The most (miss)used term in the car paint protection industry is 9H, 10H, or even 12H used to market ceramic coatings.
These “ratings” are generally based on two different scales:
Mohs – a mineral stones hardness scale (Diamond, Quartz, Opal, etc.) – ranging from 1 (Talc) to 10 (Diamond)
Pencil Hardness – film (Ceramic Coatings / PPF / Paint) test method using the world standard ASTM D3363 – ranging from 6B (softest) to Above 9H (Hardest)
Unfortunately the 2 get confused with the whole 9H, 10H or 12H marketing going around the industry, lets not even go into those advertising 12H – neither scale goes that high nor will they ever show “indepedant” certificates for such ratings.
Even though these tests are generally performed by independent institutes such as SGS or KTR, if you take a more subjective look you will see the coating has been applied over a steel or glass test panel which would already result in a high number, usually “Above 9H” for a Pencil Hardness Test which is the highest rating under ASTM and BS standards.
These coatings are very thin, under 5 microns, in most cases there is no way you could get a reading of the actual films hardness alone without taking into consideration the base substrates hardness also, in the real world these coatings are being applied over much softer substrates such as your cars paint, so whilst they will increase the surface hardness slightly it should not be the deciding factor in choosing paint protection for your car, nor does a harder coating make it more durable or resistant.
In real world conditions there are far more important factors than the hardness of the coating. The preparation done prior to the application is the most crucial factor, along with the structural integrity of the coating and it’s ability to form a strong bond to the surface, its chemical resistance, hydrophobicity and slickness all play a part in making it a quality ceramic coating!
Can the highest rating still be scratched? Absolutely, yes. The reason is relatively simple. When the surface area of whatever material is making contact with the coated surface it is very small but maintains equal acting force, the pressure becomes so extremely great, that the surface can then be penetrated. Much like how a mosquito can penetrate even the hardest of surfaces like a rhinos hide.
What makes Ceramic Pro different is the cutting-edge technology based on ceramic molecular compounds (nanoceramics). The formula is world patented and it has taken ten years of research and testing to bring the product to where it is today, specialising in industries such as Automotive, Marine, Aviation and Industrial, see Official Certificates for test results!