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EXOv5 Ultra Durable Hydrophobic Coating

EXO in its different variations has been a huge part of the Gtechniq line of ceramic coatings for over 10 years. When the decision came to develop a fifth version of EXO, the team sat back and thought how hard could this be?

From the outset, the product team were focused on four key aspects. The product application and removal must remain unchanged. The durability had to be as good if not better. The hydrophobic and dirt-repellent technologies had to be better and it had to be a one-layer product. Improving these areas was going to be a challenge, no doubt about it but with a lab team itching to get going, work began.

The first step was to look at the base formula and see at a molecular level (using some pretty tricky equipment, courtesy of a leading university) how it bonded to the surface of the paint. Once the team understood that they were able to utilise cutting-edge composite siloxane technology to create a truly advanced product. Below you can see two images. The first is Version 4 where you will notice that there are a few large cavities (highlighted by red boxes) where dirt can accumulate and start to clog the coatings. The image below that shows a cross-section of Version 5, which is far denser than its predecessor. This means dirt and grime are less likely to accumulate and as a result, the coating retains its hydrophobic and dirt-repellent characteristics for much longer.

Now you might be wondering how good exactly is the new version of EXO and how does it compare to the previous versions? Well, the table below shows how EXO as a product has evolved over time. The first column shows the water contact angle which gives an idea of how good the dirt repellency is. The higher the angle the better the repellency. To give you an idea the highest achievable water contact angle on a gloss surface is 120 degrees.

The second column (DIIMCA) shows how repellent the product is to oil-based contamination – which there is plenty of on the UK roads. At 84 degrees this is the highest it has ever been and it is the most resistant in EXO’s history.

The third column shows the surface free energy of the product. In layman’s terms, the lower the surface free energy or a surface the less likely it is for anything to stick to it.

So how long did the entire process take and what was involved?  From start to finish the lab team spent over 3,600 hours researching and developing the product. Throughout the process, they took over 26,000 water contact angle tests, 750 application assessments and tested over 40 different formulations.

All that hard work has paid off and Gtechniq is incredibly proud to introduce our EXOv5 – our best-ever hydrophobic coating to date.  Rob Earle, MD and Lee Kennedy, Senior Formulation Chemsit talks through the process of developing EXOv5, which you can see here