The performance of ceramic coatings is measured using several different tests that evaluate areas such as chemical and UV resistance, oxidation, heat tolerance, and hardness.
Hardness of ceramic coatings play an important role in determining the level of scratch resistance expected. One easy method of evaluating scratch resistance of ceramic coating hardness is with a grading pencil test, which requires the use of a kit of pencils with assorted densities from H(softest) to 9H(hardest). Each pencil is used to make lines in the coating; the first pencil in order that does not scratch the coating determines hardness. Arctic Coating’s base coat ceramic formula measures at 9H on the hardness scale; the highest possible scratch resistance currently offered in a nano-ceramic coating.
As discussed in our previous post, factory clear coat is approximately 2 millimeters (2000micrometers) thick and has a hardness of 3H. Arctic Coating installed on a painted surface is up to 1.6 micrometers thick, yet yields the hardness of 9H. The strength of such thin material can be attributed to nanotechnology, which involves the manipulation of molecules of silicon dioxide that have a dimension within 1 to 100 nanometers to create Arctic Coatings structure. There are literally billions of these silica molecules that come together to form a cross linked barrier that you see as a mirror-like gloss on your vehicle. The billions of silica molecules that pack in the space of 1.6 micrometers ceramic coating thickness (after all solvents have evaporated) are what make the surface tight barrier rigid and able to withstand the scratch of a 9H grading pencil. The amount of strength and durability of such a thin coating compared to 2 millimetres thick clear coat is what makes this technology unique and necessary for the protection of automotive paintwork.
Arctic Coating’s durability to 9h scratches is just one benefit to having the installation done. The tight barriers surface renders the coating waterproof and resistant to salt, bird droppings, bug splatter, tree sap, environmental fallout, acid rain, and chemicals. The owners of an Arctic Coating installed vehicle can expect to throw away all of their wax and sealants, have a brilliant mirror-like shine, wash & dry their vehicles easily, keep the vehicle looking cleaner for a longer period, always see water beading on all treated surfaces, and paintwork with a swirl-free finish for a minimum of 2 years (with proper car washing procedures addressed in our pamphlet).