The similarities and differences in coatings available on the market are quite striking.
All true coatings are ceramic based, ceramic being a term meaning inorganic. Organics such as sealants are carbon based and as such wear away over time, ceramic in itself is permanent, being as its inorganic.
True coatings are characterised by their silicon content (not silicone), and 2 principal variations of silicon are used. The most common is Silicon Dioxide, sometimes marketed as glass, quartz or ceramic, and in all cases that’s true. SiO2 is suspended in a resin in the form of nano particles of Silicon Dioxide, and the resins suspend this in a film over the paint. SiO2 has a melting point of 1,600 °C (2,910 °F; 1,870 K) and on the Mohs scale of hardness is 7
The other coating system is Silicon Carbide (SiC) Opti-Coat Pro is the only coating available that harnesses the strengths of Silicon Carbide (sometimes referred to as ceramic, industrial diamonds and carborundum. Unlike SiO2 based coatings the SiC based coating actually bonds to the paint and the SiC is formed as a chemical reaction in that process, not by having Nano particles of the ceramic floating in a resin. SiC is superior to SiO2 coatings chemically and has a melting point of 2,730 °C (4,950 °F; 3,000 K) and is a 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness.
Opti-Coat Pro is unique in many ways because of this fundamental difference in chemistry. Opti-Coat–Pro becomes one with the paint instead of suspending nano particles of a harder substance in a resin. This gives Opti-Coat Pro far superior chemical resistance, as the chemical must break down the SiC, and not break down a resin holding SiO2 nano particles. OCP is harder than other coatings, but no coating is scratch proof.
To obtain maximum strength other coatings require heat curing, with OCP that’s not required. SiO2 coatings obtain their maximum gloss immediately, and that gloss drops off over time, Opti-Coat Pro obtains its maximum gloss once the polymerization process is completed (roughly 7 days). Opti-Coat Pro will maintain its gloss over time, SiO2 coatings start losing their gloss through oxidation and it continues to drop, requiring the need to add periodically some form of resin to maintain or restore the gloss and protection.
I would like to think that these articles become an asset to anyone who is new to detailing and to professionals alike, as well as industry experts who seek to advance their knowledge.
I hope the above article was informative. By having some understanding of the ‘What’ and ‘Why’ as well as the ‘How’ along with a little science to help you understand how the chemicals we use react, you can achieve the results you desire.
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