Rainbow effect

What is the rainbow effect of ceramic coating?

The so-called rainbow effect is an oil slick-type pattern that appears on the coated surface after being cured. This is a very tricky thing, because it is not always obvious, especially with a lack of light. Moreover, it is more difficult to be identified on light-colored car paint than dark ones, which will reveal a rainbow glow almost immediately. That is why professional detailers use flashlights to inspect the vehicle’s condition after ceramic coating.

Why does it happen?

Many factors are causing the rainbow pattern on the surface, but it mainly depends on the coating leveling and thickness.  Remember when you were a kid and played with soap bubbles?  You probably saw colorful swirls on it. Do you know why? Let’s not go too deep into technicalities, but remember that with a particular light angle and thickness of the thin film, we can see different light spectrum colors. So what is common between ceramic coating and soap bubbles?

The coating creates a nanoceramic ultra-thin film on the car paint. Talking about the thickness aspect, we need to mention that a coating layer thinner or thicker than a specific range will not display a rainbow effect. 

Another reason for the rainbow swirls is uneven application. When nano ceramic coating particles start to adhere to the car paint and harden, the excess amount of it is forced up to the top. At that moment light reflects from an uneven surface, creating bright rainbow patterns. 

Sometimes, if the square of the application is too big, the part that you started with will naturally have a thicker layer of coating on it than the one that you finish with.

Is there a way to limit the rainbow effect?

Most ceramic coatings in the automotive industry need to be buffed off with microfiber and evenly spread on the surface to avoid the rainbow effect. Kubebond Diamond 9H is not an exception. It is ultra-thin and at the same time gives strong protection to the car body. However, if you apply a layer of 9H thick, it will be difficult to avoid the rainbow effect. Now with KubeBond’s new product ION, things are going to change. One layer of it is 2 times thicker than 9H. Moreover, due to the new ION exchange technology,  ION has self-leveling properties that spread the layer evenly, even without wiping! Depending on the surface, it can be applied thick enough to avoid the rainbow effect without further spreading and buffing off with microfiber, which is impossible with 9H.