SP-REPORT

MrCAP OUTPERFORMS THE COMPETITION ON SURFACE COATING

How good is actually a protective surface coating? Do the products keep made promises, meaning, is the protective coating still on after several car washes? MrCAP has plenty of satisfied customers and our own comparative tests show that our FormulaU™, a product we developed in-house, functions perfectly. We decided anyways to let conduct a research by an objective laboratory comparing our product to some of the best-known products on the market.

The research contains some 891 measurements and proofs that 10 competitive products vanish from the surface already after 1 washing cycle. We were positively surprised that FormulaU™ stays on longer than what the test is even designed for.

At the end of test after 14 washing cycles (corresponding to 182 manual car washes) FormulaU™ is still actively protecting!

FormulaU™ by MrCAP – THE MOST DURABLE SURFACE COATING

In their marketing companies claim to have the best products. But not all can be best. Usually some products are good whereas others perform less. Therefore, it can be difficult for a consumer to know what is true. We simply wanted to know what is really the best buy. Our own experience has shown that our FormulaU™ is probably the best protection for a car’s paint. Our long-term tests have shown that the FormulaU™ stands up very well against other products. But to know for sure, we decided to let an independent laboratory conduct a research of our own and competing manufacturers’ products. We turned to the best national institution, namely RISE (Research Institutes of Sweden – see box) to get the issue settled in an objective and scientific test. The brief to RISE was to compare MrCAP FormulaU™ Car Paint Protection and the corresponding product for the marine market MrCAP FormulaU™ Marine Gelcoat Protection, to 13 other, well known competitive products.

We ordered to, under controlled conditions, make a scientific comparative laboratory test, as close to reality as possible. The purpose was to investigate which of the products had best durability against wear and tear that occurs when the car is used and washed in a normal way. That is, the product that provides the best protection over time. The graphs show that the products from MrCAP survived the wear and tear by far the best. Just one competitive product was fairly comparable. The graphs from the test show the contact angle (see box next page) measured in different stages; first measurement before applying surface coating, then measurement after application and hardening, and then measuring after each wash cycle, 1, 2, 3, etc. The bar graph shows clearly how long the protection from every product was left on the paint/gelcoat surface. Both FormulaU ™ products from MrCAP got top results. The competitive products showed, with one exception, very low capacity to protect surfaces over time.

HOW THE RESEARCH WAS CONDUCTED:

Before the test a number of identical steel panels were painted with the same regular, industrial car paint as used in the automobile industry. In addition, fiberglass panels with red gel coat were produced, to parallel test marine products. Surface protection products were then applied on the painted steel panels and gelcoated fiberglass panels that were part of the test in the laboratory. Product application was done according to each manufacturer’s instructions. Before each wash cycle the painted steel panels and fiberglas panels were exposed to a treatment with two different types of degreasing.

In the crucial part of the test included a session in an abrasion tester, equipped with two parallel mounted sponges that were continuously wetted with an ordinary car shampoo, sweeping across the surface under constant pressure. In each washing cycle the sponges were drawn 20 times back and forth over the panels, that is, 40 times.

From experience we know that in a normal manual car wash a sponge is drawn 3 times on average over every painted surface. A washing cycle in the laboratory test would then correspond to approx. 13 manual car washes. (A car is washed at an average of 18 times per year.) After each washing cycle exactly 3 ml of water was dropped on the test surface with a laboratory pipette. Then the contact angle (see box) to the paint surface was measured with a microscope and recorded. It was repeated until the measurement showed that the current protective paint coating had disappeared from the surface. That is, when the reading was back at the same level as before the application of the respective protective surface coating product. In this way, one could observe how each washing cycle affected the respective protective surface coating durability.

The test was laid out in a series of steps. Initial measurement at only painted sheet metal, then measurement of painted surface treated with hardened protective surface coating products and then measurement after each washing cycle. Already after two washing cycles in the laboratory’s abrasion tester 12 of our competitive products had vanished, i.e. there was no protective surface coating left on surfaces.

THIS WAS THE RESEARCH OUTCOME:

The graphs speak for themselves. The research, totaling 891measurements, showed that 10 competitive products had disappeared from the surface after one wash cycle. Two more products were gone after two washing cycles and one stood against eight cycles. But after 14 washing cycles in the abrasion tester, both our FormulaU ™ Car Paint Protection and FormulaU ™ Marine Gelcoat Protection were still present and active on each surface.

