How Hard Is The Paint On Vehicles?

How Hard Is The Paint On Everyday Vehicles?

Your paint sits under a thick layer of clear coat.
The clear is normally 3 to 5 times thicker than the paint layer under it.
The clear coat hardness can be affected by a number of factors but in general most all vehicle paint have a hardness of between 2 and 5 on the MOHS scientific scale of hardness.
In order to better understand the relevance of hardness, it is necessary to compare some examples of well-known items and their hardness. So, given the definition of ‘hardness’ is a material’s relative resistance to deformation, scratching or penetration, we can measure it on the Mohs scale.
As you can see, today’s modern paints rate fairly low on the Mohs scale.

Mohs Scale Of Mineral Hardness:

  • Talcum powder = 1H
  • Pencil lead = 1.5H
  • Modern Paint = 2H
  • Finger nail = 2.3 – 2.5H
  • Copper penny = 3.2 – 3.5H
  • Glass  = 6H
  • Quartz & titanium dioxide (modern white paint pigmentation) = 6H
  • Nano Glass / Ceramic Coatings (some, but NOT all) = 6-9H
  • Titanium Steel , CGA Part-1 & Part-2 = 9H
  • Diamond = 10H

So, with most modern paint being softer than the average fingernail it’s easy to see why it’s so easy to scratch or mar paintwork, even when doing a simple car wash by hand with a soft mitt!
Car paint layers are not as thick or as tough as it would seem! – So it’s important to make sure paintwork is as protected as possible and is treated with the utmost care right from the outset.

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