Is Clear Bra Worth It? Paint Protection Film 101

Updated: Nov 14, 2021

Paint protection film (PPF) is a thermoplastic urethane self-healing film applied to the exterior of a car to protect from road debris, bug splatters, and other minor abrasions. It is a class of polyurethane known for its elasticity, transparency, and resistance to grease and oil.

PPF is widely used on airplanes, motorcycles, RV’s and even electronic devices as a barrier of protection. Paint protection film originated in the mid-1950s and was originally designed to protect and extend the life of helicopter rotor blades.

The thermoplastic film has come a long way since its origin, now more pliable, thinner, and more durable. PPF consists of several microlayers that help to protect the surface of your car and boasts self-healing properties when exposed to heat through the sun or a heat gun.

Paint protection film acts as a sacrificial layer between your car’s paint and external elements. Securely protecting your vehicle's paint from UV rays, chemical damage, mineral deposits, rock chips, and scratches. It is durable, long-lasting, and virtually invisible when applied correctly.

Not only does paint protection film help to maximize your car's resale value, but it is also available in a variety of finishes, an inexpensive way to change the exterior of your car.

Paint Protection Film Vs Ceramic Coating

A common myth in car care is that ceramic coatings and PPF can’t be used together. This is false. In fact, ceramic coatings and paint protection film can and should be used together for superior protection.

Ceramic coatings and paint protection film go together like peanut butter and jelly. When used in conjunction, they maximize protection. PPF offers an added layer of protection, defending against the larger scratches that a ceramic coating may not catch.

When ceramic coatings are applied on top of PPF, they extend the life of the film due to their hydrophobic qualities. Ceramic coatings make the PPF easier to clean and act as a barrier between the elements and the PPF.

What is a Clear Bra?

Although the terms clear bra and paint protection film are often used interchangeably, clear bra actually refers to a type of protective film applied in a specific area.

A clear bra is applied to the front end of a vehicle, covering the front bumper, grille, headlights, splitter, and paint on the front fender and hood. The term clear bra comes from the area in which the film is applied.

Prior to the development of modern-day paint protection film, car owners used bulky vinyl or leather to protect the front