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We always love hearing about Dr. Beasley’s-detailed vehicles taking top honors at car shows. So you can imagine how happy we were when U.K. detailer AJH Details told us a 1964 Austin-Healey 3000 Mark III he protected with Dr. Beasley’s Formula 1201 took home Best in Class AND Best in Show at the Test Valley Motor Enthusiast‘s Annual Classic Car Show.

AJH Details graciously took many many photos of both the detailing process and the final results. We’ve uploaded them all below—enjoy!

Congratulations to the owner, Clive Kemp, and AJH Details!

Have an event-winning show car detailed with Dr. Beasley’s? Send an e-mail to victor@drbeasleys.com and we may feature it in Behind the Detail! Please provide pictures of the car, the Dr. Beasley’s products used and some information about the event and prizes won.

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One of the least-understood detailing products is the ceramic coating. What is a ceramic coating? A lot of people know what they do, but when you try to nail down what exactly these coatings are, terms like “nanostructure” and “ceramic nanoparticles” are thrown around without even knowing what they really mean. So let’s take a step back and start defining these concepts.

Polymer vs. Ceramic

A coating’s nanostructure is the result of a heat-induced chemical bonding reaction. This chemical reaction bonds the coating to the clear coat, and in doing so forms a billionths-of-a-meter-thick protective matrix or web (hence the term nano). It’s kind of like when you iron on a patch to a shirt; the heat from the iron reacts with the adhesive to make the patch stick. Only in this case, the coating is chemically fusing with the surface rather than just sticking to it.

Now that we’ve established what a nanostructure is, what are the actual building blocks of the coating nanostructure? Well, it depends on whether the coating is truly ceramic or not.

Polymer-based Coating Nanostructures

The vast majority of “ceramic” coatings available to consumers are only ceramic in the loosest sense of the word. These coatings’ nanostructures made from polymers, not ceramics. The only ceramic components here are the nanoparticles suspended within the polymers.

You may recall the word “polymer” in reference to sealants and synthetic waxes, and that’s exactly what we’re dealing with here. So at the end of the day, all you’re really getting is a sealant with some SiO2 particles thrown in, not a genuine ceramic product. It’s kind of like a hybrid car vs. an electric: better than gas-only, but not ideal.

As a consequence of only being partially ceramic, these coatings don’t hold up well against their fully ceramic brethren. They’re not very durable, only lasting a year or so. They’re not especially scratch resistant. And their hydrophobicity is so-so, exhibiting high sliding angles and low contact angles. The only real upside is that they’re cheap.

Ceramic-based Coating Nanostructures

True ceramic coatings tend to be sold to professionals only, but some (like Dr. Beasley’s coating systems) are available to the general public. With these coatings, we’re not just talking about a few ceramic nanoparticles sprinkled into the nanostructure. We’re talking about a nanostructure made entirely out of ceramic material.

These ceramic-based coatings start out as something called “preceramic polymers”. When the chemical bonding reaction occurs, these polymers convert into a fully ceramic nanostructure. Being entirely ceramic gives these nanostructures a whole host of amazing benefits not seen elsewhere:

  • Improved hydrophobicity: Ceramic nanostructures can reproduce nanotextures engineered for superhydrophobicity, drastically lowering sliding angle and increasing contact angle.
  • Permanent durability: Being made of fully inorganic, ceramic material, ceramic-based nanostructures don’t naturally degrade, requiring sustained heavy abrasion to be removed.
  • Improved scratch resistance: Being entirely ceramic, these nanostructures are extremely hard and far more scratch resistant than their relatively soft polymer-based cousins.
New: Flexible Nanostructures

True ceramic coatings aren’t perfect, though. That hardness we mentioned above has a couple drawbacks. For one, it makes the coating brittle, so it’s still susceptible to scratches. Second, it makes it so the coating can’t flex with the body panels underneath, which causes the nanostructure to crack under the pressure. So how do you get past these limitations? Dr. Beasley’s has found a way.

