Is Clear Bra Worth It? Paint Protection Film 101
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 bumper of their cars.
Modern-day PPF is much thinner, longer-lasting, and more durable. It can be installed on specific panels like the quarter panels and rocker panels, front bumper, or all over for the vehicle for added protection.
Paint Protection Film vs Vinyl Wrap
Although vinyl wraps do have some protective qualities, they are primarily used to change the colour or finish of a car. Vinyl wraps are used for cosmetic purposes, as an affordable way to change the appearance of a vehicle.
PPF on the other hand, is used for protective purposes. It is thicker and stronger, and provides more resistance to chemical stains, stone chips, swirl marks, bug splatter and other vehicle paint damage.
Both are applied on top of the vehicle's paint, but the purpose of PPF is in the name, to protect the paint. Vinyl wraps are made for cosmetic reasons, like colour changes or for car graphics. PPF only allows you to change the finish of the paint, but not the colour itself.
What to look for in Paint Protection Film
There are plenty of options available for PPF on the market, but not all PPFs are of the same quality.
Poor quality PPF will not offer as much protection, is less durable, and may even end up damaging your car's original paint. Poorly made PPF will leave behind residue and damage in the removal process, and life prematurely.
Quality PPF is non-yellowing, hydrophobic and durable. Look for paint protection film manufacturers like industry leader Xpel. High quality PPFs are backed by warranty, which ensures quality product.
Lastly, look for a certified and experienced auto shop to apply your paint protection film. Although there are a lot of DIY options on the market, paint protection film is difficult to apply. Paint protection film is not reusable so the application has to be accurate the first time, it can not be peeled off and reapplied.
Improper application may lead to air bubbles being trapped under the film, and an overall bumpy and uneven appearance. Save money by contacting a specialist at Wetwerks Auto Spa today, the perfect application every time.
Vancouver’s Paint Protection Specialists: We’re Here to Help!
Is it time to request a quote or book an appointment for your beloved vehicle? Leave it to the pros.
When you book with Wetwerks Auto Spa, you can rest assured knowing that your car is in the best hands. We love cars, as much as you do. Our certified techs are professionally trained and we only use the highest quality products, including System X Ceramic Coating and XPEL Paint Protection Film.
Don’t forget - we offer 10% off every visit for our valued VIP members subscribed to wetwerksautospa.com.
The best option that your car deserves. An eye for detail you can trust.