Updated: Dec 30, 2018
Ever heard the phrase “100% solids”? It’s common in the painting industry, but not something you hear often when talking about ceramic coatings. But as automotive ceramic coating technology has evolved these past couple years, it’s coming up more and more. So what does it mean, and what makes it such an advantage? We’ll break it all down for you here.
The liquid inside a ceramic coating bottle is usually a solution of two elements—the coating itself and the solvent that carries the coating. When the solution is applied to a panel, the solvent evaporates (or flashes, in detailer parlance), leaving behind the coating, which soon cures into the durable nanostructure that protects the paint.
With a 100% solids coating, the liquid inside the bottle is all coating, no solvent. So what’s amazing about that? It has to do with the coating’s thickness—more specifically, wet film thickness (WFT) vs. dry film thickness (DFT).
WFT is the thickness when first applied. DFT, on the other hand, is the thickness after wiping off. So if a coating is mixed with a solvent that evaporates away, you’re going to see a marked difference between the WFT and the DFT. Take a look at the graphic below. In this example, the coating solution is 75% solvent, 25% coating. When the coating is initially applied, its WFT is 4μm.
But when the solvent evaporates, thickness is lost, leaving only 1μm of thickness behind. So if you’re looking to achieve 3μm of thickness, you’ll need to apply three more layers of coating.
That’s where the advantage of a 100% solids coating like Dr. Beasley’s Nano-Resin Pro becomes evident—there’s no solvent to evaporate, so no thickness will be lost in application. If your coating starts at 4μm, it’ll stay at 4μm, so you won’t need to apply additional layers to get the desired thickness.
The sheer thickness of a 100% solids coating makes for a unique application. First, you’ll generally need a pipette to siphon the coating from the bottle and on to your application—it’s that thick. You’ll also notice that it’s a bit more “grabby” when moving the applicator across the paintwork. Finally, as you can surmise from the above, you don’t need to watch for flashing since there’s no solvent evaporating. You just wait a couple minutes then wipe down.