Understanding what clear bra for cars can do for you
Paint-protection film applied to cars' paintwork goes by many names. It is essentially a urethane-based protective film applied to the paintwork and, as such, can be called rock-chip protection, clear bra/wrap/mask, invisible shield, or scratch-protection film. All these names refer to the same basic type of invisible plastic-like film. This clear bra for cars can be applied to paintwork to seal and protect it against casual, everyday wear and damage such as chips, scratches, and the effects of chemicals, acid rain, and bird droppings.
The advantages of urethane became apparent in the 70s when 3M developed a variation of the film that could be applied to the leading edges of helicopter rotor blades to protect them, often obviating the need to replace entire rotor blades. Urethane films would continue to be applied on jet fighters' noses, and eventually to protect the body panels and decals on NASCAR race cars in the 80s. Today, this protective film for cars is widely available to paintwork, too, the difference being that it is now even better and more advanced than its earlier versions, offering better protection than ever before.
There are many car-protection pros associated to having a protective film applied to your car's paintwork, with most of them following from the successful military application of the technology:
Car paint-protective film is urethane- or polyurethane-based and most types consist of four distinct layers of clear-bra materials on top of each other:
Clear-bra installation is usually done by professionals, but a competent DIY job can be successful, too, if the instructions are meticulously followed. The basic 'how to install paint-protection film' steps are usually the same in either case:
There are not many downsides, but certain things can happen that are almost always a consequence of an inferior-quality product or an improper application process:
Remember, PPF is not a paint-correction treatment, only a protective film for the existing paint finish. It cannot and does not alter the color finish or depth, or mend existing damage. You will still need color correction and paint reparation before applying the film if it has faded. PPF products don't offer an exceptionally hydrophobic surface, which means water and debris might adhere to them more. Do your homework before choosing, because the performance of the product will depend on its quality.
How to protect car paint against the rigors of everyday wear and tear just became a lot easier. Considering how much time you spend reading countless car reviews and going on test drives before paying dearly for your new pride and joy, it only makes sense to preserve its dashing good looks for as long as possible. You can have this car-paint protector applied to the front nose cone ('bra') of your vehicle; the front bumper, hood, mirrors, and fenders; or the entire vehicle. It is only applied to the paintwork and not to unpainted plastic or rubber, such as a trunk spoiler.
High-quality PPF is now available to anybody at a reasonable price, so there's no excuse not to give your car's paintwork the protection it deserves. It is tougher and longer-lasting than other paint treatments and improves your car's resale value because it preserves the paintwork and guards against paint damage. Who knows, one day, future vehicles might have paint protection built in, but for now, we need to choose it ourselves if we want to prevent our cars from looking shabby after a few years on the road.
The invisible car bra is completely transparent and mostly invisible unless you look very closely and find one of its edges. A well-applied film is not easy to spot.
A good-quality PPF can block out virtually all UV rays and prevent them from causing your paintwork to oxidize and fade.
No, a deep enough scratch will leave a permanent mark on the film, but smaller scratches will self-heal. Either way, the majority of scratches won't reach the paintwork. For more information on how to remove scratches from a car, read our blog post on it here.
No, if an impact from a stone is severe enough, the metal will be dented and no film can protect against that.