Graphene coatings are the latest technological advancement to hit the automotive detailing market.
This carbon-based nanomaterial is not exactly new, a couple British professors discovered it in 2004 and went on to win the Nobel Prize in 2010 for their research.
Being almost completely transparent, it remains so dense that not even helium, the smallest gas atom, can pass through it.
Graphene is growing in popularity in many detailing circles as major brands like Adam’s Polishes and Ethos Car Care have released graphene products.
Without getting too technical, Graphene is the name for an atom-thick honeycomb sheet of carbon atoms.” Harder than diamond yet more elastic than rubber; tougher than steel yet lighter than aluminum”.
Graphene can be described as a single layer of graphite. Graphene itself is not used in Graphene coatings, but rather Graphene Oxide. When applying the coating, Hydrogen Bonding occurs, at which stage it change to a clear state. It is a 3D structure that is not single layer thin. Hydrogen bonding is hard to break when cured.
Graphene oxide lowers the surface temperature through heat transfer from the surface into the coating, which result in hazing and then turns clear as it cures. When lowering the temperature, evaporation is slowed, resulting in less calcium deposit settling.
The slickness factor of graphene is extremely high making it comparable to some of the best coatings and sealants on the market. If you are a fan of the water beading effect, then you’ll love graphene.
This means any moisture in any amount will slide off much easier, leaving a lower risk of any water evaporating on the surface which could potentially cause water spots. This does not mean ‘no water spots” – it simply means less prone to water spotting. The harder water is in your area, the more likely the chance of water spots. The benefit of Graphene coatings are, that it is easier to remove these water spots.
Please note*** Graphene Coating cannot be applied until all wax and bonded contaminants are removed from the vehicle’s paintwork. It is also most susceptible to failure when improper prep work is present.
After that, it only takes five days for the graphene coating to cure, it requires around 24 hours of cure time before they are deemed safe for water contact and should not be chemical cleaned until curing is 100% complete.
Once fully cured, the graphene coating sheets water extremely well and is more resistant to damage from UV rays and high pH chemicals.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS & STRENGTHS OF GRAPHENE COATINGS?
• High water contact angle (more beading and less prone to water spotting)
• Anti-static (less dust settling)
• Highly flexible (less susceptible to cracking or chipping)
• Ease of application
• Excellent durability
Durability:- Longer durability because of the 3D structure. The durability does vary, as with all coatings, because mother nature throws a lot of different challenges at us.
Remember:- As with all coatings, they are not bullet proof, they are a sacrificial layer to protect the clear coat and their job is to take the punches we and mother nature enact on it. Rather your coating take the brunt instead of your clear coat! They will over time show the signs of this abuse and the beading will eventually slow down and fail. To prevent premature failing, always clean and maintain the surface with a good quality car shampoo, use good quality drying towels and use at least a 2-bucket washing method.
There are so many varying opinions about Graphene Coatings in the market and so many comparisons to Ceramic coatings and at the end of the day, it will mainly boil down to preference.
The only way to decide is to try it!