Sooner or later, every car owner is faced with the need to partially or completely paint the car. This can happen for various reasons - from the abundant appearance of corrosion to simply the desire to give the car body a fresher look.
Many different technologies are used for painting. And in this review we will look at one of the advanced technologies - liquid rubber for bodywork.
What is liquid auto rubber?
The very effect of using liquid rubber is very similar to using vinyl film. The treated surface acquires an original matte or glossy structure. Liquid rubber is a bitumen-based mixture.
The material is used in the following areas:
- Waterproofing, geotextiles are made;
- Protection of the painted surface from mechanical stress (in the case of cars, the layer prevents the formation of chips when pebbles hit the body);
- In construction (waterproofing floors, basements and basements, foundations, roofs);
- In landscape design (when an artificial reservoir or stream is created, its bottom and walls are processed so that water does not seep into the ground, and the reservoir does not need to be constantly replenished with a large amount of water).
Automotive mastic is used for body painting, as well as for anti-corrosion treatment. The film is applied by spraying like a regular paint.
Features of liquid rubber
Liquid rubber consists of a mixture of water and bitumen combined with chemicals, due to which it has the following properties:
- Protection of the base paint from chips;
- Withstands both high and low temperatures;
- The coating is not afraid of temperature and humidity changes;
- Resistant to UV rays;
- High anti-skid coefficient;
- Resistant to the aggressive effects of chemicals, which are sprinkled on the road in winter.
Compared to vinyl, liquid rubber has several advantages:
- There is no need to disassemble the body to paint the car;
- The product is applied by spraying;
- High adhesion, so there is no need for preliminary surface treatment (sanding and priming);
- Strength of the layer to impacts due to the elasticity of the material;
- The substance is perfectly applied to any surface - glossy or rough,
- Has maximum adhesion to any material - metal, wood or plastic;
- Possibility to correct minor defects of the body;
- The paint dries up within an hour, and the whole body treatment procedure takes no more than 12 hours;
- If desired, the layer can be removed without harm to the lower layer of the paintwork, after which there will be no sticky layer on the body that is difficult to remove;
- Corners and convex parts are painted very easily, there is no need to cut the material at the bends so that folds do not form;
- Compared to conventional paint, the material does not drip;
- Does not form seams.
What happens to manufacturers
The chemical formula of the substance implies the ability to change the texture of paint with a bitumen base. There are both glossy and matte finishes. Since the base paint requires some water, there is a wide range of colors available. The main thing is that the documentation of the car allows the use of a specific color.
Among the manufacturers, the most famous is the American one - Plasti Dip. In addition to popularity, such paint is the most expensive. It is most commonly used for global vehicle painting.
If you need to paint only some elements, for example, rims, then you can choose cheaper analogues, for example:
- Dip Team - Russian manufacturer;
- Rubber Paint is a joint Russian-Chinese production (also called Carlas).
In most cases, paint is sold in aerosols. For processing large areas, many manufacturers supply material in large containers. If you buy paint in buckets, then along with it you can buy a color that will help you create your own color or shade.
How to paint with rubber with your own hands
The car painting procedure is divided into two stages: preparatory and painting itself. In order for the layer to hold firmly, during the staining, the manufacturer's recommendations for applying the substance should be strictly followed.
Preparing the machine
Before painting, you need to thoroughly wash the car to remove dust and dirt. If this is not done, after the paint has dried, the dirt will flake off and form a bubble.
After washing, the car is dried, and the treated surface is degreased. After that, all areas that will not be processed are closed. Most of the attention should be paid to the radiator opening, wheels and glass. They are covered with foil and masking tape.
When painting the wheels, the brake discs and calipers must also be covered. So that later, when replacing some body parts, the paint does not burst, it is necessary to dismantle them and process them separately. For example, this should be done with the door handles so that they do not form a single layer with the body coating. Thanks to this, they can be easily removed without harm to the main decorative layer.
The preparatory work also includes measures for personal protection. As with other chemicals, liquid rubber requires the use of a respirator, gloves and goggles.
The place where the car will be painted must be well lit and ventilated. It is very important that it is also dust-free. This is especially important if glossy paint is used.
If the whole car is being processed, then the paint must be purchased not in spray cans (in different batches the shades may differ), but in buckets. For uniform color, material should be moved from multiple containers.
Adding paint to the spray gun should not be done until the tank is full, but two-thirds of the volume. Some types of paints need to be thinned with a solvent - this will be indicated on the label.
