[: The hydrophobicity of a surface is determined by the contact angle. The higher the contact angle the higher the hydrophobicity of a surface. Surfaces with a contact angle < 90° are referred to as hydrophilic and those with an angle >90° as hydrophobic. Some plants show contact angles up to 160° and are called super-hydrophobic meaning that only 2-3% of a drop's surface is in contact. Plants with a double structured surface like the lotus can reach a contact angle of 170° whereas a droplet’s actual contact area is only 0.6%. All this leads to a self-cleaning effect.
Dirt particles with an extremely reduced contact area are picked up by water droplets and are thus easily cleaned off the surface. If a water droplet rolls across such a contaminated surface the adhesion between the dirt particles, irrespective its chemistry, and the droplet is higher than between the particle and the surface]
Paint sealants compared to Coatings
Automotive paint surfaces are porous and contain microscopic peaks and valleys, much like the profile of a mountain range. These irregularities are known as capillary structures; there may be millions of these defects per square inch. Contaminants such as fine dirt, minerals, and pollutants are drawn into the voids where they are extremely hard to remove.
Paint sealants are synthetic products designed for long-term paint protection and easy application. They are composed mainly of amino functional polymers, which last longer than any natural wax and are highly resistant to the elements. Synthetic liquid waxes are another way of describing paint sealants. The main benefit of a paint sealant is their durability compared to a wax, polymer-based sealants will last anywhere from 3 to 6 months.
A coating is applied to a clean surface that surface takes on properties that are virtually identical to hardened glass. It is chemically inert and will not react with the base material. In other words, dirt will not bond to the treated surface, thereby reducing soiling and organic staining. Acid rain and other chemical compounds easily wash off, significantly reducing the hydroscopic nature of surfaces exposed to industrial or environmental pollution.
Hydrophobic surface [: The requirements for a self-cleaning hydrophobic surface are a very high static water contact angle θ, the condition often quoted is θ>160°, and a very low roll-off angle, i.e. the minimum inclination angle necessary for a droplet to roll off the surface] 
Repellant [: able to repel a particular thing; impervious to a particular substance]
The lotus effect [: refers to self-cleaning properties that are a result of very high water repellence (super- hydrophobicity), as exhibited by the leaves of the lotus flower] Dirt particles are picked up by water droplets due to the micro architecture on the surface, which minimizes the droplet's adhesion to that surface
Silica Coating consist of four chemicals – Silicon (Si), Siloxane (H(OSiH2)n OH), Silane (SiH4 ) and Silazane(a silicone compound), once formulated they become Silicon Dioxide (SiO2) they are marketed under various brand names: AQuartz is an inorganic silica / silicon dioxide, G|techniq is an inorganic silicate crystallization compound, Nanolex is an inorganic, solvent-based nanostructure coating, Opti-Coat™ is a polymer-based (Si02) coatings. DuPont's SupraShield™, PPG's Optech™ and CeramiClear™ are all inorganic silica automotive paint coatings.
Be cognizant that there are many glass coats in the market today and many of them can all be traced back to one or two suppliers
Silica coating are a clear liquid in a molecular form that is held in a polymer solvent carrier system. This silica is aerobic (hardens on contact with air) and becomes glass. Multi-chemical component coatings interlace on a molecular basis and form an extremely durable protective layer on the paint surface provided they are applied properly. These coatings are chemically inert and are highly resistant to a range of chemicals both acid to Ph. 2.0 and alkali to Ph. 13.5 acid, they also offer resistance to solvents, and they are very durable and capable of obtaining a surface thickness of Mils (µ (microns) to be verified
When a silica coating is applied to a clean surface, that surface takes on properties that are virtually identical to hardened glass. It is chemically inert and will not react with the base material. In other words, dirt will not bond to the treated surface, thereby reducing soiling and organic staining.
Acid rain, bird excrement and other chemical compounds easily wash off, significantly reducing the hydroscopic nature of surfaces exposed to industrial or environmental pollution.
The paint surface is porous and contains microscopic peaks and valleys, much like the profile of a mountain range. These irregularities are known as capillary structures. Contaminants such as fine dirt, minerals, and pollutants are drawn into the voids where they are extremely hard to remove. Capillary structures also provide microbes and bacteria with an excellent place to grow and multiply.
A silica coating fills the capillary structures, which produces a smooth flat hydrophobic surface. (A hydrophobic surface is one that repels moisture.) In contrast, a hydrophilic surface is one that absorbs moisture. The potential of a surface to absorb or repel moisture is based on many factors, including: temperature, relative humidity, material homogeneity, and static electricity. Surface roughness is also a major factor; the rougher the surface, the higher the spreading rate or attraction for water. The smoother the surface, the more repellent it is to moisture.
