Posted on

November 2, 2023

Vinyl Wrap

What is Paint Protection Film?

If you own and drive a car, you know that it can get dirty or damaged pretty easily. If you are buying a brand new car, you are going to want to make sure you get as much protection as possible. If you are driving your car every day like I am, it is going to be hard to escape the wear and tear you are going to get. Driving on highways, you are going to experience rocks and things scraping and hitting your vehicle. The best way to protect yourself and your car from debris is to use paint protection film.


What is paint protection film?


Paint protection film is a thick, transparent layer of urethane that is applied on top of body panels to protect the paint underneath them. Urethane is a commonly used polymer in the automotive industry. Modern cars have urethane bumpers and insulation, among other things. The material is strong, flexible, and resistant to UV degradation. It basically becomes a second skin to your car's body panels. This film protects the paint against mechanical damage such as scratches, dings, and chips.


Initially, paint protection film was made to protect helicopter rotor blades from any flying shrapnel, debris, and dust during the Vietnam War. Today, it has become a 250 million-dollar market and protects hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of cars every day.


How does it work?


Paint protection comes in rolls. It consists of multiple layers, each with different functions. The bottom is a liner that protects other layers and keeps them clean until installation. When it is time to apply the film, the liner is taken off and discarded.


The middle layer has acrylic adhesive that is around 1.6 mils thick. The adhesive helps bind the PPF to the clear coat. It is designed to stick to and remain attached to the attached film, making it 100% removable without damaging or permanently altering any of the paint.


The important part of the film is the urethane layer. This is the thickest portion of the film, at about 6 mils. Let’s say that a rock flies into your car and ends up making contact with a jagged edge or point. All of the impact would be focused on this very small area. Because automotive paint is so thin and not flexible, it will crack and eventually chip. A few years of driving will end up putting dozens of these types of cracks on anything exposed to the air. When this happens, the paint is never going to be the same again. You can touch it up here and there, but after a certain amount of time, it will just end up looking worse.


Self Healing


Urethane is a thermoplastic polymer, which means it softens and ends up becoming more malleable when exposed to heat. When applying heat to the film, it is going to want to reject the energy that is absorbed by the impact and end up returning to a flat, uniform state. It will harden back to the strength it had when it cools. You do want to be realistic about the film; it may seem like an invincible material, but it does have its restrictions. Large impacts can make a dent in the body. As long as it doesn't tear through the film, the paint should be fine; you will just have to go to the body shop and straighten it out.

At Elite Tinting and Graphics, we offer paint protection film services for drivers who want to protect their vehicles and enhance their appearance. Our team of experts uses only the best products on the market to ensure that your car looks great and stays protected. Get in contact today to find out more about how paint protection film can protect your car.