurethane that absorbs and mitigates the damage from road debris and other outside forces. The third layer is a clear coat, ensuring that the polyurethane does not get discolored.
Now, about the “self-healing,” the polyurethane layer has a flexible quality to it, which allows the surface to absorb – and evenly distribute – an impact on the car’s surface. That alone helps avoid debris from chipping a car’s paint job. Moreover, even when something scrapes the surface of the car and leaves a visible scratch, the polyurethane will “rearrange” itself so the surface returns to a smooth – non-scratched – state with the application of a little heat.
Said another way, the polyurethane surface after being scratched will, in a sense, become flexible enough to smooth itself out – miraculously removing the scratch – when the surface is heated. You can think of it being similar to ice. Imagine a smooth ice cube. Then put a scratch the surface. Next, put just a little heat on the ice cube so the very top layer melts a bit. When the cube cools again, the ice is smooth and the scratch is gone. While polyurethane does not actually melt, the effect is similar.
In fact, Tint Tech specialists will be happy to demonstrate how the self-healing aspect of paint protection film works so you can see it for yourself. Our Tint Tech staff will use a heat gun to show how a little heat will “heal” any scratches on a car so they disappear. In real world conditions, however, all you need is the heat of the sun to activate the “healing” properties of the paint protection film. In sum, if you get a scratch on your car protected with the film, all you need to do is park your car outside during the day so the paint protection film can do its “healing” thing.
Can You Apply Paint Protection Film Yourself?
It is highly recommended that you have a professional installer apply paint protection film to your car. In fact, some products do not come in a “do it yourself” fashion, and require the film to only be applied by people who have been trained to do it because it is such an intricate process.
We at Tint Tech have authorized, trained installers who have been doing the application process for years. Truly, you would want the application to be done by a professional because you want your film to be invisible and last for the life of your car. If the film is not applied properly, you will see bubbles or it may peel, which of course ruins the look that you are going for.
Tint Tech professional installers take a great deal of care to make sure that the parts of your car that you want treated get the maximum protection of the paint protection film while not being visible to the eye. Notably, paint protection film is not only for your car. You can have it applied to motorcycles, vans, trucks, and other vehicles. Call us today at 403-968-8468 to learn more.