We are convinced that the superior properties of FormulaU ™ are the result of our own constant and thorough testing, as well as application of the result of studies of the physics behind hydrophobic surfaces and adhesion.

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS AN EXCERPT FROM FROM THE ORIGINAL LAB TEST RESULT:

Date: 2016-11-22

Reference: 3P07507

Comparative testing of protection products for Car Paint and Marine Gelcoat

Summary

A comparison of 15 different chemical sealants for surface protection. 3 separate tests were performed. The tests conducted were:

  • Measuring of contact angle and abrasion with cleansing products – report 3P07507
  • Chemical wear resistance – report 3907507-1
  • UV-blocking properties – report 3P07507-2

13 products were tested on painted steel panels, and 2 products were tested on gelcoated fiberglass panels. The abrasion with car/marine cleansing products and subsequent contact angle measurements, distinguishes itself to 3 products; Mr CAP FormulaU™ Car Paint Protection and Mr CAP FormulaU™ Marine Gelcoat Protection applied on both painted steel panels and fiberglass panels with a result of 14 washing cycles, and PPS Paint Sealant that had a durability of 9 washing cycles. All other products reached a durability between 1 and 3 washing cycles.

A washing cycle consists of 20 back and forth movements in abrasion tester. This corresponds to 13 standard manual car washes.

The chemical wear resistance was tested with two harsh chemicals, sulphuric acid (H2SO4) and sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and was afterwards ocularly examined, pertaining to gloss and colour change. All the products managed sulphuric acid without any negative impact. However, the test with NaOH showed 7 products with no negative impact, 5 products with moderate loss in gloss, and no change in colour and 3 products with distinct loss in gloss and colour change.

The UV-blocking properties are not providing major differences between the tested products. There are none or very little UV-blocking additive in all the tested products.

Introduction

There are a vast number of waxes and other type of car/marine surface protection products on the market intended for car paints and gelcoated fiberglass. Some products are available for the professional industry only, while others are retail grade products. Applied on the paint/fiberglass, the manufacturers of those products claim that the products generate a long-term durable protective, glossy and easy-to-clean surface. The durability is stated in marketing material and/or on the product package in terms of years. However, the durability of the products varies and is affected by the product content and external wear such as cleansing products, wash sponges and similar cleaning accessories. It is therefore accurate to measure the durability in terms of washing cycles in order to be able to quantify the durability in terms of time. 15 internationally well-known products were tested in a simulated manual car wash cycle in combination with contact angle measurements between each washing cycle in order to determine the durability of each product. Contact angle measurements were utilized to determine how many washing cycles each product was able to withstand. This procedure was repeated until there was no protective product left on the car paint or the gelcoat panel.

At that point the contact angle value had returned to the reference contact angle value. The number of washing cycles for each product that could be performed  before the contact angle value had returned to the reference contact angle value determined the durability of the product. Each washing cycle exposed the tested product to both chemical, and mechanical wear. Three different kinds of cleansing products that are commonly used in car/marine cleaning applications were used in the test as chemical wear: a solvent-based degreaser, an alkaline degreaser and an anionic shampoo, were used as chemical wear. The mechanical wear from the wash sponge was simulated using BYK-Gardner Abrasion tester with a wash sponge as an abrasive material. The products were applied on the panels in accordance with each manufacturer’s instructions. The cleansing products used in the test were well-known products from major professional and retail brands on the market.

Car painted steel test panels and gelcoated fiberglass test panels without any applied product were in parallel used as reference panels.

Product ID Product (Brand/name) Country
101 Ceramic Pro 9H Permanent Coating HKG
121 Ditec Car Preservation System Unknown
111 Jewelultra Diamondbrite GBR
31 Lahega Toughguard SWE
131 Meguairs Deep Crystal Coating USA
21 Meguiars Ultimate Liquid Wax USA
11 Mr CAP FormulaU™ Car Paint Protection SWE
GCI2 Mr CAP FormulaU™ Marine Gelcoat Protection SWE
41 PPS Paint Sealant CAN
61 ProTech Long Lasting Protection MCO
81 Simoniz Original Wax USA
91 Sonax Premium Class Nano Paint Coating GER
51 Swissvax Concorso CHE
GC21 TC Nano Marine Gelcoat & Sealing DNK
71 Ziebart Diamond Gloss USA
1Product applied on car painted steel test panel 2Product applied on gelcoat test panel 3Country of Origin

