Paint Protection Film (PPF) – What is it, History, Advantages

By Craig Wheeler 


What is Paint Protection Film (PPF)?


PPF is a thin layer of film (about 160 – 190 microns) applied on a car’s painted surface to protect the car paint against rock chips, dirts and bird droppings. Made from thermoplastic urethane film (TPU), PPF has self-healing properties which allows it to reverse the effect of mild scratches made on the film. 


PPF is sometimes referred to as “invisible shield”, “clear bra” or “clear wrap”. 




  • PPF protects car body paint from scratches, dirts, and corrosive contaminants. 


  • A high quality PPF has self-healing properties and is hydrophobic. 


  • Application and removal of PPF should be performed by a skilled person to avoid damaging the car paint. scratches.


  • PPF is expected to last around 5 to 7 years, with good care.


History of PPF


PPF technology originated from the Vietnam War period. Back then, there were cases of helicopter crashes due to damages on their rotor blades. The company 3M was then commissioned to create a film to protect the military helicopter rotor blades against debris. 


As the film is to be applied on the blades, it has to be very light weighted. This is how urethane film was introduced. 

Decades later, the urethane film was researched by the automotive industry, and was subsequently applied on race cars. Racing on the tracks causes damage to race cars’ body paint, since it is Norma, to be hit by rock chips and debris.  


The urethane film protects the race car paint and more importantly, the sponsors’ decals painted on the car.

Not long after, PPF successfully entered the consumer market, allowing us to see first hand how the self-healing magic made possible by TPU film. 


The good news is, refinements on the film never stopped. Good quality TPU film is expected to self-heal and is hydrophobic. 


Advantages of PPF

Key advantage of PPF is to self-heal scratches on the car body. It also protects car paint against water/swirl marks, dust and dirt, rock chips, bird droppings, tree saps and other contaminants. 



        Do clean off bird droppings, tree saps or other corrosive substances on PPF promptly. Leaving 

        them on PPF too long can affect the performance of the film. 


Due to PPF’s hydrophobic properties, car washing is made easier. Aggressive chemical is not required on PPF as dust and dirts can be easily removed with pH neutral shampoo. 


Finally, PPF helps to maintain the car outlook, while protecting the car value in case of second hand sale. Nowadays, PPF comes in gloss and matte finish, and is available in various colors as well. 




PPF is a long-term investment expected to last around 5 to 7 years with good care. 


Since it is more premiumly priced, consumers are advised to understand the type of film used, skillfulness of the PPF installer, current conditions of car paint (this can be done via sending the car for QC before the process), and etc before making the final decision. 


Need more details? Don’t hesitate to speak to our friendly team!