Dr. Beasley’s Nano-Resin Pro and Matte Paint Coating Pro coatings aren’t made from preceramic polymers. Instead, they’re made from preceramic elastomers. This results in ceramic nanotubes with remarkable flexibility. Flexibility dramatically improves scratch resistance over hard coatings—instead of breaking when abraded, the nanotubes absorb the blow.

This same flexibility also allows them to self-heal. Rather than permanently deforming when scratched, the elastic nanotubes can actually resume their original shape! It’s like squeezing a stress ball—it bounces back. That same elasticity also keeps the coating firmly bonded with the underlying clear coat. That way, when body panels flex with temperature changes or high speeds, the coating flexes along with them.

To recap: most so-called “ceramic” coatings are nothing more than polymer sealants with ceramic nanoparticles thrown in. True ceramic nanocoatings, like Dr. Beasley’s, have nanostructures made entirely from ceramic. And now, some coatings like Dr. Beasley’s Nano-Resin Pro are nanoconstructed from elastomer-derived ceramics, so they can flex and self-heal.

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Last Friday one of our Kona VIP‘s brought their Hyundai Kona Iron Man Special Edition into our detailing practice, Simon’s Shine Shop. Needless to say we took plenty of pictures while the Kona took a bath:

Check out the gallery below!

Featured Products:

Got a Kona Iron Man Edition? Interested in becoming a Dr. Beasley’s Kona VIP? Sign up here!

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A couple months ago, Dr. Beasley’s was approached by Toyota and the Cubs with the opportunity to detail the 2019 RAV4 serving as the Official Vehicle of the Chicago Cubs. We love the Cubbies over here at Dr. Beasley’s, so of course we said yes! Our crew had a blast detailing the decal-decked car and can’t wait to wash it again. Check out pics from the detail below:

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It’s been just over a year since we first launched our Authorized Detailer program, and since then the response has been overwhelming. But from the very beginning, our Authorized Detailers wanted to know one thing:

“When are you going to have in-person training?”

Now, a year or so later, we’ve just wrapped on our first ever Authorized Detailer training event, and it’s safe to say the event was a total success. Seven Authorized Detailers came out to the event: Charles Reese from A-Game Mobile Detailing in Florida, Avanti Johnson from Eye For Detail in Atlanta, Mike Thienel from AutoTrim Design Neenah, and three employees from AutoTrim’s soon-to-be partners Dynamic Auto Detailing, Jorge Carvajal, Samuel Cotton and Tanner Perkins.

Once folks arrived Saturday morning, we jumped right into things with a quick presentation on nanotechnology by Dr. Beasley’s Founder/President Jim Lafeber.

Once we had laid down some foundational knowledge, it was time to show our nanotechnology in action. We started with some Glass Serum Pro on a custom 1997 Porsche 911. While we waited for the coating to haze, the class got to work coating the paint with Nano-Resin. Once the Glass Serum Pro excess had hazed on the windshield, Authorized Detailers took turns buffing off the remaining coating.

Reese from A-Game Mobile Detailing applying Dr. Beasley’s Nano-Resin.

With the Porsche complete, it was time to move on to the main event—a 2019 McLaren 520s Spider. First on the docket was some hands-on action with Headlight Coating. We made sure to tape up the headlights first to avoid any over-coating that could interfere with the upcoming Nano-Resin Pro application. Everyone took turns spraying the prep and applying the coating. Once the lights were wrapped up, the glass got to taping up the rest of the McLaren for Nano-Resin Pro. From there, the coating could begin.

2019 McLaren 520s Spider coated with Dr. Beasley’s Nano-Resin Pro and Headlight Coating.

After we wrapped things up on the McLaren, everyone gathered round Andrew for a talk on warranty check-ups and aftercare for our nanocoating systems. After that, I stepped in to deliver a quick talk on matte technology and matte paint care. That dovetailed nicely into a fast Matte Paint Coating Pro demo on the AMG G 63 we coated for a video back in April.

Once the matte demo had ended, it was time to hand out certificates, t-shirts and head on over to Pequod’s for some well-deserved pizza. The whole Dr. Beasley’s team had a blast getting to meet our Authorized Detailers in person, getting to know them and answering their questions about operating a detail shop. More events are definitely coming in the future. Interested in applying to the Authorized Detailer program? Learn more here.

