What is PPF // Its history; where it came from and what it’s made of. Why people get PPF.
PPF, paint protection film, car scratch protection film, rock chip protection film, clear mask, clear wrap, helicopter tape, and even clear bra - whatever you want to call it, PPF is the most successful way of protecting your pride and joy from stone chips and road debris without affecting your vehicle’s aesthetics.
So, what is paint protection film? Commonly known as PPF, paint protection film is an optically clear film, or transparent layer, that is designed to protect a vehicle against everyday damage such as UV rays, pebbles, sand rash, stone chips and other debris that may come into contact with it.
You can opt to target the most exposed panels, with strategically-placed sections of film to protect the most vulnerable areas or you can choose to cover the entire car. There are a choice of film options, with different finishes such as an ultra clear gloss film or matte film to keep your car in pristine condition all year round.
Where did the concept come from, we hear you ask? Rewind a few years to the start of the Vietnam War — the mid 50s. The US government tasked 3M to create a form of protection to help shield its helicopter rotor blades from shrapnel and other debris, which is where the name “helicopter tape” comes from. 3M worked closely with the US military to develop something lightweight but hardwearing and cheaper than a new blade (or helicopter) to produce. This resulted in a Urethane-based film being produced, which is now used across the world under many different uses and applications, in one iteration or another. The first iteration of the tape did not care about aesthetics, rather the film actually offered a cloudy hue — thankfully its evolved a bit since then. Now in its third generation, PPF is now made from thermoplastic polyurethane (also known as TPU) which has improved transparency, weather testing, dirt resistance and is more malleable than its predecessors. It is this generation that is now most often used on the vehicles donning our roads.
Why invest in PPF?
The reason is in the name — for protection. People tend to opt for PPF due to its one-time fix and ease of maintenance. Unlike ceramic coating where you have to care for the car in a specific manor, maintaining PPF is very easy without the requirement of "safe washing" methods. This gives even the busiest of car owners ease and peace of mind that you can have the car washed and maintained wherever and however you like. PPF is placed over a freshly polished car so regular polishing is a thing of the past, equally prolonging the life of the finish and overall paint depth.
Despite being designed to be low maintenance, it’s still worth keeping an eye on it. The film offers self-healing properties that requires the application of heat by a professional to remove any scratches or defects to the film to leave you with a perfect finish every time. Maintenance of the film will not only aid in the overall look of the car (any scratches or imperfections to the film will only dull the beauty hiding beneath) but will prolong the life of both the film and the paint beneath.
PPF generally has a longevity of around 5-10 years but with RMA Car Care you’re covered for 10 years!
It’s also important to remember that paint protection films alone do not enhance a vehicle’s shine — that’s in the prep work beneath; something our team here at RMA Car Care knows all about! Get in touch for more details at RMA Car Care – 04 597 3077