Preparation

Car painted steel test panels

Cold rolled steel (SS1142-32) was used to produce 55 pieces of panels with a thickness of 1.5 mm with the dimensions of 100×300 mm. The relative thickness was chosen in order to archive rigid test panels. The pieces were cleaned with 2-propanol (IPA) on both sides in order to remove any oily residues from previous handling. All pieces were painted on one side in an accredited car paint shop in accordance with industrial standards using Glasurit car paint with colour code VWLP3G Flashrot. These test panels were made to represent a modern car paint.

All car painted steel test panels were then prepared with an orbital polisher with 3M 80346 polishing compound with the aim to make the surface as even and smooth as possible. Thereafter the panels were degreased with both a solvent-based degreaser and an emulsion degreaser rinsed with water and finally washed with an anionic shampoo in order to remove the 3M polishing compound. The panels were then sprayed with IPA and dried with compressed air in order to remove any contaminants from the rinsing water. The test panels were carefully wrapped in bubble wrap, packed in boxes and stored until the actual test started.

Gelcoat test panels

Gelcoat test panels were prepared in the same dimensions as the car painted steel test panels. The panels were made in a plastic mould with approximate dimensions of 1000×900 mm. A mould release wax was applied to the mould before applying the gelcoat. The gelcoat used was Reichhold NORPOL SVG Gelcoat in colour code RAL3020. When the gelcoat was hardened a composite prepared from a powder bound fiberglass mat with a density of 450 g per  was bound in a matrix of Polylite 440-M850. The composite was applied in three layers in order to achieve rigid test panels, i.e. 100×300 mm. These test panels were made to represent a fiberglass boat’s outer gelcoat layer.

All gelcoat test panels were then prepared with an orbital polisher with 3M 80346 polishing compound in aim to make the surface as even and smooth as possible. After preparation, the panels were degreased with both solvent-based degreaser and an emulsion degreaser. Thereafter rinsed with water and then washed with an anionic shampoo in order to remove the 3M polishing compound. The panels were then sprayed with IPA and dried with compressed air in order to remove any contaminants from the rinsing water. The test panels were carefully wrapped in bubble wrap, packed in boxes and stored until the actual test started.

Washing Cycle

A washing cycle was defined in the following way:

  1. A solvent-based degreaser was applied to the surface for five minutes. After five minutes the surface was thoroughly rinsed with deionized water.
  2. An alkaline degreaser was applied to the surface for five minutes. After five minutes the surface was thoroughly rinsed with deionized water.
  3. 20 cycles (1 cycle consists of 1 back and forth movement) of abrasion performed in a BYK-Gardner Abrasion tester, model A standard auto aftermarket wash sponge was used as abrasive material during abrasion. The sponge was continuously soaked with the car shampoo by a pump in order to prevent the surface from becoming dry during the abrasion.

Conclusions

12 of the 15 products have a durability between 1.2-2.6 washing cycles, which is well below the average of 4.1 washing cycles for the products tested on car painted steel test panels. 2 products were tested on gelcoated fiberglass test panels. The results varies greatly between these 2 products with TC Nano having a durability of approximately 1.5 washing cycles and Mr CAP FormulaU™ Marine Gelcoat Protection showing a durability at least 14 washing cycles. At least because the test was terminated after 14 washing cycles and the product was still active on the surface after 14 washing cycles.

The highest measured CA-value was achieved by the traditional hardwax product Simoniz Original Wax. However, the durability was well below average.

From the summary diagram 3 products stand out in the test in terms of durability. These are Mr CAP FormulaU™ Car Paint Protection, Mr CAP FormulaU™ Marine Gelcoat Protection and PPS Paint Sealant. However, the result varies between these three as well. PPS has durability of nearly 9 washing cycles and Mr CAP FormulaU™ Car Paint Protection and Mr CAP FormulaU™ Marine Gelcoat Protection have a durability of at least 14 washing cycles. The test was terminated after 14 washing cycles, and those two products were still active on the surface after 14 washing cycles.

SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden

SP Chemistry, Materials and Surfaces – Material and Surface Technology

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