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As our Authorized Detailer network continues to grow, we’re taking time to sit down with each of our AD’s to learn their stories. This week we talked with Anthony Carubba, owner of Authorized Detailer Champion Car Wash & Detail Shop in Southern Pines, North Carolina.

How he got obsessed with detailing

In 1953, Anthony’s grandfather opened up a body shop that would become the Carubba family business. Growing up in that environment, Anthony learned first hand how cars are painted and what it takes to remove defects from automotive paint. Armed with that knowledge, Carubba detailed throughout high school and college, honing his skills and eventually making it his part-time job.

How he came to own his own detail shop

After years working in the corporate world, Anthony had the opportunity to purchase Champion Car Wash & Detail Shop, which at the time was mostly focused on the car wash side of things. Putting his MBA and detailing expertise together, Anthony bought the business with the intent of expanding the detail shop. After hiring on two additional detailers, getting his IDA CD-SV and starting to offer coating services, the detail shop doubled his business and put him on the map as a talented detailer in the Moore County area. Today he routinely books out two weeks in advance with clients coming in from as far as Raleigh.

How he got into Dr. Beasley’s

As the detailing side of Champion grew, Anthony started encountering more and more high value vehicles. Like many detailers, he wasn’t thrilled with how major brand products affected the health of these vehicles. One of the first products he sought a higher-end alternative for was a leather conditioner.

Intrigued by Dr. Beasley’s Leather Cream, Anthony bought a tube and put it to the test against the product he was currently using. Squeezing an equal amount of each onto a piece of paper, Anthony observed his current product seeping into the paper, while Leather Cream kept its form.

After switching to Leather Cream, Anthony began investigating Dr. Beasley’s nanocoating systems, as he was looking for a brand that actually made the product they were selling, not just private labeling some generic coating from a factory in Taiwan like so many others. Taking a specific interest in the self-healing Nano-Resin Pro, Anthony spoke with Authorized Detailer Chromatic Auto Detailing’s Mike Chmil to get feedback on the coating. After Chmil gave it a good review, he went head-on into using the coating in his own detail shop.

How he promotes his shop

Champion Car Wash & Detail Shop is the official detailer for the Sandhills Motoring Festival, which hosts a Concours d’Elegance as part of the event. As such, Anthony had the opportunity to detail some truly stunning vehicles, including 4 that won Best In Class in their respective categories. His personal favorite? A 2016 Porsche Boxster Spyder—although he’s never been a fan of the Boxster model, he says the Spyder variant is a welcome departure, styling-wise.

2016 Porsche Boxster Spyder

At the event, Anthony and his crew used Dr. Beasley’s products extensively and handed out Dr. Beasley’s brochures whenever possible. Apparently attendees were very interested in Formula 1201 and PlasmaCoat for use on their daily drivers, which didn’t surprise Anthony. Car collectors generally reserve the heavy duty stuff for their prized vehicles, but for a daily driver an entry-level coating like 1201 is just perfect.

Where he sees himself in 5 years

Since Champion’s seen double-digit growth these past few years, Anthony anticipates an expansion of his detailing operation. Building new shop from scratch with a pristine interior and all the latest and greatest in detailing tech is the ultimate goal, he says. With demand for high quality detailing services growing in his area, expansion is the only option.

Thanks again to Anthony Carubba for taking the time to speak with us. We’re proud to have him aboard and hope to grow with him in the coming years! Stay tuned for another Authorized Detailer profile later this month. Want to get Authorized? Apply here!

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Nanocoatings have come a long way. Once relegated to the industrial and aerospace sectors, they now dominate surface protection in the auto detailing industry. But don’t take that dominance to mean all nanocoatings (also known as “ceramic” coatings) are perfect. Despite their popularity, most aren’t doing everything they can be to preserve the health of a vehicle.

Most coatings aren’t doing everything they can be to preserve the health of a vehicle.

