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  1. #1
    kevincwelch's Avatar
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    Silica spray showdown: McKee`s v. Gyeon v. CarPro

    Greetings, Detailers!




    Like many of you, I am a big fan of easy-to-apply spray coatings such as Wet Coat and HydrO2. Now that McKee`s 37 has a ready-to-use silica spray coating, we certainly have some solid options when it comes to selecting a silica spray.

    Of course, there is that all important question: Which one is the best?

    This seemingly simple question potentially has quite a number of valid qualifiers. Does "best" mean gloss? Does "best" mean hydrophobicity? Does "best" mean durability? Does "best" mean "bang for buck?" All great follow-up questions. A couple of those may be difficult to answer, but for me, silica and titania offer protection to my clear coat, and I want to know which one(s) repel water the best and do so for the longest time. Cost is an important issue, but it can be deceptive. One product may be significantly more expensive than another for the same volume, but the more expensive one may stretch further, and that`s value, which is separate from cost.

    So, I set out to do a test of three ready-to-use silica spray products and to do my best -- with your help -- to determine the level of gloss, hydrophobicity and durability of these three silica sprays.

    I decided to use straight-from-the retailer versions of the three ready-to-use silica sprays as opposed to ones that I have to dilute on the bench -- avoiding any potential issues with my water quality or failure to measure properly.

    The Contenders
    1. CarPro HydrO2 Lite
    2. Gyeon Q2M Wet Coat
    3. McKee`s 37 Hydro Blue SiO2 coating spray





    Costs
    All costs are based on the regular (not sale) Autogeek regular pricing.

    McKee`s 37 Hydro Blue (16 oz): $17.99 ($1.12/oz)
    CarPro HydO2 Lite (1 Liter, 33.8 oz): $24.99 ($0.73/oz)
    Wet Coat (500 mL, 16.9 oz): $17.99 ($1.06/oz)
    Wet Coat (4000 mL, 135.3 oz): $84.99 ($0.63/oz)

    In terms of cost, Wet Coat is clearly the least expensive when bought in bulk. However, many of us may not be in the market for 4 liters of a product if our rate of application doesn`t necessitate such bulk purchasing. Eliminating this 4 liter option, the 1 liter CarPro HydrO2 Lite is the next best option in terms of price, followed by Gyeon Wet Coat and then by McKee`s 37 (the most expensive per oz). Obviously, the differences in price between McKee`s 37 16oz and Wet Coat 500 mL are negligible.

    Cost isn`t everything, of course. If you have to use more Wet Coat than McKee`s to get the same results, for example, then McKee`s clearly is more cost effective. Many permutations of this sort of thing go into cost assessment. However, on a per-ounce basis, it goes:

    Wet Coat 4L < HydrO2 Lite < Wet Coat 16oz < McKee`s 37 16 oz

    (You can buy a 5L container of HydrO2 Lite elsewhere for $99.99. This turns out to be 169.1 oz and a cost of $0.59/oz - the best cost/oz for any of the products.)

    Soon Gyeon Wet Coat Essence will be out, and a 250mL (8.4 oz) bottle of this will cost in the neighborhood of $50.00. Instructions state that it can be diluted from 1:5 to 1:15. If that`s the case, Gyeon Wet Coat Essence will cost anywhere from $1.19/oz (of diluted spray) to $0.39/oz. Good value.


    My disclosures/Avoidance of Bias
    I like Gyeon. Although I have CarPro products, I usually don`t reach for them (got streaking from Reload, hated PERL and have had +/- streaking with HydrO2 in the past). I don`t have many McKee`s products because it`s a relatively new line of products, and Hydro Blue is completely new, so there`s little available information out there about its outcomes, although Joe and Ron have some nice reviews out there. So, I wanted to do a test that avoided bias on my part and bias on anyone else`s part.


    Study Parameters/Methods
    I took three identical spray bottles and filled each with 50 mL of each product, which was measured and transfered straight from the source bottle. On each bottle, the spray nozzle was turned all the way so as to maximize the atomization of the product. Each bottle was primed so that the piping and sprayer were filled with product so as to avoid unpredictable variability in the spray pattern and volume. Each bottle was marked with what product was present. You might ask why I needed to mark the bottles if they are all three different colors. Good question. This test is going to involve a longevity test, and I wasn`t sure if after a few months (before the unveiling!) whether Hydro Blue and HydrO2 Lite might start looking a little alike due to color fading, oxidation, etc.





