Let’s start by breaking dry time down into two categories with the first being the amount of time before the customer can drive away and the second being the amount of time required for a full curing of the coating.
Drive away time is the point at which the vehicle can be driven without damaging the coating. Headlights should air dry at a minimum ambient temperature of 50° F for at least 60 minutes before the customer is allowed to drive their vehicle. We say “at least” because the exact temperature and humidity during application may significantly increase dry time.
This time period can be reduced by using a fan, hair dryer, radiant heater, or heat gun to circulate warm air around each coated headlight. Turning the headlights on will also generate heat and speed up the initial drying process. Any heat source used should allow you to comfortably hold your hand in front of it. If it’s too hot, you risk damaging the coating or the headlight. After the first 10 minutes of dry time the solvent in the coating will have flashed off and additional heat will be of minimal benefit, but constant air flow will continue to aid in dry time.
The bottom line is that the coating must be dry to the touch and the customer should avoid washing the car for at least 24 hours as the brushes and pressurized water will likely mar the coating.
What is the ideal application temperature for the Coat2Protect?
Coat2Protect will perform differently at different temperatures. The ideal temperature range for application is between 50° F and 100° F. While it is still possible to apply Coat2Protect outside this temperature range, the viscosity of the chemicals may be less than optimal.
The colder the temperature the more viscous the coating will become. At temperatures below 50° F the increase in viscosity may make application more difficult resulting in streaks and increased dry time.
Conversely, temperatures above 100° F will lower the coating’s viscosity increasing the risk of runs and reducing the thickness and uniformity of the final coating. The coating needs to be viscous enough to allow for curing at a uniform thickness.
What is the service life of a restored headlight?
Depending on driving conditions, environmental factors, and the customer’s care of their vehicle, the expected service life of a headlight restoration is at least one year and may be as long as 3 years.
In development trials, headlights restored using Delta Kits Coat2Protect were exposed to heat, intense sunlight, sand, pollution, car wash chemicals and road salts under normal driving conditions. These elements all contribute to the discoloration of new and restored headlights. Proper preparation of the lens and application of Coat2Protect are essential for maximum service life as are adequate dry and cure times.
Why don’t you use a polish in this process?
In the original Delta Kits Headlight Restoration Systems, a liquid polish was used in the final step to create a very smooth and shiny surface on the headlight.
Most polishes contain wax, silicone, Teflon, or other chemicals, that if not completely cleaned from the lens before applying the coating, sometimes compromised the chemical bond between the coating and the lens surface. Additionally, the use of a polish made the process messy and required more cleanup and care of the customer’s car.
Delta Kits response was to develop the current process of dry sanding and polishing. Not only is the cleanup easier than before, but the quality of the restoration is improved through a better bond between the lens and the coating.
What effect will water have on the process?
Water can cause the coating to become cloudy or spotted after it dries. Ideally, headlight restoration should be performed indoors to protect not only against water spotting, but windblown dust and debris that could stick to a freshly applied coating.
It is essential to dry the lens and surrounding surfaces thoroughly before the application of Coat2Protect. Even small traces of moisture picked up from the edge of the lens during application and drying can cause streaking, spotting or clouding that may show up immediately or in some instance may show up hours or even days after application.
If you have a job that spots or dries cloudy it will be necessary to reapply Coat2Protect. If the first application has not dried you may be able to remove it using mineral spirits. Naphtha and some other hydrocarbon-based solvents may also be used. Be sure to clean thoroughly with Clean2Prep after use of any solvents! Failure to do so may cause poor coating adhesion.
If the coating has already dried you will need to sand off the first application of coating. In this case you should be able to start with a 600 grit sanding disc instead of the courser 320 grit disc as you only need to remove the recently applied coating.
Can I thin Coat2Protect?
Thinning Coat2Protect is not recommended. Thickening of Coat2Protect primarily occurs due to low temperature, age and constant exposure to air. To minimize thickening be sure to follow the temperature recommendations noted above, do not buy more than you can use in 3 months, and always replace the cap immediately after use.
How do I remove hardened Coat2Protect from measuring spout?
Coat2Protect left in the measuring spout of the bottle may harden over time. To remove, pour a small amount of mineral spirits into the spout and allow to remain for 10 minutes or until hardened chemical has dissolved, then empty the spout completely before using.
Why is the headlight on the right side of the vehicle often more deteriorated than the left?
The tail pipe of single exhaust vehicles is typically located on the passenger side. Therefore, in heavy traffic the headlight on the passenger side of a vehicle is positioned directly behind the tail pipe of the vehicle in front of it. The emissions from the tail pipe contribute to the deterioration of the headlight.
What temperature should I store Coat2Protect at?
Will a second coat of Coat2Protect enhance the appearance or increase the service life of the headlight restoration?
Delta Kits does not recommend a 2nd application of Coat2Protect. One evenly applied thin coat will provide optimal protection. The exception to this rule is if the 1st coat was not properly applied, in which case removal of 1st coat is recommended before the application of the 2nd coat. See instructions for coating removal options above.