Automotive nanocoatings aren’t especially good at pushing water off a vehicle’s exterior. Their hydrophobic qualities may bead up water well, but they fail to actually move those beads off of the paint. This leads to a myriad of problems, ranging from etching water spots to poor self-cleaning. Many are not as durable as they could be, either, requiring layer upon layer to protect longer than a few years.

Dr. Beasley’s nanotechnology overcomes these limitations through total surface modification. Rather than simply bonding with the surface, the nanocoating becomes part of it. That fusion gives the surface a nanostructure specifically engineered for minimal sliding angle and high durability. Essentially, it completely changes the surface’s characteristics semi-permanently. In this article, we’ll delve deeper into how this technology works and to what ends it can serve.

Building A Nanostructure

The foundation of Dr. Beasley’s nanotechnology is the three-dimensional nanostructure we mentioned above. After the coating is applied to an area and wiped down, the nanotechnology fuses along microscopic hills and valleys in the surface. This fundamentally alters its characteristics, creating an engineered nanostructure.

A visual representation of the nanostructure.

As the coating continues to cure, the nanostructure starts to take shape. Like we said earlier, rather than layering on top of the surface, this nanostructure becomes an extension of it—two become one. This total transformation is part of what makes Dr. Beasley’s coatings so durable. Because the surface and the coating are one and the same, there’s no bond to be broken. Durability, however, is not the only advantage of this complete surface modification.

Nanoengineering For Low Sliding Angle

While most nanocoatings bead up water well, they don’t always push those beads off the surface. If a coating can’t actually move water, its hydrophobicity is useless, if not damaging. Water beads remaining on the coating dry into stains that will etch the finish. And if they’re not moving, beads won’t self-clean the surface either. For that to work, bead needs to glide past a contaminant and absorb it, so it’s removed as the bead falls off the edge of the surface.

If a coating can’t actually move water, its hydrophobicity is useless, if not damaging.

This is problem is most obvious with low-volume water sources. Think about it: If you blast a huge amount of water from, say, a pressure washer, water will slide off a coated car pretty easily. But wet a coated car with water from a sprinkler, garden hose or light rain, and you’ll have tons of little beads just sitting around. This is the problem that Dr. Beasley’s nanotechnology overcomes.

By engineering a nanostructure optimized for low sliding angle, Dr. Beasley’s nanotechnology gets even tiny water beads moving on their own. Where other coatings stop at forming tight beads with high contact angle, Dr. Beasley’s nanotechnology takes the next logical step and actually repels those beads away from the vehicle.

Implemented Across All Dr. Beasley’s Coatings

This high performance nanotechnology isn’t just for our “Pro” coatings. All Dr. Beasley’s nanocoatings utilize this very same tech to deliver semi-permanent durability and mobile water repellency. From Formula 1201 all the way up to Nano-Resin Pro, Dr. Beasley’s nanotechnology is present. It’s even utilized in our non-paint coatings, with our film coatings, Plastic Trim Coating, and even Fabric Coating and Leather Lock Pro. Fabric, leather, plastic—this nanotechnology’s surface modification stretches across a wide range of substrates.

All Dr. Beasley’s nanocoatings utilize this very same tech to deliver semi-permanent durability and mobile water repellency.

Keeping Your Finish Healthy

As automotive care professionals, we prioritize the health of your vehicle above all else. Other coatings aren’t taking this into consideration. Their manufacturers only care about making your car shine and bead for the lowest cost to them possible. That’s something we can’t accept and won’t accept. That’s why we’ve poured so much time into formulating a nanotechnology that’s engineered to push water off instead of retaining it. If a coating can’t keep your finish healthy, there’s no point in having it on your car.

