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What causes my ceramic coating applicator to harden & What does it mean?


Ceramic Coating Applicators will get hard when higher film build resins are applied to them. These higher film build resins exhibit a hardening effect on the applicator because they sit on top of the surface and the thinner film build resins will seep into the applicator more and not exhibit as high of a hardness at the surface – despite both resins creating a hard film build on the intended surface when applied.

Said more simply, the applicator behaves differently with each resin applied.

But why?! How?!

 The applicator’s hardness tells you all you must know, you might say! Hardness is the penultimate measurement!

Well… as it turns out, it appears too much of a good thing is exactly that----too much. 

The higher the film build, does not necessarily equal a better finish. In fact, having that higher film build seems to cause the coating to fail more rapidly than having less film build.

When we introduced our Gemstone themed update to our ceramic coatings, some of the feedback was Ceramic Coating Installers had noticed the applicators were not getting as crunchy and brittle when the job was finished and the applicators had time to cure.

Within our Jade Ceramic Line, some resins are designed to engineer larger film build on the surface and some are designed to be a thinner film build with higher adhesion  - both harden considerably. However, the higher film build coatings are harder to apply and more tacky, while the lower film build coatings are easier to install – the easier to install coatings are, unsurprisingly, more popular.

This seems bizarre? Well, not really…

The ultimate goal when applying a ceramic coating to a surface is a relatively low film build and really high adhesion to generate the most permanent surface modification possible. Just a single molecular layer thick with maximum adhesion is all that is needed to get that self-cleaning effect we know and love. You don’t necessarily want an overly thick layer of coating on the surface or you actually open it up to taking more punishment. Said another way… If I gave you a razor blade and said, “scrap this coating off a piece of glass” would you not be surprised to find that the thicker film is pretty easy to catch an edge in it and then start abrading it off vs. having such a thin film that the blade just glides over it and you can’t get under it to attack it? 

What's most important? 

The reality is all types of ceramic resins will result in a much higher hardness than standard clear coats, assisting with mar resistance to the finish. The new Jade Coatings werere-engineered with new ceramic resins allowing them to have smoother application with an easier wipe on and wipe off; more slick during, immediately after, and post curing, and exceeding 10H in pencil hardness while boosting adhesion and reactivity to the surface.

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