Curing Stages of Ceramic Coatings

Curing Stages of Ceramic Coatings

Ceramic coatings are meant to provide an additional layer of protection for your paint, a film derived from a reaction between an oligomer, a catalyst, and humidity (water).

A chemical explanation summary:

The coating has a SiO2 ceramic matrix that includes the condensation product of hydrolyzed alkoxysilane and a colloidal silica sol.

Ceramic coating materials material has two main components of silicon dioxide:  One is silica sol which is pure SiO2, another is an organoalkoxysilane which is an organic-inorganic hybrid material.

Both materials can make strong chemical bond from the chemical reaction, condensation. (ORX  ′ )X  4−x   (ORX′)X4−x groups are hydrolyzed with water and then make condensation with silica sol and each other.

The ceramic coating is applied by a sol-gel process. Two kinds of hydrophobic organic compounds make a chemical bond with the silica ceramic network or matrix and exist in the ceramic structure at a stable state.

The main matrix is composed of a network of silica formed by the chemical reaction or condensation of colloidal silica sol and an organoalkoxysilane such as MTMS (methyltrimethoxysilane).

The surface of colloidal silica is coated by organoalkoxysilanes, in other words, hydrolyzed organoalkoxysilane make a thin layer or coating on the silica surface as a result of the condensation reaction with the hydroxyl groups of the silica surface.

Nano-Ceramic Technology

The phrase “nano-ceramic” is often said when referring to SiO2 coatings, which are only the Ceramics. The Nano materials used in coatings usually contain Silanes and Polysiloxanes as hydrophobic agents.

The Ceramic molecules are formed in a non-amorphic structure, which gives the coating very high flexibility features, compared to regular glass.

The Silanes (SiH3) are nano molecules while Siloxanes are micro molecules, in addition, Siloxanes are bonded into the ceramic structure of the coating while Silanes are not.

Siloxanes are less sensitive to water spots, whiles Silanes require a topcoat in order to prevent them from reacting with calcium and make “water-spots”.

That is the reason why topcoat, in general, are often made from Functional-Siloxanes and rather from Silanes

Application tips and guidelines:

The curing time of a ceramic coating depends allot on the amount of catalyst add the formula and the humidity rate of the environment.

As written in the chemical explanation, the coating reacts with water at its initial curing stage in order to form the SiO2 molecules, therefore, at the leveling stage of a ceramic coating (right after application), it is possible to use a damp or slightly humid towel in order to properly level the coating the vehicle’s surface without the fear of hurting the coating or making water-spots. If you chose to use a damp towel, It’s recommended to do so right after the spreading of the ceramic coating on the surface – the buffing will be much easier, and there is no risk of hurting the ceramic coating as long as the coating is fresh and it hasn’t reached the tack-free stage.

Once the coating reaches the tack-free stage, means that the polysilazane groups are fully hydrolyzed with water and the coating is dry to the touch, do not get the surface wet again for at least 7 days.

The hydrolysis of the silica leaves some the catalyst is still active, therefore can slowly react with humidity and make the entire surface become hazy white, some are confusing it water-spots – these are white reaction areas of the catalyst with water. Http://
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What is a Ceramic Coating? What properties make something an actual coating?

What is a Ceramic Coating?
What properties make something an actual coating?

All silicones are made from a chemical reaction between Amorphic Silica (sand) and liquidizing agent, normally a strong base chemical. after that, it’s reacted with organic chemicals in order to turn it into Silicons monomers and polymers.

A ceramic coating is silicone resin (Siloxane polymer) that is turned back into his original Silica state, in the presence of a catalyst and humidity. Different companies use different catalysts, that leads to the different crystallization process. Some catalysts are cheap and some expensive, cheap ones (Ammonia based) will normally have poor crystalized structure and will fail after a short while. The quality of the catalyst and the carrier solvent normally determines the outcome quality of the ceramic coating, because the silica has to be crystallized in a 3D matrix – a process that takes about 7 days, final curing will take about 1 month.

The Silica that’s formed in this process is not Amorphic because it was originated from a polymer, therefore its non-Amorphic structure gives it higher flexibility and mechanical adhesion to many surfaces.
Normally, in each dry film of a ceramic coating, you will have about 70-75% SiO2, and the rest 20-25% will be silicone additives for hydrophobicity and gloss.

A ceramic coating is not recommended to be applied with a dry film thickness of more than 30 microns, that is because the molecules of the SiO2 are not mechanically bonded to each other.

Choosing the right ceramic coating company/manufacturer is very important. The materials are not cheap and choosing the cheaper materials causing the ceramic coating to fail very fast.

NANOPRO – Made of the best RAW materials in the world.

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100 Silica? Solvent Free?

100% Silica? Solvent Free?

as a ceramic coating chemist, I can tell you that there are no ceramic coatings in the world without a liquid carrier.

When a ceramic coating company claims that they have a solvent-free coating, it means that they are not considering hydrocarbons as solvents, but only alcohol based as such.

