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Ceramic Coating


ShadowStrad
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I'm always experimenting with different finishes on violins.  I recently went to the auto store and purchased a bottle of ceramic coating that is applied to expensive cars to protect the paint from weather and UV light.  I applied it to a new violin.  I didn't test it ahead of time because I had a sneaking suspicion it would work out and it did.  I didn't affect the sound and the appearance is very promising, crisp and clear (no cloudiness).  Has anyone else tried this and if so, what were your results?

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52 minutes ago, FiddleDoug said:

I've seen the commercials! Now you can throw paint, eggs, nails and rocks on your fiddle, and the finish will protect it! When you do the light it on fire test, please video it for us.

LOL.  Nope.  I'm done throwing violins in the fire.  Maybe this ceramic coating won't do much but if you never try, you'll never know.  

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Silicon is bad for varnish, I think. When we think about instruments, we have to bear in mind that they will last for centuries. So, we have to take in account future restorations, stability of materials, etc. Something in the varnish - or the varnish itself - that looks good now, may look bad in one, 10, or 50 years.

That's why I do prefer being a ultra-orthodox maker.

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12 minutes ago, MANFIO said:

Silicon is bad for varnish, I think. When we think about instruments, we have to bear in mind that they will last for centuries. So, we have to take in account future restorations, stability of materials, etc. Something in the varnish - or the varnish itself - that looks good now, may look bad in one, 10, or 50 years.

That's why I do prefer being a ultra-orthodox maker.

The ceramic coating is not mixed with the varnish.  It is applied to the instrument when it is all finished.  Now, I have no idea what will happen if someone has to do touch-ups on the varnish in the future.  It might not bode well with a spirit varnish touch-ups.  I'm just testing it out as an extra layer of protection for the violin's finish.

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I tried looking up exactly what is in a "ceramic coating" for cars, but all of the search results are basically sales pitches and consumer stuff, with semi-magical ingredients.

As best I can tell, the coating is a liquid of something synthetic like polyester or epoxy or some modern variant, into which is mixed nanoparticles of essentially ground glass.  So it is not a completely ceramic coating, just plastic with sand.  A true, pure ceramic is totally different.

With that, I would presume that the acoustic properties of the "ceramic" coating would be dominated by the resin part, but perhaps shaded slightly by the glass nanoparticles.  I would expect oil/resin varnish to be significantly higher damping... whether you think that's a good or bad thing is opinion and taste.

I did some tests with a few modern UV-curing coatings, and it was nothing I'd want to use... but I haven't tried the ones with the silica nanoparticles.

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20 minutes ago, Don Noon said:

I tried looking up exactly what is in a "ceramic coating" for cars, but all of the search results are basically sales pitches and consumer stuff, with semi-magical ingredients.

 

What? Purported magic ain't good enough for you? ;)

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I remember years ago a luthier friend showed me one of his violins that he spray-finished with auto grey metallic enamel paint.  In any case the violin had a muted sound which could have been the result of the final coating or more likely overly thick graduations.

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I did test powdered diamond and finely powdered silica as additives in varnish...

The diamond has such high index of refraction that the varnish was white; the silica was pretty close in I.R., so the varnish was clear.  Neither did anything acoustically amazing, but scraping that stuff off was no fun.

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2 hours ago, Larry F said:

 I can relate. If we didn't reach down (my wife and I) and pet our cat Patches when he demanded it-he'd attack our ankles, biting and scratching.    If a visitor, on the other hand, bent down to pet him, he'd jump up and box their ears, claws extended.  That cat was a menace.

Bet you miss him!

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1 hour ago, Don Noon said:

I did test powdered diamond and finely powdered silica as additives in varnish...

The diamond has such high index of refraction that the varnish was white; the silica was pretty close in I.R., so the varnish was clear.  Neither did anything acoustically amazing, but scraping that stuff off was no fun.

I can't remember which Bearden in St. Louis tried this but one of them used crushed up beatles wings in his varnish.  I can't remember what it looked like.  But it was a long time ago.

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