    Each bottle was then completely covered such that I was unable to tell what product was in the bottle. The bottles were then randomized by my wife (I was not present when she rearranged them), and then she marked each bottle with a simple code: "A," "B" and "C."





    The hood of my wife`s 2015 Toyota Highlander was cleaned using a heavy saturation of Kenotek and then decontaminated using a fine grade Nanoskin sponge. It was then corrected with HD Adapt using a Rupes Mark I 15 with a yellow Rupes pad. This was done to get rid of the previous LSP. I then polished the hood using Sonax Perfect Finish using a Rupes white pad. The panel was then prepped using Gtechniq Panel Wipe.













    The following video shows that there is (hopefully) no LSP left on the hood and the effect of water after being sprayed on the hood. I did this because I have seen some reviews of these products that have been done on cars already protected with something. See Joe`s post on applying a silica spray coating product. There`s an excellent video.


    Don`t adjust your dial! None of my videos has sound -- I edited the sound out.

    Highlander Hood



    The hood of my wife`s Highlander was divided into three sections using the technique described previously by Marc08EX in his test of Wet Coat and HydrO2 Lite. See his review here. I used larger sheets of plastic and double taped the hood to avoid overspray. The tape was applied to both the top and under surface of the plastic.















    Arbitrarily, I made the following assignments.

    Passenger`s side: Product A
    Middle: Product B
    Driver`s side: Product C







    Reminder: I don`t know what product I am spraying on each section at this point. This is a potential problem since the three products may have different instructions for applications. After reading the instructions on AG/McKee`s, Gyeon, and CarPro, I confirmed that the instructions for application are generally the same for all three products - hence their ease of use.

    HydrO2 Lite
    3. Surface must be well cleaned from soap residue and left wet with water.
    4. Spray fine mist of HydrO2 on no more than 1/4 of vehicle before rinsing. Very little is needed and no overlap is needed.
    5. From time you start spraying a section to rinsing off should be approximately 30 seconds or less.
    6. Immediately rinse well with strong water nozzle.
    McKee`s 37 Hydro Blue
    McKee’s 37 Hydro Blue Sio2 coating works best on a vehicle that is well maintained (recently clayed and polished). The smoother the surface, the longer McKee’s 37 Hydro Blue will last.
    Working one panel at a time, on a vehicle that has just been washed and rinsed (but NOT dried), spray McKee’s 37 Hydro Blue directly onto the panel and immediately rinse off using a strong jet of water. Continue this process around the entirety of the vehicle.
    Gyeon Q2M Wet Coat
    GYEON WetCoat is unique in that it is safe to use on almost every exterior surface of your vehicle. Use it on paintwork, plastic, metal trim, rims, and even glass! A few quick sprays followed by a rinse are all it takes to create a super shiny, hydrophobic surface on your vehicle!


    Application
    Making sure to avoid overspray and have the plastic sheets adequately cover other treated surfaces, the exposed sections of the hood were each sprayed with water to wet the surface and then sprayed with the test product. Each section was sprayed without significant overlap, and a total of 7 actuations (what I determined to get full coverage) were performed on each section. Immediately following the application, the section was blasted with water to activate the product. Each of the three sections was then dried using its own towel to avoid any possibility of cross-contamination.

    Here are the three videos of each application.


    Product A/Panel A



    Product B/Panel B



    Product C/Panel C



    The tape and plastic was removed. A cure period of 6 hours was utilized before water testing. I don`t see any indication on their respective websites that this is necessary, but cure periods for silica and titania products are often recommended.


    Water Testing

    The first test of beading is done with water sprayed on each section. A Home Depot basic $0.99 sprayer was used with distilled water. Here are representative pictures of each section. Your opinions would be highly valued.