In some countries, hydrocarbons are considered as solvents.

When they say that it’s non-flammable liquid, they mean that the flash point is higher than 63 degrees (Celcius).
In this case, it’s considered as a NON-flammable liquid.
The temperature below 63, and close to it, is considered as a low flammable liquid (grade 3) like diesel.

It’s all a big marketing hoax in my professional opinion!
Alkoxysilanes are all hydrocarbon based with a high flash point, that’s all what it is.

Application of such coatings is exactly the same as all others.

That’s just like some companies claim to have a 100% silica product. This is not even an available situation. You CAN NOT apply 100% silica!

Remember the rule – THERE HAS TO BE A LIQUID CARRIER. whether it’s alcohol based or solvent based, and it has to take some percentage of the formulation.

IDA – Supplier Manufacturer.
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Iyad Khayat
IDA – Certified Detailer – Skills Validated

Nano, Ceramic and the BOLD truth

nano, Ceramic and the BOLD truth


A lot of people from the Detailing industry (Automotive/Marine/Aero) do not recognize the difference between nano (size of a molecule – and the nickname of a hydrophobic material which is not 100% correct) and Ceramic (SiO2 / Silicon Di-Oxide – Quartz. NON-HYDROPHOBIC but sealed material).

To keep it simple, I will tell you that a Ceramic (SiO2 – Quartz) Coating formulation (not all of them) includes nano material that reduces the surface tension and makes the surface hydrophobic (beading).
If there is a ceramic coating without hydrophobic material inside, the surface will still be protected from bird droppings, acid rain, UV rays and many more, but will not have the Self-Cleaning / Easy-To-Clean effect, the surface will not bead up the water and there will be no “sheeting”.
It is possible to have a Ceramic coating without hydrophobicity. And it is possible to have a nano coating without UV Rays, Bird dropping and Acid rain Protection. And it is possible to have them both (most common).

And this is why we have to maintain a ceramic coating properly.

Usually, a ceramic coating that contains high solids rate, will last longer because the layer will be thicker and it will take some time Till it disappears.

How to Maintain a Ceramic coating properly?

To maintain a ceramic coating properly so we will be able to enjoy the benefits of it, we will have to use a Neutralized pH shampoo while washing the surface, so we will not remove the hydrophobicity. And every period of time (usually every 3-6 months) we will need to renew the hydrophobicity of the ceramic layer itself. It will also make the ceramic life longer because the abrasion will be smaller.

Anti Scratch?

The most common thing that people say is “oh I have a ceramic coating and my car is scratch proof”. NO, IT’S NOT. it is “scratch” resistant up to the level of the pencil hardness your ceramic coating is. It is strong. But it is not ANY scratch proof. So be careful.

Next time, when someone asks you what is nano and what is Ceramic, please explain properly the differences and don’t let people think that nano is Ceramic or Ceramic is nano.

Written by Gavriel Bechor, CEO – NANOPRO.
IDA – Supplier Manufacturer.
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Iyad Khayat
IDA – Certified Detailer – Skills Validated

Pencil Hardness, Mohs Scale, ASTM D3363, 9H & 10H

Pencil Hardness, Mohs Scale, ASTM D3363, 9H & 10H

Explanation Post about H – Hardness, Scales (Mohs Scale, Pencil Hardness), Standards (ASTM D3363 / ISO 15184) & Pencil Hardness test Pencils (9H/10H).

Proper Disclosure – I own a Ceramic Coating Factory & Research Lab for over 2 years.

Hardness – Symboled with “H”
Mohs – a mineral stones hardness scale (Diamond, Quartz, Opal, etc.)
Pencil Hardness – film (Ceramic Coatings / PPF / Paint) test method using the world standard ASTM D3363.

Those scales are not similar! They both using “H” for Hardness but they are different.
Example: Quartz Hardness in Mohs scale is 7H, but in Pencil Hardness it will be 9H.
That’s why a Ceramic Coating Said that the ceramic coating hardness is 9H is not “one level below diamond” and is not “scratch resistant” (it is, but for 9H by pencil hardness scratches and not what we expect it to be).
BTW, If we will test by Wickers, so Mohs’s 9H will be stronger 2 times than the 8H, but the 10H (Real Diamond) will be stronger 4 (!) times than the 9H!

Our factory manufacturing 2 kinds of Ceramic Coatings: 9H & 10H.
We are not measuring with Mohs scale, we are not diamonds factory. We’re measuring by Pencil Hardness.

There are rumors saying that 10H is unmeasurable.
Those rumors are not right.
The ASTM D3363 standard does not limit any hardness of pencil. It just teaches us how to work with the machine and measure correctly.

Actually, 9H & 10H pencils are from the art industry. The more the H is higher, the brighter the pencil. The less, you get to the middle of the scale called HB. The more the B is higher (opposite of H), the darker the pencil.

You can get 9H & 10H Mitsubishi Pencils (Japan) for Pencil Hardness test from
Those Pencils are certified by test labs around the world for the standard ASTM D3363.