Ceramic coatings and graphene coatings share a lot of the same protective attributes. Both are hydrophobic (repels water and resists water spotting) and protect against corrosive elements. They both lock in whatever luster has been buffed into a vehicle’s exterior pre-application and maintain that glossiness for years.
The difference in these benefits is really in degrees. Graphene coating tends to do all of those things better, from resisting spotting to providing protection from paint swirls and minor damage.
Scratches and Swirling
Ceramic coatings have always listed minor scratch and swirl protection as a benefit, with the caveat that its abilities are limited. Ceramic coatings are liquids applied with sponges/special towels. When they cure, they do add protection, but ceramic coatings are not like clear bras where an actual physical layer of protection is being applied to your vehicle.
Although graphene coatings also come in liquid form and are applied similar to ceramic coatings, they do offer better scratch and swirl protection.
Graphene is an allotrope of carbon, like diamonds, and strength just happens to be one of the attributes it shares with diamonds. Graphene is 100 times stronger than steel at the same thickness. Graphene coatings are thin, so it’s not exactly like having an exterior wrapped in a protective shield, but it does offer measurably better protection compared to ceramic coatings.
Graphene Coatings Have Anti-Static Properties
There are certain quartz-based ceramic coating formulas that offer some anti-static protection, but it’s not a benefit commonly associated with most ceramic coatings. In practical terms that means dust will have a much tougher time finding purchase on your vehicle’s exterior.
A ceramic coating’s hydrophobic nature makes vehicles a lot easier to wash. The combination of hydrophobic and anti-static properties makes graphene-coated vehicles even easier to clean. It will take even less time and effort to get your car shining like the day your coating was first applied.
Which Lasts Longer?
All things equal a graphene coating will last longer. However, not all products or application methods are equal. A moderately priced DIY graphene spray will only last about six months to a year, while a professionally applied ceramic coating can last up to five years and provide better end results.
When comparing professional application of a high-quality graphene coating to a professional application of ceramic coating the graphene coating will last longer at five to 10 years.
One of the really unique benefits graphene coating offers that ceramic coatings don’t provide are heat absorbing effects. In Arizona, the unique thermal conductivity (heat absorbing) characteristics of graphene pays significant dividends during the summer. Ceramic coating offers great protection from UV rays for years when applied correctly, but it won’t absorb heat like graphene will.
Price Difference Between Graphene and Ceramic Coating
If you’re interested in professional-grade coatings, graphene will be more expensive than ceramic coating due to the complexity of the formula and the more powerful, longer lasting benefits. You won’t pay double or triple, but you may be charged an extra 20 percent or so.
Drivers who are intent on applying their own coating may be able to find relatively affordable DIY graphene coatings (for about $100 or a little less).
Spray type graphene coatings won’t last as long, often between six months and a year, and there are no guarantees for quality or longevity like you might receive by having graphene professionally applied by an auto detailer.
There’s not much of a difference between applying ceramic coatings or graphene coatings. In both cases a car needs to be thoroughly prepped before the coating is applied in sections, allowed to cure and then wiped off.
The difficulty of doing the application properly, especially the prep work, is also the main reason why professional auto detailers provide the best graphene or ceramic coating results.
Thoroughly washing a vehicle’s exterior is only the first step of preparation. A vehicle should also undergo some type of chemical decontamination or clay bar treatment, paint correction and thorough buffing. It’s important to get maximum shine and gloss before applying either ceramic coating or graphene coating, as both will lock in that shine for years.
Even car owners that opt for DIY spray graphene coatings should be careful during application. Follow the instructions and make sure to wipe the coating off your vehicle once it has had a chance to cure and bond to your vehicle’s paint.
Get Professional Graphene Coating or Ceramic Coatings in Phoenix and Scottsdale
If you want lock in a like-new shine for years, investing in a graphene coating or ceramic coating for your vehicle is one of the most reliable options. You’ll still need to wash your car, truck or SUV, but washing it will be much easier and you can likely go longer between washes. Graphene coatings and ceramic coatings also negate the need for waxing, which is another money-saving benefit.
Call 602.776.8888 to speak with the auto detailing experts at RPM Automotive for more information on graphene and ceramic coating options.