A client came in today and requested a quote on his car, as the inspection progressed I noticed that like many cars on the road these days the clear started to “fail” (flake or bubble as some call it) unfortunately the only remedy is to have the car repainted. I advised the client that unfortunately there is nothing I can do to bring back a gloss. i referred them to a body shop and he will be back for a paint coating to avoid this issue.
His main concern was how did this happen? What can I do to prevent this? What is a clear coat? Before we answer lets understand the paint industry a bit:
In the 1930s, automakers started using paints called stoving enamels. These paints provided glossier shines and much faster drying times.
In 1950s and 1960s, auto makers started painting its cars with a new acrylic that required the cars to be baked after the acrylic was applied. This process gave the cars a consistent finish, but the finish wasn’t as glossy as that provided by stoving enamels. In 1960, they began using acrylic stoving enamels, which provided the tough finish with more shine.
In the late 1980s, car manufacturers began using urethane and polyurethane paints on their vehicles. After the application, clear coats were then applied. This resulted in durable and highly glossy finishes
Today the technology of automotive painting continues to evolve. Some car makers now use a process called electrocoating, which involves submerging vehicles in a primer bath and using electric currents to bind the coating to the metal and plastics
What is clear coat? it’s made up of a combination of products, solvents, fillers, resins, additives, and in the case of colored paint, pigments a clear coat is just automotive paint without pigments it is used to protect the paint layer and add gloss.
Now painting has gotten faster and efficient but it also comes with a price, manufacturers are not spending as much on paint and clear coat as they were previous decades leaving thin layers of protection that deteriorate if no proper car is maintained. So the million dollar question is how can I prevent it from happening? Cleaning the car at least once a month,adding a coat of wax or even better paint sealants or coating that last 24-48 months and parking in in a shaded area.
Clear coat failure is attached mainly to poor maintenance but it has variables, it has been sprayed thin layers, it has been reduced to minimum by wet sanding or buff and polish, heavy contaminants were left on the vehicle for longs periods of time.
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