Wax vs Sealant vs SiO2 Coating

What are the differences in these three types of paint protection and which is best?

 

WAX

Waxes represent the most traditional wax form. Although waxes vary in thousands, there are usually only two types of waxes.

Natural wax

Natural wax is normally more expensive and gives a warmer, deeper finish. They are commonly referred to as Carnauba wax, which is derived from the Brazilian Copernicia Cerifera plant. These natural waxes tend to have a carnauba percentage. The carnauba material may be either pure in shape or blended to some degree with oils or petroleum products. The content of carnauba and how pure it is plays an immense role in how much it costs. Natural waxes are the most expensive waxes, in general. Usually, they come in a paste format.

 

Synthetic Wax

Most of the car waxes on the shelf in auto stores are usually synthetic waxes. How are they different from natural wax you may ask? Synthetic wax are design to do the exact same thing with natural waxes, but instead of using natural content such as carnauba, they are made from non-organic chemicals. They usually comes in a liquid or spray format. Advantage being it's a easier to apply compared to natural wax and it is usually cheaper compared to natural wax. 

 

SEALANT

Sealants are the second generation of paint protection, and it is well known that they last longer and provide a greater protection solution than waxes. But natural wax surpasses sealants in its warmth and depth, in terms of how good the finish is. Sealants are regarded as a groundbreaking technology in the past until the introduction of ceramic quartz coatings. There are two major types of paint sealant

Polymer Sealant

Much of the sealants you can find on your local auto store shelf are usually a polymer sealant. A polymer sealant is composed of hundreds of thousands of interacting plastic particles. When a polymer sealant cures, it essentially creates a plastic shield on the paintwork of the vehicle -shiny and slick. In the detailed world the best kept secret would be to apply natural wax on top of a polymer sealant for an incredibly deep and shiny finish. 

PTFE/Teflon Sealant

PTFE-based sealants work the same way as a Polymer sealant but with a different polymer form. For pans and other cooking items, you can find non-stick PTFE coating It is highly non-reactive, partially because of the carbon–fluorine bond strength. Research indicates that PTFE technology works outstanding on the paintwork of the car and it fills or' hides' paint defects well for those who do not perform extensive paint correction but rather want it to look good for a day or a pre-sale presentation to potential buyers. Although it usually does not last as long as silicone sealant, it has a more glossy finish than polymer sealants and is generally more expensive than polymer sealants. 

CERAMIC QUARTZ COATING

Ceramic quartz coating, or sometimes referred to as nano coating, is a cutting edge development in the automotive industry, with a recent rise in awareness and products over the last few years. It utilizes Silicon Dioxide or SiO2 (aka Ceramic / Quartz / Liquid Glass) that cures into a highly protective hard glass. It exceeds sealants significantly in every single way. A coating has the 4 key advantage: gloss, longevity, physical resistance, and hydrophobicity. A good coating properly applied by a detailer with adequate preparation work, it can last from 2 to 5 yearsand eliminates the need to wax or polish your car again.

Also, it has the hydrophobicity effects of self-washing in the coating! Even so, owing to their carnauba material, natural waxes finish better than a coating. While there are plenty of coatings from which to choose, there are two coating types: Consumer and Professional-only. 

Consumer Coating

Because of the complexity of application of the coating, we advise car owners to undertake extensive research on coatings and how to apply them, because once the coating is applied and healed, it can only be removed by abrasion. A consumer coating is a variant of a professional-only coating that is simplified and easier to apply, targeted at weekend warriors and car enthusiasts who want to apply a coating on their own. Usually, a consumer coating has much less SiO2 content, more customer-friendly, much easier to apply and generally a shorter lifespan compared with professional-only coating.

 

  

Professional-Only Coating


Professional-only coatings are usually coatings that are not available for public purchase and are available exclusively to selected detailers. Usually, selected detailers have to attend a training session to learn properly how to professionally apply the product to prevent any mistakes and for quality assurance. Each individual professional-only coating has its own distinctive preparation process to optimize each application's best results and usually requires paint correction to remove existing imperfections including swirl marks and minor scratches.

 

The main difference between a consumer version and a professional-only coating are mainly the SiO2 content and the solvent a coating carries. The higher the SiO2 content is, the more difficult it is to apply and precautions has to be taken into account. Primarily the SiO2 content and the solvent a coating carries are the main difference between a consumer version and a professional-only cover. The higher the SiO2 content, the harder it is to apply and consideration must be given to the precautions.

 

CONCLUSION

  • Wax (natural or synthetic) provides a deep, warm finish but it usually lasts only about 2-3 months. It is suitable for show cars at events, or to those who want the best shine.
  • Sealants have greater protection and longevity opposed to wax but do not provide the depth and warmth of natural wax. It's better suited for vehicle owners looking for an affordable solution to paint protection
  • Ceramic quartz coating has better safety and durability relative to sealants and improved gloss levels close to waxes, but the cost of getting it properly applied by a detailer will be higher due to the extensive preparing needed such as paint correction. This is best suited for everyday cars, and long-term car-lovers wanting the best value.

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