November '22

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M N O V E M B E R 2 0 2 2 • G R A P H I C S P R O 3 3 HOW WE TELL THE DIFFERENCE Premium PPF betters those non-premium alternatives across the board thanks to the use of higher-quality raw materials, the application of advanced materials science, and accelerated qual- ification testing that correlates to real-world conditions. at testing ensures the product that reaches the PPF brand owner and, eventually, the installer meets installation and performance expectations. Traditional testing for PPF performance is difficult, time-con- suming, and expensive. Weathering and UV tests, for example, were commonly done by subjecting film to long-term exposure to the elements. e time and expense involved in long-term testing discourages innovation and pushes brand owners to stick with the known ingredients. Qualification tests that take months or even years have no utility in a market moving as quickly as today's PPF market. Accelerated testing equipment and methods can shrink time- lines from years to days and enhance data collection and analy- sis, allowing for more aggressive research and development and streamlined innovation in material formulation. Using an EYE Super UV Tester, for example, can compress years of damaging UV radiation effects into just days or weeks of testing time. en, materials scientists with expertise in correlative studies of the behavior of polymers and performance additives can work with product developers to quickly validate results with high relative predictability to real-world outdoor exposure. Lubrizol invested in these resources to enable and encourage a broader approach to PPF development that can transform prod- uct development to stay ahead of the red-hot market. Along with accelerated testing capabilities, Lubrizol added a new pilot film line and a PPF installation simulator just in the past year. e pilot film line allows in-house engineers and clients to examine new formulations for consistency in the extrusion process and refine those formulations as needed. And the PPF installation simula- tor does just what the name suggests – it gives installers a chance to apply PPF in a controlled setting to evaluate the installability of the product. at tactile feedback is invaluable in regards to developing TPU that meets the installers' needs. WHAT'S NEXT TPU chemistries will continue to evolve to meet the needs of today's PPF market. e continued optimization of surface capa- bilities is always the focus, with improvements in stain-resistance and self-healing properties among the most significant areas of interest. Interest in full-body coverage also is incrasing, as is the focus on optimizing TPU thickness to provide the appropriate protection and ease of installation for various surfaces. And, as more of the vehicle is covered in PPF, brand owners and their cus- tomers are increasingly intrigued by creative approaches to colors and finishes to provide aesthetic enhancements. ese improvements are made possible through advanced mate- rials science that produces state-of-the-art TPU for PPF, with a focus on meeting the needs of a demanding end-user no lon- ger limited to luxury vehicles, and with the installer firmly in mind. GP Jason Schaner is an Applications Engineer, Surface Potection, with Lubrizol Engineered Polymers. End users and installers are increasingly recognizing premium PPF performance attributes, such as premium aesthetics, durability and conformability.

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