Is there a difference between a 10H and 9H ceramic coating? What does it all mean? Does 10H really exist? Is 10H better than 9H? We’re tackling your hard questions right here.
First! You’re probably wondering what is all the fuss about 9H and 10H?
The H In 9H and 10H ceramic coating refers to the coating’s hardness
H stands for hardness. Hardness is the ability of the surface to resits deformation. i.e change in appearance/dent/scratch. Much like a hard hat that protects your head.
There are a few different types of ways of measuring hardness and the 3 most common ones are :
- Resistance to scratching;
- The hardness of the indentation; and
- The degree of the rebound.
The scratch hardness measurement is the one that is used most widely in the industry. However, many people get confused between mineral hardness and pencil hardness.
You are probably aware of the MOHS scale which ranks materials according to how easily they can be scratched, with diamond having the highest value (10) indicating it is the hardest, and talc having the lowest value (0). However the MOHS scale can not be applied to measure coatings for cars, hence the use of the pencil hardness scale.
How are the limits of a 9H ceramic coating put to the test?
To determine the Pencil Rating, the highest quality pencil available, a 10H, is used to draw a line (or mark) approximately an inch and a half long. If the surface is scratched (or marked) by the pencil, then a softer pencil (9H, etc.) will be used until a pencil is found that does not scratch (or mark) the surface. This process will continue until a pencil is found that does not scratch (or dent) the surface.
So What About 10H? Is It Better Than 9H Ceramic Coating?
The letter H denotes “Hardness,” and a scale goes from H to 10H, with 10H being the hardest. Since 10H is the hardest of the grades, it produces the least amount of graphite on the surface, making it the lightest of the grades.
Some say that the highest rating is 9H and 10H is not true. In actual fact, some coatings are so hard that the 10H pencil won’t scratch them and these surfaces are rated 10H to designate their hardness.
Measuring on a scale of pencil hardness, the answer would be YES! 10H is definitely harder than 9H.
The pencil hardness test is just one of the many different tests that evaluate the ceramic coating’s performance. Most ceramic coatings test abrasion, impact resistance, adhesion, oxidation, gloss, UV resistance, yellowing, drying times, chemical resistance and more. And all of these tests and features are important aspects in a ceramic coating.
Not all coatings are made equal and not all have the same strengths. Ceramic coatings with UV resistance may not have the same heat or abrasion resistance as another coating. Every Ceramic coating is designed for its own purpose. A great coating factors in so many other factors like gloss retention, slip angle, hydrophobicity, ease of application, VOC and more.
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