Friday, 22 May 2015

Corrosion (Rust) Paint Damage


[: Rust is a general term for a series of iron oxides. The term is applied to red oxides, formed by the reaction of iron and oxygen in the presence of water or air moisture. Rust consists of hydrated iron oxides Fe2O3·nH2O and iron oxide-hydroxide (Fe O (OH), Fe (OH) 3). Given sufficient time, oxygen, and water, any iron mass will eventually convert entirely to rust and disintegrate] 

Iron (or steel) rusting is an example of corrosion, which is an electrochemical process Rust is the common name for a very common compound, iron oxide. Iron oxide, the chemical Fe2O3, is common because iron combines very readily with oxygen, so readily in fact, that pure iron is only rarely found in nature. For iron to become iron oxide (FeO), three things are required: the iron itself, moisture and oxygen.

Road Salt

One of the surest signs of winter in cold-weather regions of the United States is the build-up of salt in tire treads and on roads (and on your boots, and in your house…). The concept of salt-lining roads is easily explained: when you add salt to water, its freezing point dips below the normal 32 degrees Fahrenheit, so the outdoor temperature has to dip even lower than that for ice to form on the roads.

Although dry salt is inert 15 – 20.oF (9 – 29.oC) is considered the lower limit for salt to melt snow and ice but once H2O, even in the form of moist air (i.e. humidity) is added the freezing point is lowered and the sprayed brine solution (pH 8.5) used on roads will have an adverse effect (the formation of rust and/or corrosion) on the vehicles paint and undercarriage. 

Magnesium Chloride (MgCl2) attracts moisture from the air making it more aggressive than salt because it is active even when “dry”. Magnesium Chloride is basically ‘liquid rust’. It clings to everything and it attracts moisture – and it does not wash off easily”.

When washing the vehicle ensure that all salt removed to avoid a brine solution remaining on the paint finish. Using a durable protection (Collinite Insulator Wax) will provide a sacrificial and renewable protection to the vehicles paint finish.

Nearly all highway de-icers on the market are made from one, or a blend of, five materials — calcium chloride (CaCl2) sodium chloride (NaCl) potassium chloride, magnesium chloride (MgCl2) and urea. 

What makes these products different is how quickly they work and at what temperatures. This is determined by whether the deicer releases or absorbs heat upon contact with snow and ice.
Magnesium Chloride and Calcium Chloride are used as deicing agents these materials are especially destructive because of their ability to cling to the under body of a vehicle and re-crystallize as they slowly dry out.By nature they attract and absorb moisture from the surrounding environment, keeping them in a semi-solution state for extended periods of time, which multiplies their corrosiveness

Exothermic de-icers, which release heat to melt the ice, work the quickest and are effective at a broader range of temperatures. For example, solid calcium chloride releases heat and is effective down to –25.oF. Endothermic deicers, which absorb the sun’s heat and use it to break ice down to liquid brine, work more slowly and are effective at a smaller range of temperatures For example, solid sodium chloride absorbs heat and is effective down to about 20.oF. The predominant chemical in a blended product will determine its performance.

The salts (salt CI and water H2O produce oxides, which cause corrosion) used for freezing point depression in a sprayed brine solution (often mixed with grit / sand for tyre adhesion) commonly used are;

Brake dust or rail dust is very small, almost microscopic particles of steel, iron or their alloys. These particles carry a positive charge (due to friction) while the vehicles they land on are carrying a negative charge. The vehicle surface becomes a magnet, attracting and bonding the ferrous metal particles to the vehicle’s paint surfaces.

The corrosive chemical compounds generated then proceed to etch (corrode) the clear coat, the metallic particles (brake dust) penetrate and act as a conduit spreading the corrosives through the paint film system (and the sheet metal), which results in erosion of the paint surface, that shows on the surface as tiny rust spots (rust blooms)

Environmental damage to paint comes in a varied range of threats; acid rain, road salt, tree sap, hydrazine an extremely active acid that is found in jet fuel, industrial fallout, ultra violet radiation (UV) and other airborne contaminants are very detrimental to a vehicles paint film surface. They are all forms of environmental contamination and given the right catalyst; reactivity (heat) plus moisture, they will become acidic. During this process the metal absorbs oxygen from the water and forms iron oxide (rust).  

