How This Magical Self-Healing Film Protects Cars From Scratches

From the outside, it looks like voodoo. But there’s actually a pretty neat explanation. And it’s science.

Clear paint protection films that can “heal” themselves after they’ve been damaged or scratched are exceedingly cool pieces of car paint protection technology, but how do they actually work? Thanks to this video put together by Jason Fenske of Engineering Explained, we get to find out.

The latest paint protection films use three layers of compound in each sheet to ensure your car’s paint doesn’t get damaged from rock chips, scratches, and other impacts. The first is an adhesive so the film sticks to the car, the second is thick polyurethane to mitigate damage from outside forces, and the third (and most important) is a clearcoat that protects the polyurethane from discoloring.

But that’s only a very basic explanation. Watch for yourself to check out the entire process, and how the film is applied to your car.

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