ceramic coating hanover

The Difference Between a 1, 3 and 5 Year Coating

The Difference Between a 1, 3 and 5 Year Coating

A question I get asked often is “what is the difference between your 1, 3 and 5 year coatings?” Let’s dive into this answer and see what the difference truly is and some myths about what the differences between coatings. 

A coating is quite literally a chemical reaction that occurs on the paint. The coating product we have in the bottles consists of these chemicals that create the reaction when applied to the paint, trim, wheels, or glass and exposed to the air. This reaction is assisted by the carrier solvent which is what helps us apply the coating to the surfaces (more on solvents in the next paragraph). Most coatings have a “flash time” which is an amount of time that it takes for the coating to chemically react and bond onto the surface. These flash times can range from 30-60 seconds to 3 to 5 or even 10 minutes. After the coating “flashes” we then level it. Leveling a coating means we remove the excess product that is sitting on the surface that did not bond with the surface it was applied to. It can be thought of as putting icing on a cake and waiting for it to stick, and then removing the excess icing that did not stick to the cake, thus removing the “waste” to be re-used. Unfortunately with a coating we can not re-use it after it is leveled off as it then bonds to the towel. 

Now a solvent, what the heck is that? In coatings, the carrier solvent is a solvent that is in the coating mixture which assists the chemical reaction mentioned earlier. This solvent is the golden ticket to the coating and how long it lasts. The quality of the solvent in the coating mixture is what leads to creating a quality chemical reaction and therefore a weak or stronger coating. 

I am not a scientist, so as far as the chemical makeup and the chemical reactions go this is as much knowledge as I can give. What I do know is from using various brands and experimenting is that the number of layers or flash times are not what makes or breaks a coating. The true difference between a 1, 3 or 5 year coating has a lot to do with the quality of the chemical makeup. 

The carrier solvent and the amount of SiO2 in the coating plays a role in the strength and durability of the coatings. Layers and cure times are something you as the customer do not have to worry about. Some coatings take hours to fully cure, while others take days or weeks. 

At the end of the day, as an installer, the coatings I use are different for each durability with each coating having a different chemical makeup. This is the underlying and most important difference to be concerned about, if anything. 

If you have any other questions about ceramic coatings shoot us a message or email at [email protected].

Thank you for reading!

Wesley DePorter

Owner