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Interesting Facts about Car Paint Protection Films

Just like an umbrella that offers protection from the heat of the sun and rain, vehicles also need some kind of protection against the harsh outdoor elements. This is by installing a car bodywork protection film on your vehicle. It can be one of the best investments you can make for your vehicle. You can contact clear car protection film installers for your installation needs.

Car paint protection films: Then and now

Many years ago, a car protective film wasn’t a thing yet. Instead, a lot of people focused on “pimping” their rides – installing humongous speakers in the car trunk or changing the original car mags into a customized and eye-catching one. Car bras, as car paint films are also called, may look unpleasant for both owners and on-lookers.

But when you accidentally hit a pole or your car incurred unpleasant scratches, you may have no choice but to deal with it. Worse, you may have to spend extra dollars to have it repaired and hoping it disappears for good. However, times have already changed.

More and more car owners are realizing the benefits of a car protection film. In fact, it can be one of the best decisions you can make as a vehicle owner. It is similar to car window tinting, only that a car protection film covers the entire body of the car. If you are planning to install auto window tinting, why not consider installing clear car protection film as well?

Brief facts about car paint protection films

Most people may not know this, but car paint protection films have already been around since the 1960s. The original purpose of paint protection films was way different back then and now. In fact, it was originally developed for military use during the Vietnam War.

Back in the 1960s, the US Department of Defense contacted the 3M, a popular global abrasive and tape products manufacturer, to come up with a lightweight and transparent protective film. This was supposed to be intended to be used on helicopter blades and other military equipment to provide protection against flying shrapnel and other kinds of damage.

The product became known as the “helicopter tape” which became the predecessor of the modern-day clear car protection films. Although it did not provide the aesthetic appeal modern protection films now provide, at least the original films did their protective aspects of the film.

In the 1980s, major racing sports such as NASCAR discovered that the protection film had a great potential in protecting cars against paint chipping. The protective film helped lessen repainting jobs after high-speed races and constant collisions with other racers and barriers.

At present, it is being used for automotive protection. 3M paint protection film installers are also available to assist you with your car protection film installation requirements.


The original paint protection film used for military purposes were made dull and somewhat more on the translucent side. However, the protective film was seen a potential to be used for something else. Hence, 3M worked on improving the film material and made it more flexible and transparent.

Since the 1980s until the present, paint protection films (PPF) are made from thermoplastic urethane film material. This material is resistant against acid and corrosive contaminants as well as bug splatters and bird droppings.

It is also available in different colors or transparent options and varies in thickness. Likewise, it also helps lessen oxidization due to exposure to harmful UV rays and reverts to its natural shape when stretched. PPFs are meant to last around 5 to 10 years.

Other applications

Aside from military and car use, a car bodywork protection film is also used on airplanes, handheld devices such as mobile phones, and other industrial usages. 3M was the original manufacturer of paint protection films, but other manufacturers such as LLumar and SunTek also offered PPFs years after. Other names of PPF include:

  • Car Scratch Protection Film
  • Invisible Shield
  • Clear Mask
  • Rock Chip Protection
  • Clear Bra

Meanwhile, a lot of people confuse PPF with vinyl film material. On one hand, the former is lighter and thinner than the latter. PPF is applied more on protective purposes.

Vinyl, on the other hand, is easier to install because it’s thicker yet not as transparent as PPF. Unlike PPF, vinyl does not have that “self-healing” ability when there are scratches. Vinyl is applied more for aesthetic rather than protective purposes.

If you are interested to add protection to your car, find paint protection film installers near you. Contact reliable 3M paint protection film installers in Springfield VA and schedule an appointment today.

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