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3M Tech Guy

PPF Thickness vs. Performance

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This video attempts to answer the question: "Does PPF thickness affect long-term durability?"

Your intuition would say, yes. The thicker the film, the more it will protect the underlying paint.

Thinner films are easier to install and cost less, because you are getting less material and possibly, less protection.

 

The 3M Automotive and Aerospace Solutions Division is ISO9001 certified which allows us to supply products to automotive OEM customers. It is an extremely rigorous standard that provides the structure to consistently offer products that meet customer, statutory, and regulatory requirements. It is the entry level for quality systems in the automotive industry. It also allows us to provide specification test results on our own, without going to an outside test facility. One such typical test is Chipping Resistance, which is shown in this video. Samples are conditioned at -30F because that represents the most difficult conditioning scenario for paint and PPF. The failures that are documented (Sharpie circles) are actual paint chips: not dents in the panels.

 

 

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Great video. I’ve been wanting to do a more crude test myself with a leaf blower and rocks too. VERY surprised to see xpel the thinnest. Very pleased to see STEK as the most durable film between xpel, suntek & stek. I haven’t used scotch guard only because I thought it didn’t look good but I will try it based on this video. Thanks for the hard work!! Glad I stumbled upon it.

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Wow! Very disappointed that my installer touted Sun Tek as 8 mil and the best protection for my model 3. In my research after purchasing I’ve come to realize it was easier for my installer to apply the product so that’s why he sold me it. Next time I’ll be sure to find an installer that’s capable of applying a thicker product. 

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@3M Tech Guy just curious if using calipers is the truest and best way to measure the thickness of a product that can easily be pinched thus reducing the thickness, plus is taking one measurement  of one piece the best method of testing? 

 

 

thank you 

 

Howard 

Edited by STEK HOWARD

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It's brand advertising at best.  In areas where stretch is needed all films will have to stretch and thus will vary.  Plus there are many variables in this test not answered.

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Funny the 3M Pro didn't look any different then the others after being blasted with rocks then any of the others they just circled less marks??  lol 

 

Also makes you wonder since everyone basically claims to be 8 mils thick how come none of them were?  did they squeeze those films tighter by chance?  

 

Too many uncontrolled factors to call this a scientific test.  

 

Josh

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It's convent ....that you can supply your own test results....... how does it perform when rocks hit it on angle....

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It is absolutely our right and responsibility to challenge the status quo. The reason I ran this analysis was because I wanted to know if/how PPF thickness affected paint chipping resistance. To me, thicker film should provide better protection. In our OEM business, we use 10 mil and 14 mil PPF's for lower rocker applications. Why? Because they provide better protection on very demanding areas of the vehicle.

 

While I have read this forum for a while, I know I am new to posting to the forum. As such, why should anyone believe what I say? Why shouldn't everyone challenge what I say? I can't answer those questions for you, but please understand that since I represent 3M, any time I post experimental findings, they are approved by 3M Legal.

 

@STEK HOWARD - Very valid point wrt the dial caliper. While not the truest method for measuring thickness, it is fairly accurate. And, I cannot bring a camera into our testing room for confidentiality reasons. I will quantify how much compression I can generate tomorrow and report back. For this video, I tried very hard, to use the same pressure. My guess is that the most I could compress any PPF would be 0.1 mil, but I'll check.

 

@Noel - While the results look and feel like brand advertising, the intent was to educate the installers and end customers that there are real consequences for installing/buying thinner films. Stretching a thin film, will result in a thinner film area, than stretching a thicker film in the same area. The gravelometer test is a standard OEM test. What variables of the test would you like me to clarify?

 

@JoshVette - Yes, the panels all look similar. That's why I only counted the paint chips. As I stated above, it is absolutely your right and responsibility to challenge my results. I could have simply circled more dents in the thinner films (3M Legal would not have approved publication of the video if this was the case). It's up to you to believe whatever you choose to believe. However, why not challenge everyone else's claims that their films are 8 mils thick? In your opinion, what factors need to be controlled to make this a scientific test? And finally, does it make sense to you, that a thicker film would provide better protection?

 

@TomTint - Once again, it is your right and responsibility to challenge my results. I will just toss this out there: If you don't believe my results, prove me wrong.

 

A 90 degree angle of impact provides the greatest amount of energy and therefore, the greatest opportunity to chip the paint. As such, it is the most demanding circumstance to run the test. That is also why the panels are conditioned at -30C prior to the test: to create a worst-case scenario. This is why the OEM specification test methods require a 90 degree impact angle.

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1 hour ago, 3M Tech Guy said:

It is absolutely our right and responsibility to challenge the status quo. The reason I ran this analysis was because I wanted to know if/how PPF thickness affected paint chipping resistance. To me, thicker film should provide better protection. In our OEM business, we use 10 mil and 14 mil PPF's for lower rocker applications. Why? Because they provide better protection on very demanding areas of the vehicle.

 

While I have read this forum for a while, I know I am new to posting to the forum. As such, why should anyone believe what I say? Why shouldn't everyone challenge what I say? I can't answer those questions for you, but please understand that since I represent 3M, any time I post experimental findings, they are approved by 3M Legal.

 

@STEK HOWARD - Very valid point wrt the dial caliper. While not the truest method for measuring thickness, it is fairly accurate. And, I cannot bring a camera into our testing room for confidentiality reasons. I will quantify how much compression I can generate tomorrow and report back. For this video, I tried very hard, to use the same pressure. My guess is that the most I could compress any PPF would be 0.1 mil, but I'll check.

 

@Noel - While the results look and feel like brand advertising, the intent was to educate the installers and end customers that there are real consequences for installing/buying thinner films. Stretching a thin film, will result in a thinner film area, than stretching a thicker film in the same area. The gravelometer test is a standard OEM test. What variables of the test would you like me to clarify?

 

@JoshVette - Yes, the panels all look similar. That's why I only counted the paint chips. As I stated above, it is absolutely your right and responsibility to challenge my results. I could have simply circled more dents in the thinner films (3M Legal would not have approved publication of the video if this was the case). It's up to you to believe whatever you choose to believe. However, why not challenge everyone else's claims that their films are 8 mils thick? In your opinion, what factors need to be controlled to make this a scientific test? And finally, does it make sense to you, that a thicker film would provide better protection?

 

@TomTint - Once again, it is your right and responsibility to challenge my results. I will just toss this out there: If you don't believe my results, prove me wrong.

 

A 90 degree angle of impact provides the greatest amount of energy and therefore, the greatest opportunity to chip the paint. As such, it is the most demanding circumstance to run the test. That is also why the panels are conditioned at -30C prior to the test: to create a worst-case scenario. This is why the OEM specification test methods require a 90 degree impact angle.

 

 

  Our in house data shows that Llumar out performs 3M using the miter E scale test. Performance was tested using #7 unwashed aggregate at a 46 mph velocity and 72* angle of impact. No damage was noticeable to the Llumar test media, the 3M was damaged beyond the point of being salvageable 

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