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Nano Coatings

Liquid Glass Shield Coating
Liquid Glass Shield Coating

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As you can see in the above image the nano-coating self-levels over the substrate. This provides a mechanically flat surface which stops microparticles and moisture gripping to the vehicle lacquer or glass.

Understanding Nano Coatings

There is plenty of confusion about Nanotechnology especially in the automotive sector, wild claims are rife and many vehicle owners are concerned if coating their vehicle is a wise decision.

So let’s look at the pros and cons and what you should expect when you coat your prized possession.

So What is Nano Coating?

In simple terms, it’s a protective layer that is very, very thin (typically 500 times thinner than a human hair). Most modern nanocoatings use Silicone Dioxide (SIO2) which is a glass derivative.

Unlike the glass in your windows, SIO2 is incredibly flexible which stops the coating breaking or cracking regardless of the movement of the treated surface. The coating is self-levelling and once fully cured provides a mechanically flat surface. The benefit to this flat surface is it stops micro deposits of dirt and water droplets gaining a “grip” to the surface, this is particularly useful in the colder months as it stops ice bonding so scraping ice off your windows is a thing of the past.

How much protection does a nano-coating really give?

Every client asks me the following, “Will the coating stop scratches and chips on my vehicles paintwork?” The coating will certainly stop damage from poor washing, abrasion, air pollution, road salts and even UV.

However, if you travel along a motorway at 70 MPH and a stone hits the leading edge of your bonnet it’s quite likely that the stone will cause a small chip. Likewise, if someone hits the side of your vehicle with a shopping trolley it’s very likely that the paintwork will be damaged.

Unfortunately, unscrupulous manufacturers/suppliers make ridiculous claims about nano/ceramic coatings and show videos of knives and keys being forcibly dragged along a treated vehicle without any sign of damage, I can assure you that there is not a nano-coating on the planet that will stop damage from a key being intentionally forced along the side of your vehicle.

I’ve read about 9H, what does this mean?

9H refers to the hardness of a surface or coating. Almost all coating manufacturers claim their coating have achieved 9H hardness. The testing for 9H is a very simple affair, a Mitsubishi pencil is rubbed over the surface of the coating and if it doesn’t leave a mark then it’s passed.

Why does a nano-coating need to cure?

Unlike traditional waxes and polymers, nanocoatings need to cure. High-quality coatings normally require 24 hours in a dry (low humidity), warm building to fully cure. During the curing phase, the coatings are very susceptible to moisture which will damage the structure of the product.

Unfortunately, we have had numerous calls from people who have had a coating applied by inexperienced applicators and after the coating was applied a rain shower left unsightly spots in the coating which can only be removed with an abrasive system.

Low protection coatings that use PTFE or silicone don’t really require curing but they will only last a few weeks. So, if you are offered a coating that doesn’t need curing then I suggest you carefully consider what is being applied to your vehicle.

Will I still need to clean my vehicle?

Yes, it doesn’t matter which nano-coating you apply to your vehicle it will still need cleaning.

As I previously mentioned the coating will give a much flatter and more slippery surface which will certainly reduce the amount of dirt sticking but if you drive on a salted road some of the dirt/salt will stick.

I always recommend that customers clean their vehicle, the good news is you won’t need acidic wheel cleaners or damaging Traffic Film Removers (TFR) that damage paintwork and lacquers. Water and specialist microfibre towels will do the job perfectly.

At NanoTech Auto we have several longterm test vehicles which are used to assess various coatings, this gives us real-life results and performance levels in almost all operating environments.

Are all nanocoatings the same?

We have been working with Liquid Glass Shield who introduced nanocoatings to the UK over ten years ago, we use their experience and understanding of the coatings to provide the best-performing products available globally.

Our automotive range is extensive, different coatings are applied to painted surfaces, glass, plastic and composite. As each surface type varies in structure it’s essential that the correct coating is applied.

What is a ceramic coating?

It’s a marketing term that has gained popularity in the automotive sector over recent years. Ceramic (glass) just refers to a protective nano-coating.

How long will the coating last?

Your vehicle’s exterior is subjected to extreme operating conditions, rain, ice, snow, tree sap, bird poop, salt and chemicals so as you would expect the coatings have to work hard to maintain protection.

As a general guide, our paint coatings will provide optimum performance for three years, this presumes the vehicle is used on a regular basis throughout the year.  A coated vehicle kept in a temperature-controlled garage and is only driven on dry sunny days will probably never need coating again. The area that will need more regular tops-ups is the windscreen and the rear window if a wiper is fitted, if you drive 20K miles per year you will need to reply the coating every six months due to the windscreen wipers abrading the coating.

The good news is we provide this service free of charge if you have had your vehicle treated by an authorised NanoTech Auto technician.

Will nano-coating hide scratches and swirls?

No, the coating will only protect and not magically repair. If you have scratches and swirls in your lacquer then they will require professional rectification before the coating is applied.

We recently had a client bring his Mercedes GLC to us as he had concerns about the coating which the Mercedes main dealer had applied. Under the coating you could visibly see imperfections, this required a complete strip of the coating and the problems resolved. We then applied a new LGS coating, he was over the moon with the final result.

How much does a nano/ceramic coating cost?

A professional application covering the painted surfaces, glass and wheels should cost around £400 – £600 depending on vehicle size.

Remember, there is little point in coating a poor/damaged surface so you should be prepared to pay additional charges for paint correction which normally includes light scratch and swirl removal.

NanoTech Auto authorised applicators will inspect your vehicle and provide a full written quotation for any works.

In Conclusion

Nanocoatings are here to stay, they provide amazing protection and correctly applied coatings will keep protecting your vehicle for many years. A high-quality coating will enhance the appearance and maintain the condition of treated surfaces.

If you have more questions please feel free to contact us, we will be happy to advise and discuss your specific requirements.