What is a Clear Bra for Cars and How Does it Work?
The modern paint protection world is filled with a smorgasbord of options to consider. That means a lot – with some of them simply better at providing real protection than others. It can be argued that the best pure paint protection solution is a paint protection film or PPF. This is the material that makes up the modern clear auto bra. So, what does a clear bra do?
To be honest, I think the better question too consider is what doesn’t a clear bra wrap do? in case you are not aware, a clear bra is a car paint protection film that is applied to high impact areas on the front of a truck, car, SUV, a big rig, or any other vehicle. Clear bra film sticks to a clear coat of a vehicle’s paint, headlights, front bumper, grilles, and the frontal section of a car’s hood.
It is completely transparent, allowing the visual beauty of the paint surface to shine through. However, in recent years (since 2019 at least) there has been a growth of new technology that allows a clear bra to produce a gloss or matte finish – even on a standard car’s paint finish.
There is a lot of technical information that can help us explain what a clear bra can do. In the blog below, we will explain some of the technology infused in Kavaca Instant Healing PPF or clear bra. We will explore some of the benefits to applying clear bra paint protection on your ride and introduce a few better options to get the best bang out of your protective film dollar.
Are All Clear Bra’s the Same?
Just like any other automotive product, there are some that are simply better than others in the clear bra world. Although most paint protection films are based on the same technology and base ingredients, a recent trend of infusing nanotechnology into a PPF is elevating some materials over competitors.
Such is the case with Kavaca PPF. Kavaca is translated in the Sanskrit ancient language as “ultimate shield” – which at its core is the job of these polyurethane materials. This new PPF was introduced in 2019 and uses similar nanotechnology found in Ceramic Pro 9H, a professional grade nanocoating that provides a semi-permanent layer of protection on multiple vehicle surfaces.
The main difference between Kavaca and most paint protection films available on the market today is its ability to self-heal. The traditional paint protection film can repair itself if scratched or impacted by light rocks and road debris. However, to do so an external heat source such as hot air or direct sunlight is required.
Kavaca on the other hand will instantly heal, within a matter of seconds. Kavaca is also more hydrophobic (meaning it repels water, dirt, dust, and other debris). This technology is not found in most clear bra materials – giving a competitive advantage to Kavaca at providing more bang for your protection dollar.
Why Would You Install a Clear Bra?
A clear bra is a phenomenal paint protection solution. But what do we mean by “paint protection” anyways? The concept of any paint protection product is to do exactly that, reduce the potential of damage by providing a layer of protection over the surface. There are many ways you can accomplish this goal such as:
- Applying car wax and paint sealants
- Installing a ceramic coating of some sort
- Choosing a vinyl wrap
- Upgrading to paint protection film
The clear bra is a dedicated paint protection film installation that only covers the front end of a vehicle. These are known as high strike areas, where the vehicle is exposed to road debris such as gravel, tree branches, shredded tires, and more.
Of all the paint protection methods listed above, the only one that can protect it from road debris is paint protection film, or the product that is used in a clear bra installation.
However, clear bras do much more than just protect against scratches or road debris impact. The advanced polymers and nanotechnology infused in The best clear bra products allows it to block UV rays, reduce exposure to chemicals, provides protection against animal waste such as bird droppings and bug splatters, and virtually eliminates the potential of oxidation or rusting.
What Does a Clear Bra Not Do?
We teased this question in the introduction of today’s blog, as it is incredibly important to know the limitations before making the investment. And let’s not kid ourselves, of all the paint protection products on the market today, PPF will cost the most to install.
But there are several reasons that can justify the added expense.
The average lifespan of the best car wax is about six months. The expected life of a lab created paint sealant, maybe a year at most. Your run of the mill do it yourself ceramic coating has a maximum longevity of three years – regardless of how they try to spin it otherwise.
Even a professional ceramic coating like Ceramic Pro 9H that can last the lifetime of your vehicle has certain limitations. Our ceramic coating does not make your car bulletproof, fire resistant, or 100% scratch prohibited. If you have a ceramic coating applied to your car, and a five-pound rock hit your hood while driving 55 mph, it is going to cause damage.
In the same scenario, even the best clear bra will not be able to completely protect your vehicle from damage. However, most clear bra brands have an expected longevity of five years. applying a professional ceramic coating on top of a clear bra is the ultimate shield of protection and can be supported by a lifetime warranty.
There are a few other important items to consider when choosing any clear bra material or installation center.
Does Not Improve Shine or Depth
At Ceramic Pro, we have a saying and a philosophy that holds true for each of our solutions, “Protect First – then Enhance”. This is ultimately what a paint protection film was engineered to do, provide superior paint protection first and foremost. A common myth or misunderstanding about a clear bra is that it will improve the shine or the luster of the surface underneath. That’s not what they are intended to do.
You can accomplish this goal by applying a hard coating on top of the surface that will increase the depth of what’s underneath. This is a professional grade ceramic coating like Ceramic Pro 9H, that is specifically formulated for vinyl and PPF materials.
Is Not Exceptionally Hydrophobic
Today’s clear bra is much better quality then five years ago. In 2015, it was common for a paint protection film to slowly produce a yellowish hue due to extended exposure to UV light. The average paint protection film was also not very hydrophobic, meaning that it was easier for debris and water to stick to the PPF then a ceramic coating for example.
There are some advanced PPF materials that are more hydrophobic than competitors, so it is important to do your research and pick one that has the best water-resistant properties.
How to Improve a Clear Bra’s Performance
Most car enthusiasts strive to find solutions that will improve the performance of their vehicle. This is possible with a PPF as well. If you look at the items above where clear bras or PPF are deficient, it is clear to see how simple it is to resolve these problems, in the form of a professionally applied ceramic coating.
A specifically engineered nanocoating for paint protection film materials like Ceramic Pro offers will improve the depth and brilliance of your car paint, significantly reduce the potential of scratching, and provide incredible hydrophobic properties that can keep it cleaner for longer periods.
There are some ceramic coatings that will work on top of a clear bra. However, they are not specifically formulated for these materials. Paint protection film works by maintaining flexibility after it is bonded to the vehicle surface. A professional grade nano ceramic coating like Ceramic Pro 9H bonds on the top layer of PPF but maintains flexibility.
This unique attribute allows the paint protection film to maintain Its protective qualities. Further, the advanced technology infused in Ceramic Pro 9H vinyl and PPF formulas extends the life expectancy of a clear bra significantly as well.
Is Paint Correction Needed Before Applying Clear Bras?
It is important to clarify that clear bras don’t fix damaged paint. As such, it’s important to have a professional detailer remove swirl marks, a minor paint chip, or other imperfections on the painted surface, by having them complete paint correction. This ensures the surface is in optimal condition, so the PPF can bond better, last longer, and showcase the cleanliness of the paint below.
If you’re thinking about investing in any clear bra, it is always best to speak directly to a professional that installs these products for a living. The team of certified auto spas within the Ceramic Pro network have years of experience, not only installing ceramic coatings, window tint, and paint protection film, but working with customized solutions like a clear bra installation.
By taking the time to speak with a professional auto salon, they can provide you with the best advice on whether to choose a clear bra, a full front paint protection film installation package, or whether a coating on top it will achieve the results you expect.
If you would like to learn more about clear bras and what a clear bra can do, or would like to receive a free estimate to have Ceramic Pro Kavaca installed on your precious vehicle, click the button below to receive a free estimate and locate an auto salon near you.