Why 100% Solids Ceramic Coatings Are The Best

Solvent flashing off ceramic coating
Ever heard the phrase “100% solids”? It’s common in the painting industry, but not something you hear often when talking about ceramic coatings. But as automotive ceramic coating technology has evolved these past couple years, it’s coming up more and more. So what does it mean, and what makes it such an advantage? We’ll break it all down for you here. 

 The liquid inside a ceramic coating bottle is usually a solution of two elements—the coating itself and the solvent that carries the coating. When the solution is applied to a panel, the solvent evaporates (or flashes, in detailer parlance), leaving behind the coating, which soon cures into the durable nanostructure that protects the paint. 

With a 100% solids coating, the liquid inside the bottle is all coating, no solvent. So what’s amazing about that? It has to do with the coating’s thickness—more specifically, wet film thickness (WFT) vs. dry film thickness (DFT). 

WFT is the thickness when first applied. DFT, on the other hand, is the thickness after wiping off. So if a coating is mixed with a solvent that evaporates away, you’re going to see a marked difference between the WFT and the DFT. Take a look at the graphic below. In this example, the coating solution is 75% solvent, 25% coating. When the coating is initially applied, its WFT is 4μm. 

Ceramic coating dry film thickness

But when the solvent evaporates, thickness is lost, leaving only 1μm of thickness behind. So if you’re looking to achieve 3μm of thickness, you’ll need to apply three more layers of coating.

Solvent flashing off ceramic coating

That’s where the advantage of a 100% solids coating like Dr. Beasley’s Nano-Resin Pro becomes evident—there’s no solvent to evaporate, so no thickness will be lost in application. If your coating starts at 4μm, it’ll stay at 4μm, so you won’t need to apply additional layers to get the desired thickness. 

The sheer thickness of a 100% solids coating makes for a unique application. First, you’ll generally need a pipette to siphon the coating from the bottle and on to your application—it’s that thick. You’ll also notice that it’s a bit more “grabby” when moving the applicator across the paintwork. Finally, as you can surmise from the above, you don’t need to watch for flashing since there’s no solvent evaporating. You just wait a couple minutes then wipe down. 

Have questions about ceramic coatings? Comment below and we may answer in a future blog!

 

  • dexter barbee

    What about preparation of car before applying. And how long does the finish last in normal driving conditions? Also does the concentrate oxidize or yellow on a show car that only comes outdoors 5 to 6 times a year for a one day car show??

    • Hi Dexter,

      Before applying you will want to decontaminate and correct the paintwork so it is free of contamination and blemishes. This improves the quality of the bond and ensures no unsightly scratches will be sealed in underneath. With Dr. Beasley’s coating kits there is a prep product included that you will want to use to remove any excess residues from polishing and establish anchor points for the coating to bond with.

      The length of durability for a ceramic coating varies from product to product. Dr. Beasley’s Nano-Resin Pro can last 9 years or more on a daily driver provided proper maintenance is practiced.

      Ceramic coatings will not oxidize or yellow under any circumstances provided proper maintenance is being practiced.