We all love the look of a new car finish or freshly washed truck. The paint shining in the sun. And then life happens. Hail storms, door dings, rock chips, keys, tree branches, shopping carts and baseballs; all things that dent or scratch our truck’s beautiful paint.
Why can’t paint protect our vehicles from dents and dings better? Automotive paint is meant to be thin and not provide structural strength. Auto paint is typically a two-part acrylic enamel with a base layer and top coat that are baked on. They are 1 micron or 1/1000 mm thick, and not intended for protection against life.
While acrylic paint is the standard for cars and trucks, it is prone to fail under impact and pressure (see the images below). Failures occur when the paint chips or cracks, leaving the underlying metal exposed to water and salt. This is when corrosion starts, signaling the decline of that beautiful paint job.
Is there a better solution?
Introduced about four years ago, thin-build polyurea coatings quickly became the perfect solution for those wanting surface protection. In this short time, thin-build polyurea coatings are now used in thousands of applications normally reserved for paint or powder coating. Sprayed at between 10 and 20 mils, .04 mm, thin-build polyurea coatings provide strong surface protection and still maintain sharp contour lines and thin application.
“LINE-X ULTRA is 15 times stronger than both of paint and powdercoat.”
Paint, Powder Coat versus LINE-X ULTRA thin-build polyurea.
LINE-X, a manufacturer of proprietary polyurea coatings for the last 25 years, recently engineered a thin-build polyurea coating called LINE-X ULTRA – and has scientifically tested it against paint and powder coating to find that ULTRA is 15 times stronger than both of those materials. LINE-X tested sheets of paint, powder coat and LINE-X ULTRA by applying pressure up to 320 lbs per inch.
Paint and Powder Coat both failed under the impact test, where LINE-X ULTRA did not.
One of the unique properties of thin-build polyurea is that it can be elongated up to twice time its original size without cracking or tearing. In comparison, paint and powder coating do not have those levels of elasticity, so dents and impacts typically result in flakes or chips – as well as exposing the substrate to water and chemicals. When this happens the paint or powder coating must be repaired which is time-consuming and expensive.
The newly-engineered thin-build polyurea coatings are similar to standard bedliner material but are designed to be applied much thinner while still offering protection from impact, UV damage and corrosion. Because of this, thin-build polyurea coatings are often applied to exterior parts of a vehicle and are at times used to coat entire vehicles. More and more, they are being integrated into components that would have been treated with paint or powder coating in the past.
LINE-X ULTRA can be sprayed in any color and is also aliphatic which means it is inherently UV stable and resistant to fading. Other unique properties include:
- Sprayed with a smooth, slightly textured finish
- Coatings create a unique, eye-catching aesthetic look
- Provides UV protection
- Scratch and dent resistant
- Chemical and corrosion resistant
- Easy to clean – just spray with water
- Endless color-matching capabilities
- Adds minimal weight - only 45-55 additional lbs and does not affect vehicle performance
Work Truck-Level Performance
LINE-X ULTRA is widely used in the work truck and commercial fleet industry. Commercial vehicles are put to the test daily and must look great while representing their organization. That is why thin-build polyurea coatings are a great replacement for paint and powder coating.
When first put into use, paint and powder coatings offer a professional looking finish but quickly fade and become damaged from daily wear and tear. Thin-build polyurea coatings stand up to commercial use and are much more resistant to everyday abuse resulting in a better, overall appearance over time.
Everything from tool boxes to vehicle-mounted cranes can be coated with a thin-build polyurea coating to provide both stunning aesthetics and incredible protection.
Another work-truck example of thin-build polyurea coatings: lining of utility body compartments to protect against scratches and minor impacts from heavy tools, moisture build-up and harsh chemicals that that cause rust and deterioration of painted surfaces.
Thin-build polyurea coatings aren’t just for steel surfaces either – they can be applied to aluminum, fiberglass and wood to provide the same levels of protection to those surfaces.
LINE-X ULTRA Benefits
Car and truck enthusiasts are thrilled at the development of thin build polyureas. They offer better protection and longevity to their prized vehicles. Jeep lovers especially are now able to enjoy their investments as they were intended; outdoor and getting dirty, without risking damage to the exterior.
The applications are nearly limitless, providing a new level of protection. If you’re serious about protecting your vehicles, equipment or outdoor toys, then a thin build polyurea should be your next exterior coating.