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Knowing how to wash car after ceramic coating is the most important part of keeping your vehicle protected for as long as possible. Nanocoatings aren’t a one-and-done thing—you need to actively maintain them. Here’s what you absolutely need to know about washing a ceramic coated vehicle:

Wash Regularly

Just because you’ve got a coating doesn’t mean you can slack on washing. You’ll want to be doing a wash at least twice a month to prevent contaminant build-up. Having the coating will make cleaning easier, though, so you won’t have to work as hard getting gunk off. Now when you go to conduct this wash, there’s a certain method we like to recommend to avoid scratches:

Use The Two-Bucket Method

This is a basic car wash technique that will keep you from accidentally inflicting scratches. Use one bucket for your wash soap, and another bucket lined with a Grit Guard and filled with water for rinsing grime off your wash pad. The Grit Guard at the bottom traps contaminants coming off your wash pad so they won’t be re-introduced when cleaning. Otherwise you’ll find yourself dragging a rock across your coating and causing a scratch. Now, if you have a quality coating on your vehicle, you shouldn’t need to wash too hard—which necessitates a less aggressive approach:

Use A Soap Made For Nanocoatings

If you’ve got a low sliding angle coating like Nano-Resin, your coating is already doing a lot to self-clean; water beads slide off easily and pick up gunk with them. Now, in detailing, it’s often said you should always use the least aggressive solution possible to preserve your vehicle’s health. If your coating is already doing half the cleaning, you don’t need a heavy duty soap. A gentle wash soap made for nanocoatings like Dr. Beasley’s Ceramic Body Wash would make more sense. It works with any coating, too, not just Dr. Beasley’s! Now, in the event you’re not up for washing yourself and want it done for you, keep our next tip in mind:

NEVER Use An Automatic Wash

If you’ve got a nanocoating, you’re probably concerned about preventing scratches. So why take your vehicle to a wash that’s going to mar your finish? Let us explain: Automatic washes use highly abrasive bristles that retain all the scratch-prone contaminants from previous washes. Put your vehicle through one and you’ll come out with a micro-marred coating—even if it’s “9H”.

What about touchless/brushless/waterless washes?

In some instances those options are acceptable. Reference our guide to the different kinds of wash methods for further information.

So as you can see, knowing how to wash car after ceramic coating isn’t particularly difficult—it really just comes down to a few best practices. Keep up a regular wash regimen and your coating will endure!

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Spray-on “ceramic” coatings are everywhere these days, but do they actually work? Well, if you’re looking for nanocoating performance, the answer is a resounding:

NO.

So what’s missing from these “ceramic” sprays? As it happens, a lot:

They don’t move off water

Sure, you’ll see a decent water beading effect after applying a “ceramic” coating spray. The problem is, those beads aren’t going anywhere—and in order for beads to have any benefit outside of aesthetics, they need to be moving OFF of your paint. Otherwise, they put you at risk of water spots, won’t help self-clean, and they’ll be a pain to dry (which means more chances for washmarks). A real nanocoating, like Dr. Beasley’s Nano-Resin, has a nanostructure engineered for low sliding angle so water beads can glide away more easily. See the difference below:

They don’t last long

Those water beads we mentioned in the last paragraph? Not only are they not beneficial, they also tend to stop forming after just a few weeks. With “ceramic” coating sprays, nothing lasts long. Not the beading and definitely not the protection. You’re looking at 6-8 months of durability, tops. It’s because unlike a true nanocoating, these products are not becoming one with the underlying surface, which makes them more more susceptible to deterioration.

They’re not scratch resistant

Just because the “ceramic” coating spray you’re looking at claims a 9H rating on the pencil hardness scale doesn’t mean it’ll resist scratches. We’ve established before that hardness does not equal scratch resistance, but we’ll give you a quick recap: the harder a coating is, the more brittle it is, making it less likely to absorb the pressure from a scratch. A flexible coating like Dr. Beasley’s Nano-Resin Pro, however, will fully absorb and dissipate the energy from light abrasion, preserving the nanostructure:

So why do companies call them “ceramic”?

Automotive paint protection took a hard turn towards nanocoatings this past decade, and the big car care companies are determined to get a piece of the nano-pie. Only problem is, nanocoatings are hard to mass market; they can be time-consuming to apply and do require some degree of skill. So why not make a nanocoating that anyone can put on? Enter the “ceramic” coating spray.

