Unlike traditional coatings, which are typically concocted from polymer resins, a car ceramic coating is silicon dioxide or silica (SiO2) based. Commonly derived from quartz crystals and sand, silica creates an invisible “nanotechnology coating,” which when combined with elements like titanium dioxide, polysilazane, triethanolamine, water, and various other ingredients, becomes quite resilient. Once cured, this viscous liquid turns into a crystal-clear shell, a product that is commonly referred to as a nano ceramic coating, or ceramic coating for short.

What is Ceramic coating made of ?

Ceramic coating is typically composed of silicon dioxide (silica, Si02), which is sourced from natural materials such as quartz and sand. Some types and brands also use titanium dioxide (titania, Ti02) as an additional hardening agent. Ceramic coatings are a type of protective layer applied to surfaces, commonly used in the automotive industry for protecting vehicle paint. These coatings are made of a formulation that typically includes nanoparticles of ceramic materials. The exact composition can vary between different brands and products, but the key components often include:

Silica, commonly known in the form of quartz, is the dioxide form of silicon, SiO2. It is usually used to manufacture glass, ceramics and abrasives. Quartz is the second most common mineral in Earth’s crust. Its chemical name is SiO2. Silica sand, also known as quartz sand, white sand, or industrial sand, is made up of two main elements: silica and oxygen. Specifically, silica sand is made up of silicon dioxide (SiO2). The most common form of SiO2 is quartz – a chemically inert and relatively hard mineral.

Silicon dioxide is a transparent to gray, odorless, crystalline or amorphous solid. Its melting and boiling point are 1600 ºC and 2230 ºC, respectively. Its density is 2.65 g mL-1. It is insoluble in water and acid. A good bottle of ceramic coating will contain at least 80% silica dioxide (SiO2). The stronger the SiO2 dosage, the harder the ceramic coating will cure, which in turn helps boost durability. Although a nano ceramic coating forms a semi-permanent bond with a vehicle’s paintwork, glass, plastic, and clear coat, this sacrificial layer is by no means an indestructible coat of armor.

Over time, the molecular structure of even the hardest 9H-rated ceramic coating will begin to deteriorate, at which point it is best to strip the coat entirely, prior to applying a fresh layer of nano coating. That said, a well-made ceramic coating product typically provides 2-3 years worth of protection at the bare minimum, especially when properly applied and cared for by the consumer. Remember, once cured, a true ceramic coating will become semi-permanent, so it is best to do your prep work properly to avoid any regrets down the line.