Given the porosity of paint they permeate the paint matrix down to body metal.
Although present on all paint surfaces, sintered brake / rail dust is most noticeable on light coloured paint surfaces, especially white. These contaminants are invisible to the naked eye, once they start to oxidise, and turn orange; this is when the problem will be brought to your attention, even on brand new vehicles.

Stages of Corrosive Paint Damage

Stage One- Iron particulates causing surface staining leading to substrate corrosion
Stage Two - Contaminants have permeated the paint matrix causing discoloration and corrosion damage
Stage Three - Particulates and corrosive compounds causing severe damage to the paints resin (binder) system

Signs of Paint Surface Contamination

         Dark coloured specks
         Brown or Orange (rust) coloured stains or specks
         Yellow stains
         Small metal coloured flecks
         Rough texture
         ‘Water spots’ or marks
         Surface etching
         Paint ‘stains

Acidic Contaminants Identification

Ferrous Metal - 
·        Light colored vehicles: Small rust orange dots with black in center of stain.
·        Dark colored vehicles: Small white or silver dots with a "rainbow hue" around the particle. The surface will also feel rough to the touch.

Industrial Fallout
·        The surface feels rough to the touch and may exhibit crystalline deposits.
·        Usually ferrous metal is present, as well as water spots.

Acid Rain
·        Surface will exhibit irregular discoloured spotting.
·        Dark colored vehicles will show cloudy or grey spots where the acids have started to etch the paint.

Rust Removal / Treatment
Careful sand blasting is the best method for removing medium to heavy rust but you need to be careful not to warp the sheet metal. The metal can be sanded to remove surface rust but if it's pitted you'll need to use a metal conditioner/rust converter to stabilize the surface before priming.
Phosphoric acid may be used as a rust converter; by direct application to rusted iron, steel tools, or surfaces. The phosphoric acid converts reddish-brown iron oxide (rust) to black ferric phosphate (FePO4)

"Rust converter" is sometimes a greenish liquid suitable for dipping (in the same sort of acid bath as is used for pickling metal), but it is more often formulated as a gel, commonly called naval jelly. It is sometimes sold under other names, such as "rust remover" or "rust killer". As a thick gel, it may be applied to sloping, vertical, or even overhead surfaces.

After treatment, the black ferric-phosphate coating can be washed off, leaving a fresh paint surface. Multiple applications of phosphoric acid may be required to remove all rust. The black phosphate coating can also be left in place, where it will provide moderate further corrosion resistance
Follow up with a rust protection aerosol can of ValuGard Rust Inhibitor and/or some Eastwood Heavy Duty Anti-Rust. If you use a product like Picklex 20 to stabilize the rust you want to make sure you work it into the surface with a scuff pad then wipe it off after a minute or two.

Coat with an acid free, direct to metal primer like epoxy primer that doesn’t’ contain any acids. If you plan on leaving the metal without primer for any length of time the Picklex 20 will protect it from flash rusting as long as it doesn't get wet.

Neutralizing -
Washing the paint film surface with a slightly alkaline car wash concentrate and thoroughly rinsing will neutralize the contaminants and remove them from the paints surface Detailer's clay removes embedded brake dust and other contaminants by encapsulation, thereby eliminating the primary cause

By applying a suitable cleaner and then a rust inhibitor (POR-15® Products) it will arrest corrosion on contact without leaving a sticky residue that would attract dirt, dust or grime. Corrosion attacks metal by an electrochemical (galvanic) reaction with water as the catalyst. It penetrates the corrosion cells, emulsifying the moisture and separating it from the metal, leaving an ultra-thin barrier to protect from further damage.

Since most corrosion begins in crevices, (seams), it is important to have the capability to penetrate these crevices in order to form a protective barrier. Many heavier or more viscous products don't penetrate crevices, instead they form a `bridge', and while this may isolate the crevice from further contact with the electrolyte it does nothing to eliminate the presence of existing moisture or surface corrosion. Injection into a seam or crevice with an aerosol or spray eliminates this problem Por-15® 

Products Marine Clean
After the paint surface has been subjected to a chemical cleaning its protective layer (s) have been removed and the paint surface left without protection, so it is very important that a wax or polymer protection be applied immediately.

