Ceramic | Superior Protection & Shine
The automotive detailing business has seen plenty of technological advancements over the course of the past few decades. New tools, processes, chemicals, and equipment spell out a higher standard of quality that customers have come to expect. Liberty Bay Detail Center is no stranger to that advancement, and that’s why they’ve teamed up with MALCO to provide our customers with the EPIC Ceramic Coating System, a veritable game-changer in the exterior finish game.
What is ceramic coating?
When people hear the word ceramic, they may think of anything from beautiful custom pottery to modern plumbing, but what does it have to do with the exterior of your car? Microceramics, originally discovered in the 1980’s, describes the liquid ceramic products that fill in the microscopic imperfections in your car’s surface, creating a smooth and hydrophobic external layer that shines brilliantly. Therein lies the 50/50 ultimate benefits of a ceramic coating, excellent protection, excellent shine. But there’s more to it than just slathering on a coat of MALCOs magical solution, the expert detailers at L.B.D.C. spend hours pouring over the details of your underlying paint-work in a process called “paint correction.”
What is paint correction?
A full ceramic coating job just isn’t worth having done if the first part of the process, Paint Correction, isn’t done to perfection. The exterior coating on your car is thin, really thin; but minuscule differences in the paint’s thickness can make for crazy differences in shine & appearance, so it’s up to a trained professional to ensure that these imperfections, differences in thickness, and previous wax-jobs are all buffed down to a uniform layer that’s best equipped to handle the coming ceramic treatment. This part of the process accounts for a good portion of the up-to-three-day wait time.
Science time – how does it work?
The liquid ceramic product bonds tightly to the exterior of your car. Once it hardens over the duration of a generous curing period, the ceramic coat displays a brilliant shine and protects the surface of your car from all imaginable types of debris. But how exactly is it doing that? In a basic sense, the liquid ceramic product creates a smooth surface that has little to no imperfections for debris and water to grip onto. The concept to pay attention to when learning the science behind ceramic coating is surface energy. Surface energy is used to describe the potential for a surface to accept and hold on to water, or any liquid for that matter. An exterior with high surface energy has more imperfections, both microscopic and non, so the surface will allow water to stay with relative ease. An exterior with low surface energy, like one treated with MALCO’s EPIC Ceramic coating product, has virtually no imperfections in the smooth, glass-like surface, so water simply beads up and rolls off.
How much does it cost?
Admittedly, a full paint correction and ceramic coating job can be a fairly expensive undertaking, especially when performed by a fully trained and certified Paint Correction & Ceramics experts who know what they’re doing. On the low end, customers can expect to pay at least $800 for the application, with dark-colored high-end vehicle’s price tag leaning toward the fifteen-hundred mark. However, if the steep price tag turns you off to the idea of a ceramic coating, you may want to look into the tier two option, provided at a significantly lower price.
Should I ceramic coat my commuter?
While many of the vehicles seen in our ceramics booth are higher-end luxury vehicles, the very same benefits can be reaped by applying a ceramic coating to your daily commuter, especially in Washington, where wet-gritty mud abounds. As previously stated, there’s no superior method of exterior protection, there simply isn’t. For those who commute in Washington state, a ceramic coating spells out both long lasting shine, and immensely superior protection from the grit that lies between the cracks in the pavement. Because of the ceramic coating’s superior surface energy lowness, the wet conditions in Washington state play directly into the ceramic product’s hand. Ever rinsed your Honda Civic clean-clean after weeks of commuting? We didn’t think so.