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What Is Auto Glass Coating, Anyway?

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If you are considering adding a protective coating on your vehicle to keep its finish bright and shiny while protecting it from the elements, you have probably heard a number of terms being used. If auto glass coating is one of them, you may have assumed it is a protective coating applied to the windows of your vehicle. You might be surprised to learn that instead of  a coating for auto glass, auto glass coating is actually a glass coating for autos. But don't get hung up on the semantics. Check out how this amazing technology works.

What Is a Glass Coating?

As you might expect, glass coatings are made from glass or silica. These new coatings are a product of nanotechnology and are so thin that you can't even see them. When applied to the surface of your vehicle, a glass coating provides a protective layer that prevents dust and scratches and even repels bird droppings, too. It also prevents damage from acid rain or other forms of air pollution. Because nothing adheres to the coating, your vehicle remains sparkling clean and looks like you just drove it off the car lot.

Wait! What Do You Mean by Nanotechnology?

Nanotechnology refers to technology that uses teeny, tiny particles. In fact, to be considered nanotechnology, the process must use particles that are measured in nanometers. A nanometer is a unit of measure that is one billionth of a meter. To put that in practical terms, the thickness of a sheet of computer paper is 100,000 nanometers thick and a strand of hair is between 80,000 and 100,000 nanometers wide, explains the National Nanotechnology Initiative. That means the layer of glass applied to your vehicle is on the nanometer scale.

How Do They Apply the Glass Coating?

You may be wondering how they apply something that thin. Glass coating is applied as a liquid. The moisture dissipates into the air and the silica hardens into a protective shield for your vehicle. The length of time for the glass coating to harden depends on the ambient humidity and temperature, but is generally dry to the touch within a few minutes. It may need to cure for a week or more to reach its full potential.

Can You Apply a Glass Coating at Home?

You can buy a glass coating to apply yourself relatively inexpensively, but most professional car detailers will say you should have your car professionally coated. Here's why:

  • Your vehicle must be thoroughly washed to remove soil, old wax and other deposits such as iron. It must then be buffed to remove any scratches or abrasions. A quick wash with the hose isn't likely to remove old wax and other residue that can interfere with the glass coating.

  • Glass coating contains high amounts of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that are released into the air when it is applied. The vapors in the air can be overpowering if you do not have a protective mask and work in a well-ventilated area. Professional car detailers have the equipment and ventilation to do this safely.

  • Your vehicle must dry in a clean, dust-free area, which is difficult to accomplish at home.

Is Glass Coating Expensive

Having your car coated with glass coating can be relatively expensive because it requires hours of prep work by your car detailer. He must wash your vehicle with a degreasing detergent, repair blemishes, dry the vehicle and buff the surface before he can apply the glass coating. The increased labor can drive your costs up. On the flip side, the glass coating will last longer than traditional waxes or protective coatings and will keep your car looking bright and shiny.

When you take your vehicle to the auto shop for detailing and the technician asks if you want an auto glass coating, make sure both of you understand whether he is referring to coating your auto glass with a protective product or applying a glass coating to your auto. For more information about protective car maintenance, contact a company like SML Window Tint.