How to Series - Part 2 - Ceramic Coating Application
The application process for applying a marine-grade ceramic coating is not difficult and easy to do once you work through a couple of sections and get the hang of it. The objective is to remove the coating with ease and without any streaking or what is know as “high spots”.
Once the panel or section has been washed down with prep wash and decontaminated with Surface Wipe (wax & grease remover), it is time to apply the coating. Prime the applicator pad with plenty of material so that the pad is laying down the material evenly when working in horizontal and vertical patterns (cross-hatch). If the material is not laying down evenly on the surface, then there is not enough product on the pad. We prefer the microsuede applicator pad for application because it spreads the material evenly and it does not soak up the material. There are other ways to apply the material but we feel this is the most effective and efficient method.
Applying Liquid Crystal Armour Nano-Ceramic Coatings
Liquid Crystal Armour Coatings are solvent-based. The formulas contain solvent, actives, and solids. Based on the atmospheric conditions, the coating will flash off and react differently. The goal is to leave the coating on for as long as you can but still be able to remove the coating without much effort. The temperature and humidity will be the biggest factors in how long you will have before the solvents become difficult to remove.
Liquid Crystal Armour HD coating is a true marine-grade coating and was formulated to have more sophisticated solvency and a longer flash time in more humid marine environments. In fact, when HD is flashing off, it sweats out rather than flashing off and creating a “rainbow effect” like most other solvent-based coatings. It’s recommended when installing coatings to install in temperatures above 55 degrees Fahrenheit. (12 degrees Celsius) If the conditions are hot and humid, try to install out of direct sunlight. Use the position of the sun in your favor and strategically focus on working in the shaded portions of the vessel during the morning and in the evening. Do NOT apply the coating just before dusk if installing outdoors. The humidity and dew created during the night could jeopardize the coating.
Ceramic Coating Application Flashing
Once the coating flashes off and is ready for removal, take two standard microfiber towels and very lightly with the edge of towel #1, level out the material with a horizontal and vertical motion. Once a majority of the solvents are removed using towel #1, use towel #2 to buff out the area to a uniform shine. By keeping towel #2 clean and changing out towel #1 and #2 frequently, you will catch any high spots, level out the coating and most importantly avoid any streaking. Repeat this process on the entire boat or yacht overlapping all areas to ensure complete coverage.
Apply the second layer of coating within 1 hour. The best practice is to marry the two layers together an hour apart.
Optional: Shortly after the second coat has been buffed out, lightly mist the Activate spray and remove with clean microfiber. Activate will give the surface a slick, silky, glass-like feel.
Best Practice: Try to avoid coating contact with water for 48 hours while curing. Cure time is dependent on environmental conditions. For cooler temperatures, allow for more cure time.