What Are Paint Protection Films And How They Protect Your Car?

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April 9, 2021
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When choosing the ideal protection for your car’s paint, there are several directions in which you can go. When a car’s paint fades, peels or chips away, it not only damages its aesthetics, but also reduces the car’s resale value. Paint protectants are essentially designed to serve as an effective frontline defense mechanism against environmental debris. Paint protection films or PPFs, take the brunt of the foreign object and environmental damage, such as rock chips, scratches, bird droppings, leaves, UV rays and abrasive chemicals. This ensures that your car has a showroom finish, for a long time. So here’s all there is to know about what PPF is and how it works. 

Fun Fact: Paint protective films were not originally intended for civilian use! These films were created to protect defense helicopters from significant damage caused by debris and shrapnel during wars. The protective film gained the nickname of ‘heli tape’, a protective film with a dull, opaque sheen, used by the military. Today PPF is used primarily on automobiles and offers a clear protective surface.  

All About Paint Protection Films (PPF)

To break it down into nuts and bolts, paint protection films are fine sheets of thermoplastic polyurethane(TPU) that are extensively used for automotive protection. Once applied, they shield the cars from abrasions caused due to fine debris, paint swirls, bug splatters, stains and in turn, increase the surface durability multifold. 

Urethane is transparent and lightweight like plastic but isn’t brittle. Moreover, some PPFs in which the top layer is made of  elastomeric polymers, have a ‘self-healing’ property. It means that even if a minor scratch appears on the film, mending and restoration of the texture happens automatically, either instantly or just a few hours in the sun can ‘heal’ the scratches!

The best paint protection film is resistant to corrosion, chemical degradation, and oxidation subject to exposure to sunlight. In simple words, PPF is a clingy, transparent film that effectively protects your car’s showroom finish. You can think of it as a cosmetic security for your car!

In a cohort of car detailing experts, you might hear terms like Clear Bra, Clear Mask, Clear Wrap, and so on, but they all refer to Paint Protection Film. It is better to be informed that the application of PPF is not D-I-Y friendly, in all cases. It can be self-applied on certain smaller parts of the car, such as door edges. But applying it to large areas can be a bit of a challenge, without expert help.There are detailing shops that will wrap your car or apply custom-cut films to the parts of your car you want to safeguard. These parts include windshields, bonnets, boot ledge, or bumpers. 

Provided it’s properly installed, the wrap can last from 5-10 years. If this isn’t enticing enough, then what is? No doubt, PPFs only have a protective function but who wouldn’t wish to see his car immaculate and nothing short of a showroom finish, for as long as he owns it!

However, not all PPFs are the same. The quality of a PPF is based on the type of TPU used in the making. If your protective wrap is made from aliphatic TPU, then know that you have made the right call but if made from aromatic TPU, then you should give a second thought to it. To help you make an informed choice we will cover the topic in detail in one of the following sections of this article.

Do You Need A PPF?

Buying a car is a pretty significant investment. Even a tiny scratch on your car, whether old or new, really hurts. Driving around with even the slightest discoloration, is a constant reminder of neglected maintenance. If you want to drive with a peace of mind, then PPF is the way to go!

While an extra protective film is an add-on as per your preference, it offers some great benefits that will keep your cherished car in top shape for a long time. These paint protective films aid in value retention and maintaining the sleek ‘new car look.’ 

They do not add any mechanical value to your car, but they protect the car paint from scratches, fading due to heat, and other debris. You may want to consider a paint protective film, especially if your car is exposed to the following situations:

  • If you park your car in an area with a lot of trees, it is an excellent option to opt for a paint protective film, to protect your car from birds, fruits, and other natural debris.
  • If your car is prone to scratches, due to designated parking in tight spots for long periods.
  • If you frequently have a long-distance commute, flying stones and gravel may chip away your car’s paint. To avoid the added expense of repainting your whole car, you may want to consider a paint protective film.   

Benefits offered by PPF

Needless to say, paint protection films hold the crown in providing car owners with one of the most efficient means of automotive protection. The physical and chemical properties of the substance enable it to safeguard the cars wrapped in it. Without much ado, let’s wade through some of its benefits in detail:

  • High Impact Resistance: PPFs have high impact resistance which imparts protection against scratches due to flying debris.
  • Chemical and Corrosion Resistance: PPFs are resistant to chemical contaminants and corrosion. This defends the car’s surface against staining and yellowing from mineral deposits, acid rain, bird droppings.. 
  • UV Protection: PPFs shield your car’s paint from harmful UV rays, hence preventing it from being oxidized. Therefore, it waives the worry of the paint fading due to UV rays.
  • Impressive Optical Clarity: Since it is extremely lightweight, thin, and transparent, it will provide complete protection without veiling your car’s original color and shine.
  • High Durability:It has commendable longevity. If applied properly, the lamination can last for 5-10 years.
  • Hydrophobicity: PPFs repel water, just like ceramic coatings, reducing the occurrence of water spots. 
  • Easy to Maintain: PPFs are super easy to clean, and are also anti-graffiti.

So leave your worries of maintenance behind with PPF and revel in its benefits!

Which PPF is Better?

As discussed above, PPFs made from aliphatic TPU have an edge over those made from aromatic TPU. This is due to a slight change in their chemistry which brings about a massive difference in their behaviors under different conditions. 

Aliphatic TPU lends commendable stability to the materials. It does not undergo oxidation under UV rays or degrade under chemicals that normally damage films made from aromatic TPU. Therefore it shows no change of color(yellowing) over an impressive period of time. 

Unlike aromatic TPU coatings, aliphatic TPU coatings are much more resistant to surface abrasions and can stand harsh weather conditions. This obviously implies that your car laminated with an aliphatic TPU PPF will have a greatly enhanced surface durability.

Moreover, in contrast to aromatic TPU, PPFs made from aliphatic TPU are hypoallergenic and odorless making them extremely customer friendly. We hope that you now know what to treat your car with! So now, be sure to look before you leap.

Key Takeaways 

Paint protection films are a brilliant way to shield a vehicle’s surface, from abrasive debris such as rock chips, bird droppings, bugs, and leaves. The effective film aids in protection against scratches, UV damage, oxidisation, and paint swirls. Its self-healing properties and durability are worth investing in, to keep your invaluable car looking sleek and new for longer.  Aegis provides some of the best paint protective films in India. So bid adieu to water spots and chipped off paint, and welcome an Aegis PPF product, available at your nearest car detailing service, today!

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