Rust Inhibitor Treatment
A three-part rust inhibitor treatment by POR-15®
1. Marne Clean ™ cleans and degreases in one application without leaving residues, noxious fumes or flammable solvents. Its water not solvent-based and it cleans without leaving residues, no other cleaner works as fast or as well. It makes petroleum-based cleaners almost obsolete because it can be diluted 5:1with distilled water, thoroughly rinse with clean water after completing your cleaning job.

2. POR-15™ Metal Ready provides the best adhesion for POR-15® on any metal surface, including aluminium and shiny polished metal surfaces.

3. POR-15® is a high-tech, high performance rust-preventive coating designed for application directly on rusted or seasoned metal surfaces. It dries to an incredible rock-hard, non-porous finish that won't chip, crack, or peel, and it prevents rust from recurring by protecting metal from further exposure to moisture.

Rust Prevention

A British company Bilt-Hamber Laboratories has a new product - Dynax UC new high-performance anti-corrosion wax provides a touch-dry firm wax film that's virtually invisible, a low film thickness see-through protective shield. Its firm wax like film is rich in unique metal seeking corrosion inhibitors that stop existing and prevent new corrosion.  It can be applied to bare metal or painted surfaces in fact anywhere where a discrete and powerful inhibitor is needed. 

This product is aimed at those that want a see-through tack-free film that adds a lot of corrosion protection but preserves the factory look of the underside or lower panels, it’s removable too, so after winter it can be stripped if required, or left in situ and topped up every couple of years, or more if you wish; very easy to use.

Completely safe to use on the vast majority of paint coatings and is ideal where dark colored waxes or under seal would detract from the painted finish of vehicle bodywork or underside.

The touch dry tough wax film also provides mechanical protection to the protected surface too.  The ideal product to provide high levels of protection during the winter months; to apply -clean any loose dirt, rust flakes or other debris and then clean with a power-washer, allow product to dry and then apply thin even coating

I would like to think that these articles become an asset to anyone who is new to detailing and to professionals alike, as well as industry experts who seek to advance their knowledge.
I hope the above article was informative. By having some understanding of the ‘What’ and ‘Why’ as well as the ‘How’ along with a little science to help you understand how the chemicals we use react, you can achieve the results you desire.

I would appreciate it if you would share this article as it helps other detailers further their knowledge.
Questions and/ or constructive comments are always appreciated.

Copyright © 2002 - 2012 TOGWT® (Established 1980) all rights reserved

Backing plates


A rotary polisher usually has 5/8-inch (14mm) diameter shaft / 11 UNC. An orbital polisher has a 5/16-inch (8mm) female thread.

The type of backing plate is even more important than most detailer’s realize, as an incorrect choice can cause overheating, contribute to swirls, compromise a pad, or add to its durability or help it to stay cooler

The backing plate directly transfers the kinetic friction (energy) of the machine to the paint surface via the pad. The foam pad will absorb the amount of orbital movement produced by the machine polisher unless sufficient pressure is applied to compress the pad (to approx 50%). Using a properly sized backing plate allows for the equal distribution of pressure across the entire face area of the pad; making it more efficient; as a  backing plate only compresses  the area of the pad that is directly underneath it.

 A polishing system is more efficient when used with the correct sized backing plate. Using a backing plate that is the same size as the pad uses utilizes the whole surface area of the pad, you should not use an undersized backing plate. If the backing plate is too small for the pad, you reduce the effective contact surface area of the pad that is able to polish effectively, there is also a possibility that the backing plate will ‘cut’ the foam causing it to fail.

 Allow a maximum of ¼-inch as a safety margin (i.e. 6.5 -inch pad- 6-inch backing plate, 5.5-inch pad -4.75-inch backing plate)  this will allow the maximum pad surface contact area, and equal pad compression over the pad contact surface ensuring efficient polishing

A hard and inflexible backing plate will affect the performance of a foam pad; by making it slightly more aggressive (stiffness) and may cause swirl marks. The inflexible plastic on many backing plates has zero give and therefore will not adjust to the contoured body panels. The exception would be a plate bonded to a thick layer of dense cellular foam Lake County (LC) CCS pads.

Always use the recommended sized backing plate for the pad you are using. Do not use a backing plate that is larger than the foam or wool pad

Flexible backing plates

               Lake County (LC) mfg Grip Easy™ Edge
·        Easy plate removal for quick pad changes
·        Prolongs life of loop material on pads
·        Moulded polyurethane construction
·        Hook material moulded into plate eliminates delamination
·        Flexible edge
·        Flexible plastic centre hub
·        Ideal for transitions from flat to contoured surfaces
·        Reduces risk of spot heating
·        Plated steel threaded insert(5/8-inch or 14mm)
·         Will not cross-thread
·        Reinforced inner construction
·        Steel struts moulded into centre hub for superior strength

Polish / Compound application - 5.5-inch pads (LC Moulded Urethane 5-inch baking plate) and 4-inch pads (LC Moulded Urethane 3.5-inch backing plate). A lightweight backing plate is ideal for a random orbital as offers less resistance and there more rotational speed.

Coatings / Sealant application- 6-inch pads (LC Moulded Urethane 5.5-inch baking plate)

               Lake County (LC)  high strength moulded urethane grip-easy edge for fast, easy pad changes, durable moulded polyurethane construction, flexible centre hub ideal for surface contours, plated steel threaded insert (5/8 -inch 11 PI female thread or a metric size 14mm)  and steel reinforced inner construction
               3M 125 mm (4-inch) Perfect-it III Rotary Backing Plates  [are made from an impact resistant synthetic nylon plate bonded to a 25 mm thick layer of dense cellular foam, and are ideal for use with threaded rotary machine polishers such as the Makita 9227CB

The highly flexible design allows for very easy transitioning from flat to contoured surfaces, and the hook and loop backing material enables quick and easy pad changes (M14 metric & 5/8th – inch US)

Adam's Premium PC Backing Plate - by reducing the weight and increasing the flexibility this backing plate is slimmer and far more flexible than its predecessor. The new, lower profile design and improved flexibility allows the backing plate to hug those awkward curves and body lines better than ever before. The reduced weight also equals a reduction in vibration making extended use of the Porter Cable a little easier on your hands and wrist. Still perfectly balanced and constructed of high quality, durable, materials

Interface Pads

Interface pads are placed between the backing plate and sanding disc. They increase the flexibility of a disc and help to evenly distribute machine movements and applied pressures.  The right interface pad can also increase comfort while you sand. An interface pad can buffer abrupt machine movements through its cushioning action.

Lace County Constant Pressure™ Foam Pads have a layer of engineered, instant rebound foam between the pad and the backing plate. This layer acts as a cushion or shock absorber between the machine, the operator and the surface being worked on. It absorbs off-axis motion while maintaining a constant and uniform pressure on the surface; Lake County Constant Pressure™ technology allows even a neophyte detailer to achieve professional-like results.

Always use the recommended size backing plate for the size pad you are using. Use caution if using  a backing plate that is larger than the foam pad or disc.

I would like to think that these articles become an asset to anyone who is new to detailing and to professionals alike, as well as industry experts who seek to advance their knowledge.

I hope the above article was informative. By having some understanding of the ‘What’ and ‘Why’ as well as the ‘How’ along with a little science to help you understand how the chemicals we use react, you can achieve the results you desire.

I would appreciate it if you would share this article as it helps other detailers further their knowledge.
Questions and/ or constructive comments are always appreciated.

Copyright © 2002 - 2012 TOGWT® (Established 1980) all rights reserved

Why you should protect your vehicles paint

Once cleaned and polished, painted surfaces then require protection against various environmental damage if the long-term quality of the finish is to be preserved.

Protection comes in many forms; natural carnauba waxes, synthetic sealants as well as polymer or silica coatings. They can all be defined as an invisible barrier that adheres to the surface of your paint and shields it against every day environmental damage such as dust and grime, industrial fallout, honeydew, bug splatter, bird droppings and ultra violet (UV) radiation, in other words the damaging effects of the sun.

Some applied protection i.e. a synthetic sealant or a wax or even some polymer-based coatings are subject to chemical and physical erosion by the weather. As such, it will be gradually worn away over time, necessitating periodical reapplication if a high level of protection is to be maintained.
However some specialized polymer-based and many silica-based coatings will last for upwards of three years.

Probably the greatest impact has come from the use of coatings, which have completely changed the landscape of the detailing industry. Products like Swissvax, Zaino, Collinite, and etc. used to be the best protection available but a reactive polymer resin coatings (Opti-Coat™) has greatly extended the available protection, they offer a coating thickness of 2-3 ยต (microns) and a scratch resistant hardness of 9H (the same hardness as a urethane paint), greatly extended durability, scratch resistance and protection from the elements that can be measured in years.

Does paint density (hardness) affect its scratch resistance?

Many coating products claim an obtained surface hardness of 9H but this has little if anything to do with scratch resistance. Scratch resistance can be related to higher cross-link density and elasticity of the polymer network.

So how can a dense (hard) clear coat be so easily scratched?

Force acts through a body that has a surface area; if the surface area is really small while maintaining an equal force, the pressure becomes astronomical and the object under pressure capable of penetrating the surface of an otherwise tough material. (Newton's third law of motion)

That’s why a micro fine thread that is twice as fine as silk and a 100 times finer than a human hair, in an otherwise soft towel will scratch your paint. And the same reason a mosquito can penetrate a rhino hide with its proboscis (stinger).

This can best be summed up as: your car’s paint finish, though it may feel hard, is actually rather soft. Nearly everything else that comes in contact with it, though it may feel soft, is harder by comparison and will scratch it with enough pressure – sometimes just the slightest of pressure.

The latest coating technology products (Modesto) use Silica (micro-glass particulates) the manufactures claim durability of 5-10 years (dependent upon product used)

Coatings are self-cleaning, that is to say there ultra-smooth surface exhibit something known as the ‘Lotus effect’ a (self-cleaning) surface. Liquid drops, and in particular water drops, form a very high contact angle, are virtually spherical and roll off the surface with just a small inclination (roll-off angle). In doing so, they carry particles which are present on the surface with them. This is the basis of the self-cleaning action of surfaces, such as the lotus blossom, which gave the effect its name.
It does not wear off over time like a wax or a polymer sealant, which can be removed by using highly alkaline car wash soaps or detergents, isopropyl alcohol (IPA) or paint cleaners similar to Prep Sol. 

To remove a silica coating (or Opti-Coat) you would need to use an abrasive polish or wet-sand the surface.

These coatings can also be used to on both glass and wheel surfaces making them much easier to keep clean as well as providing protection.

When a coating is applied to a clean surface, that surface takes on properties that are virtually identical to hardened glass, they also exhibit a measurable film thickness. It is chemically inert and will not react with the base material. In other words, dirt will not bond to the treated surface, thereby reducing soiling and organic staining. Acid rain and other chemical compounds easily wash off, significantly reducing the hydroscopic nature of surfaces exposed to industrial or environmental pollution.

Properly educating the customer so they understand a coatings possibilities and its limitations, while they offer better protection than waxes or sealants, as well as greater durability they still need to be taken care of properly. Using the proper washing techniques can keep their paint surface swirl free indefinitely.

Teaching them how to use Optimum Technologies (ONR) correctly would go a long way in avoiding paint surface damage (scratches, marring, swirls, and etc.)Similar to paint protection film (PPF), it may show some damage from road grit hits but these are within the coating paint underneath is fine. This is also true if the vehicle has been subjected to a damaging wash, the swirls and marring are mostly in the coating itself so the damage comes out more quickly.

Another option to protect your vehicle is the installation of a paint protection film (PPF) from the damage caused by small stone chips, insects, and other kinds of road debris. They are virtually invisible and will not detract from a vehicle's appearance.

Final thoughts

 Go to Kelly Blue Book or Edmunds and check out the difference in the trade-in and resale values of an Excellent condition vehicle versus Good or Fair condition; it’s usually several hundred, if not thousands of dollars.

I would like to think that these articles become an asset to anyone who is new to detailing and to professionals alike, as well as industry experts who seek to advance their knowledge.
I hope the above article was informative. By having some understanding of the ‘What’ and ‘Why’ as well as the ‘How’ along with a little science to help you understand how the chemicals we use react, you can achieve the results you desire.

I would appreciate it if you would share this article as it helps other detailers further their knowledge.
Questions and/ or constructive comments are always appreciated.

Copyright © 2002 - 2012 TOGWT® (Established 1980) all rights reserved

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

How soon can you wax paint?

                One of the most often asked question (besides Leather care and Glass cleaning) and a subject that results in a great deal of confusion and misinformation regarding polishing or waxing re-painted panels.

Many paint company now say the 30-90 day recommendations are based on old paint formulations and the p-Sheets need to be up-dated in line with the latest paint specifications, although to my knowledge this has not been done. Most paints can have a paint protection product (wax / sealant/coating) applied within 36 – 48 hours of painting. However I would still abide with the manufacturers official recommendations

Part I - Applying a Polymer Sealant or Waxing Re-Painted Surfaces
a)       Polishing or Waxing Post-production Paintwork

1.        Refinish paint products, materials and paint drying methods are very different from original equipment materials (OEM) specified materials.

2.        This is only relative to re-painted surfaces that use a solvent –based paint. Modern environmentally friendly paint systems being utilized today are mostly water-base (EU- Sikkens, BASF, and Brillux), which evaporates quickly from the paint during the baking and drying process (US, only a limited number of painters are utilizing water-based pain, most are utilizing solvent based urethane)

3.        Unlike the oven baking process used by OEM painting t he process used in body shops is just a speed cure. Urethanes drying causes an exothermic reaction, that means they produce a small amount of heat as they cure, by adding  to the reaction, you accelerate it but if you don't it will just take more time but will eventually completely cure  on its own.

The majority of refinish paint is supplied by BASF DuPont, PPG and Sherwin Williams is 2K (2 component paint + activator) polyurethane systems; one component is polyisocyanate and the second is a polyol (acrylic or polyester polyol). Solvent-based paints (which still constitutes the majority of what is still being used, low solvent content VOC compliant) once the two components react they form a strong polymer chain. Or a water-based paint, much more prevalent in European imports than US mfg vehicles

Newly applied paint is soft, much softer than OEM paint,  dehydration (drying) is a different process from cross-linking; while newly refinished paint is about 90% cured within 24 hours, even with the help of a drying oven and various additives, and will fully harden (dehydrate) after 60-90 days dependent upon local environmental conditions

That distinctive smell of paint is actually dibutyl and diethyl phthalate out-gassing- two very volatile compounds

New paint needs to outgas for approximately 90 days (i.e. the solvents need to evaporate) if this is hindered by an inappropriate product application the clear coat may form a 'hard film' on top and the clear coat matrix may remain 'soft'. Most product data sheets (P-Sheet) state paint will air dry in 12 hours to buff and take 16 hours to fully dry.

Automotive paint is classified as a semi-permeable membrane; some chemicals, especially solvent based will penetrate a paint surface easily, others will just remain on the surface. A solvent or oil solvent emulsion will permeate the paint and fill the molecules causing them to swell. This will have an effect on the mechanical strength effecting both the paints tensile strength and elasticity

Current 2k (2 component paint + activator) polyurethane systems use chemical reactions to cross-link the clear-coat. Some body shops will oven cure them at approx 65.oF for 30 minutes and air dry over night or use an accelerator catalyst. Regardless, they still need to time for the solvents to evaporate (outgas) from the finish. By not allowing this process can create solvent-pop ‘like ‘fissures of the paint film and other issues.

During this period, using waxes or sealants that use a solvent as their carrier system should not be used since the solvents permeate the paint and soften it and if the wax or sealant contains abrasives, it can cause micro marring on the softened paint. The best products to use during this period are therefore water-based systems that are both solvent and abrasive-free.

Most paint shops use 10-20% more isocyanate component (hardener) than the polyol component. The reaction between these two (isocyanate and alcohol) is fairly rapid and that accounts for the 90% curing rate of the refinish paint within 24 hours. That leaves about 10% unreacted isocyanate, some of these isocyanate groups slowly react with moisture (hence the term moisture cure) and form amine groups (releasing CO2).

The newly formed amine groups rapidly react with isocyanate groups to form urea or polyurea, which is much harder than polyurethane adding solvents to the paint, hindering this reaction, while water-based products can help the (moisture) curing process.

Professional painters add chemicals; accelerants and compounds to their paint mix prior to painting to improve flexibility, reduce paint imperfections, increase hardness, and improve gloss and some body shops heat it in a paint oven to harden the ‘shell’, it doesn’t reduce cross-linking times (this process is both temperature and time dependent) But I would suggest waiting for approximately ten to fifteen days before any abrasive product application, which should be more than sufficient time to enable paint off gassing and aerobic curing

a) When a body shop wet sands and buffs out a newly painted panel they will hopefully polish out any sanding scratches, unfortunately this is not usually the case. Polishing paint that is at least 24 hours old is perfectly fine.

As a conservative estimate I would suggest waiting for approximately ten to fifteen days before any abrasive product application, which should be more than sufficient time to enable paint off gassing and aerobic curing

Unless you are a very experienced detailer I would strongly advise against the use of heavily applied pressure and overtly abrasive products as they behave more aggressively on soft fresh paint. I would suggest you allow the fresh paint to fully cross-link (cure) before you attempt to remove any surface imperfections

b) Automotive paint is classified as a semi-permeable membrane; it has both tensile strength and elongation (elasticity) newly painted surfaces are soft and full of out gassing solvents, resin binders and additives, as well as and water. Polish contains solvents, which soften the paint film, kinetic surface friction and applied downward pressure transfers its energy into heat / torque (force to rotate an object about an axis);

c) Which causes the soft paint film to become thinner by elongation and the pad rotation to transmit shear stress (torque= Force (radius) torque is twisting force, which could result in the alteration of the paint films bond between its substrate, causing it to delaminate or tear?   

d) The heat makes the gasses expand (pV = nRT) the expanding gases go through a phase transition (change in density) and to relive this increased pressure they (a) rupture the paint film surface, causing small fissures (similar to solvent pop)

e) The heat may cause the gaseous vapours to expand, but not enough to break through the hardening clear coat.   Once the vapour has evaporated, it may leave a void between the basecoat and the clear. 
Therefore you have a cloudy spot where the clear and base is no longer adhered together. If this is the case, the clear coat will delaminate in the future.

f)  Once the outgas process is complete automotive coatings (paint) becomes a semi-solid permeable membrane, Being a polymer (elastomers) it remains flexible while retaining its tensile strength, to enable it to expand and contract to follow temperature fluctuations (elongation) kinetic friction and its associated heat can cause a rapid temperature rise (i.e. initial surface temp 80.oF, heat attained with a cutting foam pad at 1,100 RPM for approx. ten seconds is approx. 104.oF) the paint temperature can be checked by utilizing an instant read-out infra-red ‘gun’ thermometer, paint surface ‘spot’ temperature should be limited to 110.oF <

In accordance with the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) a temperature of 115.oF will cause the urethane clear coat to soften and the foam pad will cause scratching that is forced deep into the clear coat.

Also be aware that plastics and those surfaces that have flex agent additives have a different thermal rating and will be negatively affected by applied heat very rapidly.

Fresh paint safe glaze’ - while a paint is cross linking,  using solvent- based waxes or sealants is not ideal since the solvents penetrate the paint and soften it and will interfere with the outgas / cross linking  process.

The common ingredients in a’ fresh paint safe’ glaze are: water, glycerine or  mineral oils(to produce a high shine)  and a mild abrasive Kaolin (China clay) to burnish the surface and produce a gloss, some polymers are also formulated as ‘fresh paint safe’ for the same reasons

The application of a specific ‘fresh paint safe’ water-based or polymer type product, Zaino Polishes (exclude the use of either Z1 or ZFX™) Optimum Car Wax is water-based and is safe on fresh paint, or use Presta Fast it’s a liquefied paste wax manufactured with premium, natural and synthetic ingredients. This unique wax can be applied over 24-hour old clear coat and single-stage finishes without risk of die back, because it creates a breathable film that permits solvents to cross the wax film. Allow an ‘initial gas off’ (evaporate) /cure aerobic process of 7 days before application

These products are completely safe for any fresh paint system as they allow the solvents in a water-based paint to outgas / aerobic cure process and provide some protection for any type of paint surface. After thirty days (30) the paint surface can be protected with a regular polymer sealant and/or Carnauba wax.

