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      05-26-2009, 03:35 PM   #3
Innovative Detailing
Second Lieutenant

Drives: 08 M3, 06 Denali, 53Ford F100
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Orange County

iTrader: (0)

Here is some Invisible Bra info I thought I would pass on to the forum...I found this info in one of my autobody, car care trade magazines.

3M Scotchgard Paint Protection Film

The Good

Its good points are undeniable. The brand name of a juggernaut, huge R&D budget and more years in the business of gluing things to other things than anyone has made them the top dog in PPF. The film is tough, the top coat is the toughest by far, and you can even wet sand and buff it, but donít try that with any of the others, unless you feel like putting a brand-new sheet of film on. The 3M PPF resists growth of fungus and algae, yes it is true, oogies can grow inside your film. 3Mís point of purchase materials are good, probably the best available and if you have a good distributor, they may throw in the promo stuff if you order enough film. Now for the bad news.

The Bad

I will set aside my ego for a second to say that 3M Paint Protection Film is all but impossible to put on flawlessly. I have installed almost all the films on the market over the course of nearly a decade and itís no exaggeration. One false move and you get a permanent flaw. It seems that its greatest strength is also its greatest weakness. Yes, the very thing that makes the topcoat so easy to repair and so durable, also makes it easy to crease, stress and mark with your squeegee. Unfortunately, many of these types of flaws are not repairable. It does yellow on white cars, but then, all PPF does to some extent.

Conclusion; 3M Scotchgard Paint Protection Film is good for long-term use, it does its job well on vehicles that will see a lot of miles and for the customer who can accept some stretch marks and wrinkles here and there in exchange for durability, reparability and a brand name that they can trust.

Venture Shield Ultra

A lesser-known film, but growing in popularity so quickly that it was snatched up by the company mentioned above. Although 3M says that their acquisition of Venture Tape was not related to the PPF market, it is pretty hard to believe that it was not a factor. The fact is that Venture Shield Ultra was starting to grab PPF market share hand over fist, so draw your own conclusion.

The Good

It is remarkably easy to install. I mean the stuff looks really good right off the bat. It is less expensive than 3M, Xpel or Avery film, so if you are an entry-level installer just striking out into the world of PPF, Venture Shield Ultra could be the film for you.

The Bad

Again, its strength is its weakness. Since a soft top-coat equals good looking initial install, it also means no reparability. This is bad for longevity, and bad for installation, if you mar the finish of the topcoat during install it can be tough, if not impossible to fix.

The rolls of film come with this annoying sheet of Mylar on top of the film, put there presumably to protect the film from itself while in storage and transit, maybe to prevent growth on the roll, I donít know. I have never asked anyone from Venture why itís there but, holy cow it sucks! You canít plot the kit with the Mylar on, or the film will not track right, so you have to take it off pre-cut. Well, this is not all that easy, itís hard to get started peeling, then, once you have it going, you better hope that youíre nowhere near your plotter because thereís so much static electricity you will fry the electronics in nothing flat (you could probably cook a dog with the amount of static you get). In case youíre wondering, yes static electricity does attract lint and debris from the air, ground and clothes near-by.

Conclusion; the money you save on film and install time will be nothing compared to the time and money you loose fighting lint, fried electronics, and massive amounts of extra garbage, which, by the way, is what the film will be in 2 years with its wimpy top-coat.

Xpel Technologies Standard PPF

Amid rapid growth in the Paint Protection Film industriesí adolescence, springs a new kid on the block. For the past 13+ years, Xpel has established itself as one of the best producers of PPF patterns in the industry. At the 2007 SEMA show they stunned the PPF world by introducing their own Paint Protection Film. Amid rumors of stealing technology and simply taking someone elseís film and re-branding it, they bravely threw themselves into the fray.

Some would cower in fear of uber-massive corporations like 3M, but not Xpel. In reality, history is on their side. Remember that 3M invented window tint film, now 20 years later they fight tooth-and-nail to retain a respectable market share. No, in reality, it is inevitable that, as the industry gains popularity among the public, more competition will enter the marketplace with billions to gain. Smaller companies can move more nimbly to adjust to market, consumer and re-seller needs. This is where a company like Xpel has the advantage. Like Llumar and Madico did with window film, Xpel is determined to show the world that there is another, better alternative for PPF.

From what I have seen of the film, it is good. It goes on with relative ease, the initial look is clean, and surface marring can be addressed, though not as easily as 3Ms can, it does not have an annoying Mylar transit coat and it tracks well on the plotter. It has an anti-fungal like 3M. Fingers lay with ease, although they do tend to want to pop up later, so be careful of that. Overall I think that it is a nearly perfect balance between the Scotchgard and Venture Shield Paint Protection Films. With a 7-year warranty and an aggressive marketing campaign, they should build market share with speed. Time will tell how well the film holds up to real world application, but at this rate it wonít be long before they have a giant looking over its shoulder.

Hope this helps...

Dave @ Innovative Detailing