    Product A/Panel A



    Product B/Panel B




    Product C/Panel C



    Opinion: I believe that the beading quality ranks Products A > Product C > Product B, but not by much. Although this is subjective, they all have nicely formed round beads of variable sizes without any section showing those amorphous or poorly organized beads. Again, in my opinion, I was slightly more impressed by the beads of all sizes shown by Product A/Panel A compared to the other two. Regardless, they all form nice beads.


    I also performed a test to see which did the best in terms of water sheeting. You can see where the hood was masked. The video demonstrates the results. Again, your opinions would be highly valued.

    After



    Opinion: I felt that the sheeting of water was much more organized in all three sections/panels than when compared to before any treatment. Sheeting again is a subjective thing. Some equate speed of sheeting with effectiveness, any I can see that, but angles of panels all vary and gravity affects speed. In this case, Panels A and Panels C have a little advantage in having more acute angles than Panel B since they curve down to the side, so I think that A and C sheet a little faster. Regardless, after 1 minute, the sheeting is nearly complete in all panels.






    Gloss
    This is going to be completely subjective and may have no real winner with the limits of my testing. I don`t have a $3000 gloss meter, so we`re just gonna have to settle for subjective opinions here. Here is the hood from three different angles under the reflection of LEDs.

    Opinion: I think they all look the same. Hard to say on a light metallic blue car.


    Longevity
    Here are the durability claims of each of the three products:
    1. McKee`s 37 Hydro Blue: "3 months or more." (Source=McKee`s 37 website)
    2. CarPro HydrO2 Lite: "3 months or more" (Source=CarPro website)
    3. Gyeon Wet Coat: "up to 12 weeks" (Source=Gyeon Quartz website)

    Today marks T=0. At T=2 weeks, T=4 weeks, T=8 weeks and T=12 weeks, I will be performing a water test of the hood. The car is going to be maintained by me alone. I usually let me wife go to the touchless car wash periodically, but I`ve asked her not to do this over the test period since they often use harsh chemicals and lay down sealants in the rinse, and both of these may affect the products tested and I can`t control the car wash concentrations, etc. Instead, the car is going to be cleaned with McKee`s 37 N-914 using the rinseless wash dilution and dried using a towel. McKee`s N-914 was chosen since this is a wash that is reported to leave nothing behind on the surface that affects the underlying LSP. After the RW, each section will then be sprayed to assess beading properties and hosed to assess sheeting capability. Pictures and videos will be taken.

    At 3 months (or sooner), if all three products no longer demonstrate any protection (beading, sheeting) the products will be unveiled and final conclusions will be drawn. However, if any of the products continues to demonstrate protection beyond this time frame, updates will be given until all three products have "failed." Only then will the unveiling occur.


    Summary
    There are now a few ready-to-use silica sprays on AG that can be used to protect your paint surfaces. Although durability is not stated to exceed some of the higher quality waxes, sealants and dedicated coatings, silica sprays are a contender in this market since they lay down protection, are relatively inexpensive per oz, easily applied and leave a great look. There will always be matters of subjectivity and nuances related to paint/clear coat and with the application itself. The question of durability always seems to be a very important one to answer, and durability is affected by many factors. I feel this is a legitimate test of the three products on a daily driver (as opposed to a garage queen) since most vehicles we detail are in fact daily drivers. Since the masking technique has been proven to adequately avoid overspray (see Marc08EX`s post), and both you and I have been blinded to the product applications, this test will help avoid any preconceived opinions that I or you have about the individual products and hopefully answer that durability test.




    As Supreme Leader Snoke says: "We shall see. We shall see."

    Perfection is attained by slow degrees; it requires the hand of time. (Voltaire)
    2013 TESLA MODEL S | 2015 Toyota Highlander

  2. #2
    JHL88's Avatar
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    Re: Silica spray showdown: McKee`s v. Gyeon v. CarPro

    sub`d. Great work OP
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  3. #3
    donbeezy's Avatar
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    Re: Silica spray showdown: McKee`s v. Gyeon v. CarPro

    nice!! i say let her go through a touchless. i like real world situations for testing
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  4. #4
    kevincwelch's Avatar
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    Re: Silica spray showdown: McKee`s v. Gyeon v. CarPro

    Quote Originally Posted by donbeezy View Post
    nice!! i say let her go through a touchless. i like real world situations for testing
    That`s a good point. We`re going to be gone for a few days, so I`ll report the two week findings and then see if I should let my wife do the touchless.