Before spraying the machine, it is necessary to test how the material will behave under pressure. The sample will show which spray mode the bell should be set to so that the material is evenly distributed over the surface.
Although the room should be well ventilated, drafts should not be allowed, and the air temperature should be within 20 degrees. Most of the steps will be described on the packaging label.
The basic rules are:
- Spraying should be done at a distance of no more than 150 millimeters, but not closer than 10 cm;
- Spray nozzle should be located perpendicular to the surface to be treated;
- Do not move the sprayer with sudden movements. In this case, there will be more paint along the edges than in the center, and this forms spots on the body;
- Each individual coat should dry out slightly, and paint should be applied a maximum of three coats at a time.
The technology of applying paint itself is as follows:
- First layer. It is applied as thin as possible. Its thickness should be such that the surface overlaps only 50 percent - no more. At this stage, the product may lie unevenly. This is normal. The base is dried for 15 minutes;
- Second layer. The principle remains the same. Only the surface needs to be processed more thoroughly. At this stage, the maximum overlap of the lower layer will not be achieved either. And that's okay too;
- Decorative layers. Their number depends on how saturated the color of the car should be. Each subsequent layer is also dried for 15 minutes.
Before you start removing masking tape and film, you need to let the paint dry a little - an hour is enough. Since liquid rubber, after hardening, can be removed like a film, then sharp movements at this moment do not need to be performed so as not to undermine the layer at the edges. If you get a slightly larger layer at the joints, you can use a construction knife.
The final hardening occurs after a day, and you can wash the car only after three days, and then without the use of abrasive materials (brushes) or contactless washing.
One more nuance. The material is afraid of the effects of gasoline. On contact with fuel, the paint has the ability to dissolve. For this reason, you need to be extremely careful when refueling and avoid drips near the neck of the gas tank.
Why Choose Liquid Rubber?
Many car owners stop at liquid rubber, because the spraying process itself does not require complex preparatory work and special skills (only the ability to evenly apply aerosol materials so that stains do not form). The absence of sagging allows even a beginner to use the product, and if a mistake was made, the elastic membrane can be easily removed from the body surface.
A car treated with liquid rubber is less prone to corrosion, and the appearance of the car retains its freshness for several years. The paint does not fade or flake when exposed to temperature fluctuations like most vinyl films.
What is the consumption of liquid rubber
Typically, aerosols indicate how much area can be treated with a given volume. In most cases, one can is enough to cover one square meter in 8-9 layers.
Here is the consumption of paint will be when processing different surfaces and elements of the car body (if applied from 6 to 9 layers):
|Work piece:||Dimensions:||Average consumption (A - aerosol can; K - concentrate, liters)|
|Bonnet cover||Sedan, class C, D||2A|
|Roof||Sedan, class C, D||2A|
|Trunk (cover)||Sedan, class C, D||2A|
|Car body||Sedan, class A, B||4-5 K|
|Sedan, class C, D||6-7 K|
|Sedan, class E, F, S||10-12 K|
Color is diluted according to the individual manufacturer's recommendations. The concentrate is diluted with a solvent in the same proportion - 1x1. It should also be borne in mind that when repainting from black to perfectly white, the material consumption will be as large as possible. In the case of the data shown in the table, almost 90 percent more paint will be required.
Pros and cons
The advantages of liquid rubber include:
- Shockproof protection - the film itself can be scratched, but the main paintwork will not suffer (it depends on the depth of damage - in an accident, the car will still be scratched and deformed);
- Simplicity and ease of use;
- If necessary, the decorative layer can be easily removed and does not leave marks;
- Low consumption;
- Compared to pasting with vinyl, paint is applied much faster and without the acquisition of special skills;
- In some cases, it allows you to locally eliminate defects;
- After drying, the car can be washed by any means acceptable for processing the car body;
- Improves the appearance of the vehicle.
In addition to many advantages, this coating also has several significant disadvantages:
- Although the material protects the main paintwork from scratches and chips, it itself tends to age over time, which weakens the protective properties and spoils the appearance of the car;
- The shelf life of the decorative layer is no more than three years, and if you do not follow the technology during staining (described above), this layer will last no more than a year;
- In heat, the film softens, which increases the risk of scratching the layer;
- Liquid rubber is very sensitive to oily products - gasoline, bitumen, solvents, diesel fuel, etc.
The whole process and effect of coating with plastidip (liquid rubber) is shown in the following video: