One Thing To Know When Choosing A Ceramic Coating

There are a lot of different features and benefits thrown around when it comes to nano coatings, but there’s one important thing that tells you what to know before ceramic coating a vehicle. It all has to do with hydrophobicity and something called a “sliding angle”. 

People look for hydrophobicity in a coating because it means a self-cleaning surface, less drying, and less harm to your finish from water sitting around on your paint. And when comparing hydrophobicity in coatings, many know to look for a high water contact angle (the angle at which a water bead meets a surface) to know how water repellant the coating is. But in reality, there’s more to it than that. 

Sliding angle

As we mentioned in our blog on why water beading can harm your finish, many hydrophobic coatings are actually formulated to produce tons of water beads. While cool to look at, those beads can damage your finish if they’re just sitting around.

Water needs to be repelled off of your paint to have benefit, and contact angle alone actually can’t tell you how easily a bead will roll away. You need more updated measures of hydrophobicity to get that information. You may think contact angle is very new, cutting edge science, but it’s as old as car wax itself.

Contact angle was discovered in 1805 by scientist Thomas Young. At the same time, German carriage makers started using animal fat-based wax to protect their buggies’ lacquer. It wasn’t until the first half of the 20th century that scientists uncovered one of the dynamic measures of hydrophobicity: sliding angle. Yet somehow, detailing professionals only talk about contact angle, a limited, centuries-old measure. 

Why you need to know sliding angle

Once you know the sliding angle of a hydrophobic surface, you know how easily water can be shed. The contact angle might tell you the difference between a hydrophobic and a superhydrophobic surface, sure, but it won’t tell you when a bead is going to roll away from the surface. You need to know this to make a fully informed choice—otherwise, you’re stuck with a bunch of potential water spots on your hood. 

And yet people aren’t getting this information. While surface science innovations eventually made their way to sealants and ceramic coatings, they never quite made it into the detailing lexicon. You’ll rarely hear a detailer or product manufacturer talk about hydrophobic measures outside of contact angle. Only showing this limited concept is terrible for you and your car.

If water repellency is what you want, then sliding angle is absolutely key to making an informed choice. A coating company only listing contact angle is like a health food company only listing calories. It’s important, but there’s clearly more to it! 

What must change

You need  to know about sliding angle. Without it, you can’t really know just how well a coating will repel water. That’s why we at Dr. Beasley’s are moving to incorporate sliding angle into all of our coating system information. Check out our page for Nano-Resin Pro—the number is listed right there. 

There’s more where this came from.

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