Abrasion Resistance: Should you care about it?

Abrasion Resistance: Should you care about it?

As a distributor, a detailer or most importantly, the owner of a vehicle getting a ceramic coating, should you care about abrasion resistance? Yes, you should. In fact, it should be the key performance parameter driving your decision of which coating to buy. After all, why are you buying a ceramic coating in the first place? Because you heard or read that ceramic coatings provide years of protection, years of shine, years of water beading up. You have seen claims of 1-year, 5-year, 7-year and even lifetime coatings. How do they know the coating will last? It is well worth your time to do the research.

At DuraSlic our line of ceramic coatings for cars was built on many years of development of advanced ceramic coatings in the electronics and industrial markets (see nanoslic.com) In those markets, abrasion resistance is critical. One of the tests used by our research laboratory is the industry standard ASTM D2486 wet scrub test for coatings. This was developed specifically to measure the effects of repeated scrubbing or wiping of a coating. In the set-up for ceramic car coatings, a sponge with a standard weight on it (to simulate a hand pushing the sponge)  scrubs the coating back and forth. We use a popular automotive shampoo in water, just as someone would do when washing their car. We measure the contact angle for hydrophobicity and oleophobicity at the beginning and throughout the test. We then graph the results and compare. We use the data to develop and improve our coatings and we make the data available to customers on our website and Technical Data Sheets.

But how do the results relate to real world lifetime of the coating. Our formula for equating scrubs to coating lifetime is shown below for a test duration of 2000 scrubs:

Assumptions:

4 scrubs = 1 car wash

1 year = 52  car washes

Therefore:

2000 scrubs / (4 scrubs/wash X 52 weeks/year) = 9.6 years

So, a coating that does well over 2000 scrubs,  should be able to perform well over a lifetime of approximately 10 years. Of course, you can argue over the assumptions above. And of course real world lifetime depends on many factors once the car has been coated; how it is washed, how it is maintained, the weather, acid rain etc. But the purchaser should have the basic abrasion data to make an informed decision.

It’s true, that other performance parameters are important, like contact angle with water and n-hexadecane, roll-off angle, surface tension, slipperiness, coefficient of friction, hardness, flexibility, film thickness. We measure and publish all of these in our Technical Data Sheets (and we will discuss the importance of each in this blog.) But even if a ceramic coating does well in all these areas, what is the value to you if it breaks down after a few  car washes? Should you care about abrasion resistance? Yes absolutely. Get the data, you will be happy you did.