All You Need To Know About Paint Protection Film
Imagine you’re driving down the road in your brand new Porsche when you get stuck behind a dump truck topped off with over a thousand pounds of gravel. One by one, rocks are falling off the back of the truck and bouncing on to road in front of you. You swerve, but fail to avoid the rocks from chipping the fresh coat of paint on the front of your Porcshe. All you can think about is how much it’s going to cost to fix the damage. What do you do?
Well, this all could’ve been avoided if you had some type of transparent film that adheres to your vehicles exterior and protects it from abrasions, but maybe you don’t. Ten years ago, it would have been acceptable to wear a heavy, unattractive car bra covering the entire front of your car, but its 2015 and that’s just not an option anymore. So now you’re forced to take it to a repair shop to get those dings patched up, because you can’t be riding around with a dinged up Porsche, right?
How much is that going to cost? You’ll need to take it to a Certified Porsche collision repair shop like Mark’s Body Shop. Mark says, “For a Porsche, you’re looking at about $1,500 for the front bumper, and $4,000 for the entire front end.” Yikes!
So next time you’re driving down the road and get stuck behind a truck, spewing debris all over the road, will you be prepared? Being proactive and having protective film installed by professionals will save you a lot of time, money, and a trip to the repair shop.
Paint protection film has been around since the Vietnam War. In the 1960’s, when helicopter rotor blades incurred damage from shrapnel and debris, the US Military relied on 3M to develop a material that would be able to protect the blades during battle. They found it much easier and cheaper to apply the film than to replace expensive helicopter parts. Once referred to as “helicopter tape,” paint protection film proved to be an invention that would be useful in more ways than one.
After seeing the potential that paint protection film had, 3M started to improve the film to be better suited for use on other products and vehicles that were highly susceptible to damage. One challenge they faced was the films inability to conform to smaller, curvy, intricate objects. Since the film’s original use was for rotors and flat helicopter blades, 3M set out to find a way to improve its flexibility.
By the 1980’s, NASCAR and other major auto racing sports found a use for the film after discovering its ability to protect the paint from chipping. This was convenient to have so they wouldn’t have to re-paint the cars after every race. The sheer strength of the thermoplastic urethane film was also able hold the racecars together when they would collide with barriers and other racers on the track at high impact speeds of over 200mph.
More Durable and Clearer than Ever
Over the years, major window film dealers have advanced the quality and performance of paint protection film to be used on a wide range of industrial, automotive, and consumer applications. From luxury vehicles, to airplanes, to hand held devices like cell phones and tablets, paint protection film has come a long way since protecting the US Military’s war machines. The same film that’s used to protect your luxury vehicle is being used to protect Boeing 747’s from birds at speeds of 400mph. Does that give you an idea of how durable paint protection film is?
Paint protection film is reaching its peak in performance, design, and usability. Window film companies have improved the film to exceed many expectations that were not met in the past, such as thickness, flexibility, and transparency; however it’s not to say that it can’t get even better. Older versions of the film have been known to cause yellowing over time, but today’s films are designed to eliminate that defect.
“These days, paint protection film has advanced to the point where it’s more durable and clearer than ever. It’s easy to install (for dealers) and if there’s a hair or something under it, you can easily peel it back to clean the surface. It even has a self-healing top coat,” says Keistor Richardson, Marketing Technical Services Representative at Eastman’s Performance Films.
A Gravelometer Test was done to show paint protection film in action.
How can I get Paint Protection Film?
If you search for paint protection film on the internet, you will find that there are many DIY kits on popular e-commerce sites like Ebay and Amazon that sell for under $100. Keep in mind that these kits usually don’t include enough film to cover the desired parts of your vehicle, nor do they come with the proper tools needed to correctly install it.
Alternatively, there are window film dealers that sell pre-cut kits for just about any vehicle on the market. Most kits sell for cheaper than what it might cost from a body shop, however, you’re still faced with the dilemma of installing it yourself or paying certified professionals to do it for you.
“This film is the most difficult film in the industry to install. It’s like buying a set of $4,000 golf clubs on the internet, showing up to Augusta, and wondering why you can’t hit the ball 400 yards.” –David Campbell of Xpel Technologies
Installation is a tricky process that involves many factors. “Two of the most important aspects of the installation are the environment you’re installing in and the use of clean water. A climate controlled environment and the use of a water filtration system or a reverse osmosis water system is needed to ensure a clean and professional install,” says Tim Cooke, COO at Absolute Perfection Window Tinting.
Why invest in Paint Protection Film?
The film is stronger than ever, able to adhere to a vehicles surface for years without causing damage to the paint. It protects your vehicle from any minor abrasion that would normally scratch, dent, or scuff your vehicle. The latest advanced films are even self-healing, making most scratches disappear over time. Now that’s something your factory paint job will never be able to do.
Below is a video of the latest record for the fastest self-healing polymer to date. The same technology is used in self-healing paint protection films:
Since the film is virtually invisible to the naked eye, it won’t alter the appearance of your vehicle and there’s no need to remove it for washing or waxing. “It’s the best product that no one knows about. This is good because it means we did our job right, but bad because it’s unnoticeable,” says Cooke. All while protecting your vehicle; the film also enhances your vehicles value by keeping it in mint condition for years to come.
So next time you get stuck behind a dump truck full of gravel, will you be prepared? If you have an appreciation for luxury vehicles and can’t stand even the slightest scratch on your car, call Absolute Perfection. We are a certified installer of paint protection film that installs in our climate controlled facility, offering a perfect environment for professional installation. Save yourself from wondering where that scratch came from and protect your car before it’s too late.