Protective film for vehicles goes by multiple names, such as invisible shield, car scratch protective film, clear mask, Clear Bra, and much more. Regardless of the name it goes by, however, the ultimate purpose of the film is to protect your vehicle from damage and keep it looking good for years.
Clear Bra is the most comprehensive defense you have to protect your vehicle’s exterior from environmental damage. Due to its high-impact resistance, a Clear Bra can protect your paint from scratching and chipping caused by road debris. It’s also resistant to corrosive contaminants, creating a line of defense against the chemical damage from mineral deposits, bird droppings, and bug splatter.
Learn more about Clear Bra and find out how it can protect your car from damage and preserve its beauty for years to come.
Clear Bra Technology
Before we dive into the details of Clear Bra, let’s take a look at the background of the technology that makes it possible.
Clear Bra is a transparent urethane material that was originally developed during the Vietnam War. This was the solution to a problem of U.S. helicopters needing constant replacement from the damage of flying dirt and debris. 3M partnered with the military to develop a new technology that would be resilient, lightweight, and cost-effective so that the film could be replaced instead of replacing entire blades. The military expanded the use of this film in the 1970s as a protective feature for the noses of fighter jets.
Then, in the 1980s, NASCAR got on board with urethane films to protect the front ends of their race cars. For a sport that relies so heavily on sponsorship decals, urethane film was a game-changer to keep these vehicles looking better.
Finally, in the 1990s, urethane film was made available to the general public for automotive protection. This technology has been improved and refined over the years as well, giving us a final product that’s popular among owners and manufacturers alike.
What’s a Clear Bra Made Of?
The Clear Bra advantages are due in part to the materials they’re made from. The key ingredient in a Clear Bra is urethane, which is a versatile and strong polymer that’s constructed from carbamate. This compound has some unique features that help it perform, such as transparency and light weight, but it’s not brittle or susceptible to external damage. It’s highly resistant to abrasion, corrosion, and impact, as well as being flexible and resilient.
With urethane’s many features and advantages, it’s widely used for industrial and recreational applications. Urethane is used as caulking to keep moisture and mold from growing in bathroom tiles, it’s used to coat boats and underwater wiring to resist damage, and it’s often used to protect sporting equipment. The strength and resilience of Clear Bra that make it resistant to damage are also appealing to the manufacturing and mining industries.
A Clear Bra has several layers. The top layer is lined with clear coat composed of urethane or polyurethane, which helps it heal itself from small scratches that occur in daily driving situations. The layer on the bottom is lined with an acrylic adhesive that is designed for flexibility, making it easier to stretch and wrap the film around the many contours and irregular shapes of a vehicle. This keeps the film from peeling off of the vehicle over time.
Concerns With Clear Bra
Properly installed, a Clear Bra is completely invisible and doesn’t have any negative impact on the color or clarity of your paint. Over time, however, some Clear Bras can peel, yellow, or blister, detracting from the look of your vehicle and leaving you vulnerable to damage.
If you’re looking into getting a Clear Bra for your vehicle, it’s important to prepare yourself for the potential concerns and how to prevent them.
Peeling refers to a situation in which the Clear Bra peels from the paint in certain areas. While this is typically a result of incorrect care, it’s easily prevented by ensuring that you have a high-quality film for your vehicle and avoiding harsh treatments, such as a pressure washer.
Yellowing is another major concern for car owners. Films that turn yellow over time are terrible for the look of a vehicle’s paint job. For instance, a white car with a Clear Bra that turns yellow will end up looking cheap and dingy.
Some manufacturers have learned that yellowing is caused by UV exposure that oxidizes the adhesive, leading to discoloration. After seeing this, the manufacturers developed an adhesive that is UV resistant and less likely to oxidize or discolor. This not only resolved the discoloration issue, but it also led to a higher quality and better performing Clear Bra. Yellowing is still a concern with low-quality film and low-quality adhesive, which are both prone to discoloration.
Clear Bra blisters when small air bubbles become trapped beneath the film. This blistering is directly related to the quality of the installation. Air bubbles can occur when there are contaminants under the film, separating the vehicle finish from the Clear Bra.
Because of this, professional Clear Bra installation takes place in a controlled space with filtered air that’s free of contaminants that may become trapped under the film. With the right technician, blistering risk is minimal. With low-quality films, inexperienced technicians, or DIY applications, however, blistering is an unsightly problem that’s likely to occur.
At Ultimate Window Tinting, we combat these concerns by only using XPEL products. XPEL Clear Bra products are the highest-performing, highest-quality films on the market, showing superior resistance to scratches, fading, peeling, and discoloration. They also come with a 10-year warranty against wear or damage, so you know they’re designed to last.
Protect Your Investment
When it comes to keeping your vehicle looking vibrant and new, a Clear Bra is the way to go. Clear Bra is not only long-lasting and resilient, but it also protects your hard-earned investment from the scratches, dents, and dings that can hurt your vehicle’s value in the future.
If you’re considering a Clear Bra for your vehicle, or you just want to learn more about what’s available, Ultimate Window Tinting is the place for you. For nearly 15 years, Ultimate Window Tinting has been the premier location for XPEL paint protection and window tinting for drivers in the Vancouver and Portland metro areas. Contact us today to learn more about our paint protection services and schedule your appointment!