Paint protection film is a layer of thermoplastic urethane that is applied to the painted surfaces of a car to protect the paint job from chips, splatters, and minor abrasions. It is also commonly used in airplanes, motorcycles, electronics, cell phones, and other electronic devices. Almost all automobile manufacturers have approved the use of paint protection films on vehicles. It is also commonly known as Clear Bra, which was the original manufacturer.
Manufacturers recommend entrusting product application to certified professional Vinyl Wrap and Clear Bra workshops as installation requires unique skills and techniques to make it look good and last the life of the film. Many window and detail stain shops also do the installation.
The primary purpose of Clear Bra is to prevent scratches, rock chips, and other types of vandalism that cause damage to a vehicle’s paint and bodywork. It is commonly applied on the front parts of cars, trucks and SUVs. It can also be used on the entire body of a vehicle to provide maximum protection to the vehicle’s factory paint.
Originally developed for use in military applications, it is now commercially available for public use. The automotive industry took note of the benefits offered by paint protection film and began applying it to race cars to protect expensive carbon fiber and fiberglass bodies. Originally, the film was thicker and difficult to install because the thick film was designed to protect helicopter blades from sand erosion.
The film available on the market today is specifically designed to be flexible and adaptable to the bodywork of a vehicle. There are many options available in the market with specific types manufactured primarily with the technical ability to offer superior level protection and even self-healing capabilities.
Why use the paint protection film?
Scratches on new or undamaged vehicles not only destroy the look of your car, truck, or SUV, but reduce the resale value. To prevent a car from suffering at the hands of vandalism or road debris, protective paint film is the perfect solution.
Clear Bra has the strength to withstand road hazards like debris, rocks, sand, and cement. It will protect the areas of the vehicle where it is installed and will keep the body looking the same as it did the day you applied the film. Many of the premium films have self-healing properties, so the film will heal itself when damaged by scratches and cracks. Another great application is protecting your vehicle from children who play near the car and scratch the paint surface with their toys.
Which brands of paint protection films are the most reliable?
The most trusted brands of paint protection films on the market today are Clear Bra, 3M, Suntek, and Genuine Xpel. Xpel and 3M are the preferred films used in our shop due to their industry leading warranties and self-healing properties. In addition to full rolls of film, many of these manufacturers offer DIY enthusiasts pre-cut kits that are unique to a vehicle’s make, model, and year.
Today there is no shortage of cheap movies imported from places like China and India and sold on sites like eBay and Amazon. Always be careful with any material that does not come from a reputable manufacturer. Cheap paint protection film will not protect your vehicle and often cheap stickers used on this type of material will damage the factory paint when you try to remove it.
How does it apply?
There are many types of installation for paint protection films. Most installers do not have tracers. Therefore, they have no choice but to apply the filler directly from the roll and cut the material to the length of their vehicle. Reputable installation shops that have invested in plotters use specially designed software to create a pattern for the shape of the panel on which the film will be installed and accurately trace or cut it. A plotter can also be used to modify the cutting pattern to fit custom patterns such as aftermarket bumpers and body kits.
A popular DIY customer installation technique is a pre-cut kit. A pre-cut kit can be ordered by your vehicle make, model and year and comes ready to install right out of the box. The downside to a pre-cut kit is that if you damage one of the material sections during installation, you will have to purchase a completely new kit. Pre-cut kits are also not available for any custom parts you have on your vehicle, such as a bumper, body kit, or aftermarket spoiler.
When looking for a Clear Bra installer, it is imperative to select a reputable store with good reviews. Installation requires cutting close to the paint on your car, truck, or SUV with razor blades. An impatient or unqualified installer can quickly cause substantial and irreversible damage to your expensive vehicle.
Where can the film be applied?
The paint protection film is manufactured to appear virtually invisible to the naked eye to maintain the appearance of your vehicle. It can be applied to any area of the car, however it is mainly recommended for car parts that are susceptible to damage. The most common areas are the side mirrors, the front bumper, and the hood of your vehicle. Another area where Clear Bra can be used is door edges, as they are prone to wear from constant opening and closing. Door edge protection provides an excellent shield against chips and scrapes that often occur in parking lots.
It can also be applied to door handle cups because they get damaged with constant use. Scratches and scuffs can be prevented by applying an invisible film of Clear Bra to the door handle cups.
Benefits of a protective paint film
Clear Bra is flexible and stretchy, as well as durable. It is nearly invisible and can be molded to fit any vehicle surface. Seals painted surfaces to give a long-lasting glossy appearance and a glossy exterior. Clear Bra is a brand name self-healing layer that is scratch and crack resistant. It puts a tough defensive front on damages of any kind that are unavoidable when it comes to cars.