Some formulations of Liquid glass contain titanium dioxide for extra shine without affecting durability. These micro-particles of titanium dioxide reflect light of specific wavelengths, producing an instant luminous shine and gloss. Titanium dioxide is sensitive to photocatalyzation and produces traces of active oxygen when exposed to ultra violet (UV) radiation. This effect helps the coating to prevent the attachment of contaminants to the paint. This means that, in most instances, environmentally damaging cleaning chemicals are not needed.
Silicosis happens by breathing the dust particulates of glass, which cut and scar the lungs, causing damage, which results in diminished lung capacity. So where does the silicon dioxide enter into this equation as a safe product to breathe when applied as a spray?
Liquid glass is actually a mixture of caustic soda, quartz sand, and water are prepared in a mixing tank, then fed into a reactor, where steam is introduced. The reaction is (n SiO2 + 2 NaOH → Na2O•nSiO2 + H2O). Sodium silicate is spherical silica in a liquid state, which essentially means ‘liquid glass’ crystals which are smooth and round instead of sharp and pointed.
Because there are no sharp edges to damage lung tissue it is relatively safe to breath. But why would we think it is safe to fill our lungs with round glass any more than with jagged sharp glass particles? Do the lungs have the ability to process and get rid of the ‘spherical’ shapes through the blood stream?
Is ‘liquid silicon dioxide’ really ‘colloidal silica,’ or is it ‘sodium silicate’? Silicon dioxide = SiO2 and Sodium silicate = Na2SiO3. Colloidal silica is simply the liquid spherical shape of silicon dioxide while sodium silicate is silicon dioxide with an added salt element (Na). Both products are derived from the second most abundant element on Earth – sand.
I would strongly suggest you do not breathe it in but use the appropriate personal protection. If you were to examine the urethane clear coat with high-performance electron- microscope, you would see lots of fissures or micro holes. Nano sized silica glass particles penetrate these fissures to form a mechanical anchor with the clear coat, creating a durable finish that won't fracture
Modesta P-01A and BC-04 Nano-Titanium Glass coating - is definitely a worthy investment if your vehicles appearance is important to you. An advanced and very unique glass coating, it forms a highly durable, clear hard glass layer on automotive paints. BC-05 produces a deep shine and helps to protect the paint from all kinds of damage including wash-induced damages, scratches, oxidation, sap, watermarks, salts, acids and even permanent ink and paints. Its strong water-repellent properties also promote the self-cleaning (Lotus effect). Used stand-alone as a sealant, BC-05 produces a unique candy-like gloss. If combined with the P-01A primer this effect is even deeper as the layers of both products are combined to a single coat. It can be applied even to the most advanced and sophisticated paints, such as Nissan Scratch Shield, Lexus’ self-restoring coat and Mercedes ceramic paint. Durability is claimed to be in excess of 10 years.
Use the appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE) an approved mask (Consult the current 3M Respiratory Selection Guide for additional information or call 1-800-243-4630 for 3M technical assistance) nitrile gloves and safety glasses as a minimum
My preferred application method is to use base coating (P-01A) applied with a rotary machine polisher and apply the coating with a spray gun as I feel this gives a consistent thickness and coverage. The coating can be applied with a micro fibre towel but the major disadvantage of this type of application is the coating dries and solidifies to glass, which means you need 5- 8 towels that will be discarded after use.
Drying / Curing
Use of infra-red lamps is highly recommended
Allow 24 hours on a moisture / dust free environment
Silica coatings offers superior durability, hydrophobicity, surface hardness and scratch resistance, resistance to environmental contaminants and works in a similar way to a clear coat in providing ultra violet (UV) and heat radiation protection without colour change (yellowing) or oxidation and easier maintenance, simply rinsing with plain water results in a clean surface without loss of gloss. I think these products will have a profound impact and radically change auto detailing
1. Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Library & Information Centre
2. Glossary of Chemical Terms - Faculty of Chemical Technology
3. Basic Concepts of Nanotechnology, History of Nano-Technology, News, Materials and Potential Risks
4. Lotus-inspired nanotechnology applications, B. Karthick1 and Ramesh Maheshwari
5. SpecialChem4 Polymers
6. Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics
7. European Coatings Handbook 2nd Edition, by Brock, Groteklaes, Mischke
8. Bayer Material Science, Automotive eNewsletters (Coating, Adhesives and Specialties)
The information in this article is based on the current status of the technical development as well as our experience with the products.
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