Is ceramic coating as hard as, and thick as, an automotive clearcoat?

Some companies claim that adding a ceramic coating to the vehicle is the same as putting another layer of clearcoat on the car’s paint. Unfortunately, this is completely false, and another rumor or misinformation that plagues the ceramic coating, clear bra, and auto detailing communities. 


Ceramic coating, as we discussed in another Q&A, is designed for ease of cleanup, and not really for protection. Clear bra is, however, designed for protection.


For perspective, various ceramic coatings claim different thicknesses of their coatings, but assume most packages, even a Gold Package from Ceramic Pro with four layers of 9H and a layer of Top Coat, are 5 microns or less. Typically, you probably will find that most ceramic coatings are around 1-2 microns thick.


Your clearcoat is generally 35-50 microns, although we have discussed before why that is thinner than it used to be. That is about 1.5-2 mils.


Vinyl wrap is about 3 mils thick, so a little thicker than your clearcoat.


Clear bra/paint protection film is typically 8-10 mil thick, almost 3x the thickness of of vinyl, and so much thicker than ceramic coating that they frankly don’t belong in the same sentence when discussing protection. 

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