Automotive Clearcoat Characteristics Importance


A few weeks
ago I decided to launch one small poll, in two LinkedIn groups and among our
customers, concerning the most important characteristics of automotive
clearcoat for car body repair industry. Once LinkedIn allows to post up to 5 choices, I have included the
following attributes or characteristics of a good clearcoat:

Transparency, non-yellowing

Gloss level

Application convenience

Scratch resistance



To begin
with, I would like to say a few words about each of the above mentioned characteristics
of clearcoats.

  1. Transparency and non-yellowing
    are considered the most important characteristics. Indeed, who would like
    its newly painted car to get yellowish? Or who would be happy instead of
    having nice metallic color shining in the sun, to get milky
    semi-transparent coating on the top? Why would we call it “clear” coat
    anyway? However obvious are the answers, far not all clearcoats in the
    market keep the promise to be “clear”.
  2. Gloss level is another
    appearance characteristic for the automotive clearcoat. Normally, good
    clear coat should have a gloss level more then 90 gloss units (max 100).
  3. Application convenience is a
    broad meaning. In a few words, if we follow strictly all the technical
    information of a producer, what would be the overall application process?
    Would it be easy to level down the product? Does it “run” easily?
  4. Scratch resistance, in other
    words, tells us how hard fully polymerized clearcoat will be and what
    mechanical resistance had been achieved.
  5. Price is price. High price-not
    good, low price-very good. Well, at least this is what I hear every single


On the bottom of the post you can find a link for the graphical presentation of the results of the pall.


Numerical results were as following:

Transparency and non-yellowing  – 46%

Gloss level – 21%

Application convenience – 12%

Scratch resistance – 21%

Price is price – 0%


Just a few comments:

the list of the above mentioned an automotive clear coat characteristic is not
exhaustive. Among others, automotive paint professionals mentioned flash off
time, overall drying time, easiness of polishing and paint defects removal,
weather resistance.

clearcoat is the last coating step for the collision repair process; therefore
the quality of automotive clearcoat is crucial for the overall car refinishing

the fact that no one in the pall mentioned price as important characteristic,
still the question about the price from the potential buyer is asked very
often. For me, though, a price criterion on its own doesn’t say anything.
Basically, buying car clearcoat mainly on price criteria is like buying a car solely
on price, without even looking at it.


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