Companies are able to get away with using this terminology because technically, “ceramic” coating sprays do contain ceramic nanoparticles suspended in a resin. Plus, they do things you’d expect a nanocoating to do—they bead up water, they have a nice shine, etc. But it’s nothing more than a facade. Both the beading and shine disappear within weeks, and the protection totally degrades within months.

What should I use instead?

Thankfully, there are already a few easy-to-apply, genuine nanocoatings on the market right now. Here are a few from Dr. Beasley’s to get you started:

Formula 1201 — This nanocoating uses a wet application to speed up the install process, thanks to both the water-provided lubrication and the fact that you can go straight from washing to coating. Only one hour of cure time is needed after application. Lasts one year on a daily driver, two or more on garaged vehicles.

PlasmaCoat — This nanocoating has a wax-like consistency and bonds instantly with paintwork, so you won’t need to wait for any flashing before wiping away. As with Formula 1201, it only requires an hour of cure time after application and lasts a year on a daily driver, two or more on a garaged car.

Nano-Resin — This is a professional-style nanocoating that can easily be applied by an enthusiast. Because of the forgiving flash time on Nano-Resin, it’s nearly impossible to get high spots. Nano-Resin also requires only one hour of cure time and will last 3 years on a daily driver, 5 years or more on a garaged vehicle.

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Many don’t know just how beneficial it is to have a ceramic coating on PPF (paint protection film, also known as clear bra). While a clear layer of plastic over your paint will definitely help resist rock chips, it’s not going to bead off water on its own, and it’s certainly not going to resist chemical etching from bird poop and bug guts. That’s where you’re going to want to have a nanocoating on top of that PPF. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to why you need a ceramic coating on PPF:

1. They make your PPF last longer

The number one enemy of all PPF is the sun—or, more specifically, UV rays. UV rays slowly degrade both the PPF itself and the adhesive keeping it on the paint, resulting in yellowing, cracking, and outright peeling. It’s a disappointing sight to see after dropping a hefty sum for the installation. Now, PPF manufacturers like to say their wraps are UV-resistant, but the truth is, that protection only lasts for so long. But throw on a nanocoating packed with UV-inhibitors (like Dr. Beasley’s Film Coating) and you’ll have essentially permanent protection against any premature PPF failure.

2. They make your PPF easier to clean

Since PPF aren’t naturally hydrophobic (AKA water repellant) it’s a lot harder to keep them clean. One of the great things about water repelling coatings is that when they push off water, they take much of your vehicle’s surface grime with them. It’s an invaluable surface trait that PPFs just don’t have on their own—all the more reason to stack a ceramic coating on PPF. But don’t just choose any; go for one with a low sliding angle like Dr. Beasley’s Film Coating. The easier water beads can get off your surface, the more they’ll be able to pick up dirt along the way.

Paint protection film (PPF) being custom installed.
3. They keep your PPF from getting damaged

Waking up to some baked on road tar or tree sap on top of your PPF is nothing short of a tragedy. Stubborn contaminants are notoriously problematic for PPF; often times manufacturers will recommend using harsh chemicals like acetone to break them down even though that risks corroding the film itself! That all changes, though, if you have a chemical resistant nanocoating on top. You’ll have an extra layer of protection that won’t be corroded by cleaning solutions or contaminant etching.

4. They make your PPF look better

After a few months of daily driving, PPF starts to look pretty worse for wear. And I’m not talking about yellowing—I’m talking about embedded road grime. Especially on white paint, a contaminated PPF stands out like a sore thumb. With a nanocoating protecting the film, however, that kind of road gunk won’t embed as easily. Something like Dr. Beasley’s Film Coating, for example, would go a long way towards keeping grime out of your film and your finish looking beautiful.

TIP: Don’t just use any coating

If you do decide to put a ceramic coating on PPF (which you should!) make sure you’re using one that’s explicitly formulated to bond with film. A ceramic coating for paint is designed to bond with just that: paint! You’re not going to get a very durable bond out of it when applied to film, which will leave you without protection quickly. If you’re in search of a film-specific coating, Dr. Beasley’s Film Coating bonds perfectly with PPF and holds up as long as the film underneath.

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