PPF vs Coating

Paint protection film (PPF) and ceramic coating are both popular options for protecting a vehicle’s paint finish, but they offer different features and advantages. Read on to learn the key differences between the two.

Paint protection film vs Ceramic coating properties

Paint Protection Film (PPF):
PPF is a clear, thermoplastic urethane film that is applied directly to the painted surfaces of a vehicle. It is a thicker and more robust material compared to ceramic coatings.

Ceramic Coating:
Ceramic coatings are liquid polymer applied directly to the vehicle’s paint. Once applied, they chemically bond with the factory paint, creating a protective layer.
Protection Level:

paint protection film vs ceramic coating

Level of protection:

Paint Protection Film (PPF):
PPF provides a physical barrier against rock chips, road debris, bug splatter, bird droppings, and other environmental contaminants. It offers excellent protection against scratches, swirl marks, and minor impacts.

Ceramic Coating:
Ceramic coatings primarily offer chemical resistance, UV protection, and enhanced hydrophobic properties. They provide a sacrificial layer that helps repel dirt, water, and contaminants, making it easier to clean the vehicle.

Durability:

Paint Protection Film (PPF):
PPF is thicker and more durable than ceramic coatings, providing better protection against physical damage, It can withstand impacts from rocks and debris, and can heal self heal from minor scratches.

Ceramic Coating:
While ceramic coatings are durable and long-lasting, they are very thin and don’t provide impact-resistance like PPF does. They offer protection against oxidation, UV rays, and chemical contaminants but may not prevent rock chips or deep scratches.

Bentley PPF damage
ppf vs coating

Installation Process

Paint Protection Film (PPF):
PPF application requires precision. It involves installing pre cut film to fit the specific contours of the vehicle. This requires the installer to have a strong understanding of material stretch and is done using a combination of water, slip solution and/or a gel mixture.

Ceramic Coating:
Ceramic coatings requires thorough surface preparation.
This is usually achieved with a multi stage wash and varying levels of paint correction depending on the condition of the paint work.
The liquid is poured onto an applicator pad and applied to the surface of the vehicle, allowed to flash for a moment and then hand buffed.

Aesthetics:

Paint Protection Film (PPF):
PPF is virtually invisible when applied correctly, maintaining the original appearance of the vehicle. Edges are only barely visible in some cases where the film cannot be tucked behind a panel.

Ceramic Coating:
Ceramic coatings enhance the paint’s depth and gloss, providing a sleek and shiny finish and is not visible once correctly applied.

paint protection film vs ceramic coating
Tesla Model Y stealth PPF

Cost

Paint Protection Film (PPF):
PPF is generally more expensive than ceramic coatings due to the material cost and the labor-intensive installation process. Most full PPF installations will take 7-9 days to complete.

Ceramic Coating:
Ceramic coatings are often more cost-effective than PPF, however the process is significantly quicker dependant on the vehicles paint condition. Generally a ceramic coating applied to paintwork with coating will be a 2-3 day process. Even less if applied over a full PPF kit.

Ultimately, the choice between paint protection film and ceramic coating depends on your priorities, budget, and the level of protection you desire for your vehicle. Some car owners even choose to combine both methods for comprehensive protection.

Take a look at some of our videos here if you would like to see more of how we do what we do: Here

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