A shiny car or a bike makes you feel confident and comfortable about your possession. However, very often when we drive, we think about how to keep our vehicle shielded from all those unwanted scratches. No matter how carefully one drives, the roads and dust outside can be brutal to the car. And just a few months down the line, the exterior of the car starts looking dull and worn out. But every once in a while, we get introduced to a product that amazes everyone. Paint Protection Film(PPF) has been one such innovation.
What is Paint Protection Film (PPF)?
PPF is a thin polyurethane film that acts as a skin to the car’s paint that protects it from small scratches, stone chips, acid rain, mineral deposits and also UV exposure. This is one of the newest technique in the car care industry.
Also referred to as Clear Bra or Clear Paint Film, it is also used on airplanes, cell phones, screens, electronics, motorcycles and many other areas. It is OEM approved by practically all car manufacturers.
PPF is applied to various parts of cars specifically to high impact areas of vehicles. Its application requires the expertise of a car detailing professional.
PPF was first developed to aid the US military in 1960. Engineers maintaining military helicopters constantly dealt with sand abrasion on the aircraft blades. In order to cater to this challenge, PPF was used to help keep the helicopter blades from wearing away in the harsh, sandy environs to which they were usually exposed. The engineers quickly realized that replacing the film was far more feasible and economical than repairing damaged blades.Many people still refer PPF as “helicopter tape” though the automobile industry has now largely adopted its application that has gained wide popularity.
Car dealers today are cashing in on this opportunity to grow their businesses by upselling PPF. From smaller parts of a car, the demand for PPF today has increased to larger and more complex components.
From the original thicker version, PPF has become thinner and far more flexible conforming to different shapes and curves of the car. There have been notable improvements as far as the ease of installation and coloration of PPF is concerned. A smoother version of the film has made printing and installing films easier.
The global PPF market size is estimated to touch approximately $450 Million by 2025, as per a report by Grand View Research, Inc. It is expected to expand at a rate of 6.7% during this period.Apart from this, some more interesting industry stats as below:
- The automotive industry, in 2018, has emerged as the largest application segment of PPF in terms of volume
- Asia Pacific region alone has become the largest market, with figures touching $100 million in 2018. This is because APAC comprises of largest producers and consumers of automotive and electrical and electronic industry
- Aerospace application is confident of registering a growth rate of over 10% thanks to the increasing investments in defense sectors by China, US and India
Key Benefits of PPF
- Prevents the paint of your car from a lot of high-intensity scratches
- Prevents paint damage caused by road debris and stone chips
- Life of a PPF installation can last up to 10 years
- It acts as a shield from hard water spots
- It has Self-Healing properties – This characteristic of PPF makes it most popular among the consumers. Severe scratches on a PPF applied surface automatically withers away when exposed to heat (natural sunlight, hot water or heat gun).
PPF vs Vinyl
People often confuse between PPF and Vinyl. If you like your car the way it is and just want to keep it protected from debris that comes off the road, then PPF is your option. On the other hand, if you are looking to change the look and design of your vehicle, you can opt for Vinyl or Wrap installation.
The difference between PPF and Vinyl can be understood through the following six factors:
- Thickness and Durability
PPF is thicker (6-10 MILS) than Vinyl (2-6 MILS). The thickness of a normal printer paper is 3 MILS. So you can differentiate keeping this as a basis.
The thickness attribute makes PPF more durable than Vinyl.
2. Film Material
Vinyl/Wrap is Polyvinyl Chloride which has a brittle aspect to it whereas PPF is Polyurethane that is rubbery in nature. This means PPF can be stretched more as compared to Vinyl.
3. Film weight
Being thicker, PPF has slightly more weight than Vinyl
PPF allows clear and matte customization specifically limited to high impact areas of your car. You can retain the glossy or matte finish of your vehicle. There is no limit to customization that Vinyl can offer. The whole look and design of your car can be customized using a Vinyl.
5. Installation and Maintenance
PPF installation takes 1-2 days depending on portions where it has to be installed. Vinyl installation can take 2-6 days depending on the size of the car or complexity of the car body.PPF is a lot easier to maintain than the Vinyl installation.
PPF is a lot economical than Vinyl installation. The total cost, however, depends on the amount of customization you are looking to make.
Myths about PPF
- It gives the car a newer and shiny look
As explained above, PPF acts as a protection layer rather than enhancing the look of your vehicle.
2. Cost is too high
Cost of PPF installation depends on the no. of parts you get filmed. Some people prefer to get PPF applied only to the profoundly impacted portions of your car.
3. It requires a lot of maintenance
The installation of PPF is a task that should only be done by highly trained professionals. Once done, then you need not worry about keeping it maintained frequently.
Paint Protection Film is a remarkable way of protecting any vehicle from the usual damages. Its objective is not to give a shine to your car or bike, but the extra skin layer enables you to be assured that your vehicle is shielded at all times.
If you are looking for a professional PPF installation for your vehicle, feel free to contact us.