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Clearcoat and Paint Thickness Measurements

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by kevincwelch, Sep 7, 2013.

  1. kevincwelch

    kevincwelch Active Member

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    Does anyone have a handle on the thickness of the clear coat for the Model S?

    I just spent the last 20 minutes going around the car and measuring the thickness of the paint with a Nicetu coating thickness gauge and got anywhere from 65 to 75 microns (2.55 to 2.95 mils). I have no pano roof, and the thickness up there ranged from 85 to 105 microns (3.3 to 4.1 mils). Not a whole lot of room to work with; seems very thin. The gauge was calibrated with a 3% error.
     
  2. AC1K

    AC1K Member

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    ummmm what tool do you use for this? i dont believe my eyes are capable of processing anything at that resolution.
     
  3. kevincwelch

    kevincwelch Active Member

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    CM8801FN Digital Coating Thickness Gauge Paint Meter Tester (Nicetu)
     
  4. islandbayy

    islandbayy Active Member

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    I agree, not much to work with. I have been fairly vocal in my complaints about the paint and clear coat quality. Start building up your coats of wax ;)
     
  5. kevincwelch

    kevincwelch Active Member

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    I'm gearing up to apply GTechniq C1 and EXO, but I wonder now if Opti-coat would be better.
     
  6. Mayhemm

    Mayhemm Model S P85+ "Lola"

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    I'm curious as to the variation (if any) between the different paint "levels".

    IE: Basic (black, white), Premium (metallic paint colors), and Multi-coat (Red, white)

    Which paint did you get, Kevin? How old is your vehicle (VIN #)?
     
  7. kevincwelch

    kevincwelch Active Member

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    I got the blue. VIN 4xxx something. Readings were fairly consistent for each panel.
     
  8. caddieo

    caddieo Member

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    What is the industry standard? What do other cars average?
     
  9. kevincwelch

    kevincwelch Active Member

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    Well, my wife's Subaru Outback (metallic grey) averaged about 140-150 microns (about 6 mils). I believe Toyota paints range in the 2.5-3 mils range. Just seems really thin for an upgraded paint. I am interested in the thickness of the multicoat paint as well. Problem with these thinner paints is that it limits the amount and frequency of the paint correction that can be done on them.

    All the more reason to properly wash and get a protective coating on them.

    Right now I have a Menzerna sealant topped with Collinite wax. Soon it will be layered with Gtechniq C1 & EXO. Another good alternative would be Xpel now that I think about how thin this paint is.
     
  10. JPP

    JPP Active Member

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    ...lots of threads on the paint quality/softness (maybe due to the CA air quality rules and formulation of water based paint). FWIW, I got OptiCoat Pro and am very glad I did. Looks much better, sheds dirt, always looks great.
     
  11. GasDoc

    GasDoc Member

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    Where in the SF area did you go for your Opticoat?
     
  12. JPP

    JPP Active Member

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    Joe at Orinda Auto Detail. Lots of experience with Model S, really seems to know his stuff. Took my 2 month old (and what I thought was immaculate well cared for) multi-coat red, got the small swirls and scratches out (took a full day of careful detailing including dismounting the wheels to clean/prep front & back) then did full OptiCoat Pro on body, wheels, glass, plastic, trim. He applies a heavier coat on 'impact areas'. Wish I did it sooner. And he wishes that he could get the S before the factory does their post-paint polish & detail. He is seeing more harm than good especially with the really soft paint.

    [email protected]

    Search these forums and also volkerize.com for his posts @ TM.

    YMMV.
     
  13. kevincwelch

    kevincwelch Active Member

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    True.

    But none with actual measurements AFAIK.
     

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