    Perfection is attained by slow degrees; it requires the hand of time. (Voltaire)
    2013 TESLA MODEL S | 2015 Toyota Highlander

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    Re: Silica spray showdown: McKee`s v. Gyeon v. CarPro

    Thanks for this great write up!
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  6. #6
    Administrator GearHead_1's Avatar
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    Re: Silica spray showdown: McKee`s v. Gyeon v. CarPro

    Nice, I enjoyed your review.
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  7. #7
    trashmanssd's Avatar
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    Re: Silica spray showdown: McKee`s v. Gyeon v. CarPro

    Thank you this is an awesome test/review. My early guess is A-hydro Blue, B-Wet Coat, C-Hydro Lite.
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  8. #8
    SGM2008's Avatar
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    Re: Silica spray showdown: McKee`s v. Gyeon v. CarPro

    Great Review .... subscribed to follow the progress.
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  9. #9
    kevincwelch's Avatar
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    Re: Silica spray showdown: McKee`s v. Gyeon v. CarPro

    Thanks, everyone!

    I really have the same question myself: which one is the best?

    Anxiously awaiting the reveal.

    Perfection is attained by slow degrees; it requires the hand of time. (Voltaire)
    2013 TESLA MODEL S | 2015 Toyota Highlander
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  10. #10
    rlmccarty2000's Avatar
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    Re: Silica spray showdown: McKee`s v. Gyeon v. CarPro

    Thanks for doing this test. It looks like you have covered all the bases and I`m looking forward to the longetivity results. I`ve only used Hydro2/lite and B looks like what I get from Hydro2. They all look goodn now let`s see which one holds up the best. I like the idea of only using McKees Rinseless to wash as it acts as a control. Is the car garaged or left outside? I was getting just about 12 weeks from Hydro2 when left outside.
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  11. #11
    kevincwelch's Avatar
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    Re: Silica spray showdown: McKee`s v. Gyeon v. CarPro

    Quote Originally Posted by rlmccarty2000 View Post
    Thanks for doing this test. It looks like you have covered all the bases and I`m looking forward to the longetivity results. I`ve only used Hydro2/lite and B looks like what I get from Hydro2. They all look goodn now let`s see which one holds up the best. I like the idea of only using McKees Rinseless to wash as it acts as a control. Is the car garaged or left outside? I was getting just about 12 weeks from Hydro2 when left outside.
    Thank you!

    Longevity is a big factor for me as well, so it will be interesting to see which ones live up to or exceed the manufacturer`s claims.

    The car is garaged, but at this time of the year, that is almost meaningless -- lots of rain, snow, dirt and salt. Like many places. This is also a DD and a Kidmobile, so you know it`s going to get a bit of a real world beating.
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    WaxAddict's Avatar
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    Re: Silica spray showdown: McKee`s v. Gyeon v. CarPro

    Freakin` awesome. Subbed.
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    Re: Silica spray showdown: McKee`s v. Gyeon v. CarPro

    Quote Originally Posted by trashmanssd View Post
    Thank you this is an awesome test/review. My early guess is A-hydro Blue, B-Wet Coat, C-Hydro Lite.

    Ditto here... Thanks for your hard work and review I will be tuned in
    There’s a place in the brain for knowing what cannot be remembered.
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    Re: Silica spray showdown: McKee`s v. Gyeon v. CarPro

    I like the look of "A" initially. My eyes saw the same thing. Doesn`t mean it won`t be gone in 3 weeks though lol. Could last 6 months too though. Only time will tell.

    Since hydro blue is the newest. I would hope it would be the most advanced in durability and protection. But some times the oldest (carpro) still is the best

    Great head to head looks like fun.


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  15. #15
    atgonzales's Avatar
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    Re: Silica spray showdown: McKee`s v. Gyeon v. CarPro

    A very professional review but WOW a super never before seen effort to showcase a well written review
    Anything in life worth doing is worth over doing, moderation is for cowards
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