Paint Protection Film
“Paint protection film (PPF, also called clear bra, clear film or clear paint film) is a thermoplastic urethane often self healing film applied to painted surfaces of a new or used car in order to protect the paint from stone chips, bug splatters, and minor abrasions. This film is also used on airplanes, RVs, cell phones, electronics, screens, motorcycles and many other areas. Paint protection film is OEM approved by virtually all car manufacturers.”
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Car PPF Installation Process
Types of Car PPF installation
Paint protection film is installed on a limited basis by manufacturers on various pieces of cars at the factory (e.g. the rear arches of Porsches). This film is most commonly applied to high impact areas of vehicles. The film is generally installed by certified trained professionals who receive supplies from outside distributors and dealers.
There are different styles of installation of PPF. Installation with a plotter can be done using software designed to create a pattern to the shape of the panel the film is being installed on. It is possible to modify a plotter software pattern to suit the needs of an installer and/or their customer.
The most experienced installers can actually hand template panels, and then convert those templates into digital format for software to then cut them digitally, meaning that any custom work can be converted into a digital template. Installation without a plotter, by bulk installing film from the roll, is a risk, as the film is cut directly onto the surface of the vehicle.
In addition to installations performed in situ at the factory or by certified shops and dealerships, there are also a select number of vendors who sell pre-cut and vehicle specific paint protection kits, as well as individuals who sell these kits on online auction sites or other markets.
PPF is designed specifically for physical protection against light road debris and scratching on paintwork of Car Detailing. It is different from sealants which are usually in liquid form and are designed for UV and chemical resistance. Sealants harden up the clear-coat on your paintwork, but are not designed to protect your vehicle from physical damage. For this reason, both PPF and sealants can be used on vehicles to protect the panels in different ways.