1.        Both DuPont and PPG recommend a 90 day period whereas BSAF advise 30 days; but any recommendation is dependent upon what paint, hardener, drying system, additives etc were used, the body-shop / paint manufactures know their products; seek their advice Paint manufacturer have specific technical guidelines (see ‘Product Sheet’ or P-Sheet) on how to use their products to affect a warranted spot/panel/ repairs or a full repaint. This preserves both the paint manufactures and factory warranty (if offered)

2.        Abrasive polish should be avoided until the paint has cured (an abrasive polish will not necessarily harm the soft new paint but unless it’s absolutely necessary I would avoid it)

3.        Vehicle washing is encouraged but avoid car wash concentrates that contain any harsh detergents, alkali, acids, wax (recommended products- Zaino Z-7™ Show Car Wash, Groit’s Car Wash) also avoid car washes that uses a high-pressure spray, harsh detergents  or brushes
4.        Don't use a car cover until the paint is fully cured?

5.        A paint film surface is a delicate thin coating easily dulled and very easily scratched, so choose carefully the advice you listen to and most importantly what advice you act upon.

6.        Some Carnauba wax contains paraffin wax, which effectively ‘seals’ the paint surface more than a polymer due to its formulation.

7.        The use of water-based products is highly recommended

Part II - Applying a Polymer Sealant or Waxing OEM Paint

b) Polishing or Waxing Production (OEM oven cured) Paintwork

Original equipment materials (OEM) specified materials are very different from refinish paint products and materials

One of the most often asked question and a subject that results in a great deal of confusion regarding polishing or waxing OEM paint, Once you brought a new vehicle “How soon can I wax my car”?

To find out how long ago your vehicle was painted; check the driver's side door jamb, a sticker should give the month and year the vehicle left the plant. Paint curing process; new cars go through the painting and baking process without any of the rubber, plastic, and cloth components installed. This is why they can expose the cars paint to such high temperatures, these high temperatures and special paints used at the factory level ensure the paint is fully cured by the time the car leaves the assembly line.

Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) paint is cured at high temperatures; OEM paints are cured in a paint oven at around 320. °F (160. °C) for 20 minutes, in multiple oven zones where the paint is baked with radiation and convection heat, or infrared so that 90-95% of the paint systems out gassing has taken place, the additional 5-10% will cure within 2-3 days, it will probably be stored for one or two days before transportation, it is then shipped or transported over the road (OTR) to a dealership and most likely be on the lot for a few weeks or more. So the vehicle’s paint can be waxed as soon as you take delivery.

By not applying some sort of paint protection soon after purchase the customer is actually damaging the paint surface instead of helping it. Salesmen that advise a customer not to wax a car for 3-6 months are relying on old paint methods and are misinformed about the latest paint technology. The newer paints are catalyzed (a chemical reaction that cures the paint) lacquers and enamels needed an extensive time for the solvents to release, with modern water-based or reduced solvent content paints this is not necessary.

This is a huge problem in dealerships because customers tend to take the advice offered by a salesman who usually knows nothing about paint, rather than a trained paint professional. This goes a long way to understand why fairly new vehicles paint surfaces are in such bad shape even after a relatively short period of time.

Twenty years ago, cars were typically painted with lacquer or enamel paints. These were single stage paints, with a large volume of solvents that needed to escape before the paint would fully dry. These paint systems dried from the outside in. The paint would look and feel dry, but the layers underneath could still be a bit wet and soft because all the solvents in the paint had yet to escape. Therefore, if wax was applied to the paint surface before it was fully dried, there could be problems. There could have been solvent pop, which occurs from solvents pushing up through the paint and the wax, giving the paint a crater-like appearance.

The paint could also have “died back” or faded a bit because of the trapped solvents clouding the paint. Also, solvents that did not escape would leave the paint softer and more susceptible to scratches and blemishes.

Twenty years ago this was correct; you should not to wax a new car with these paint systems. However, that was 20 years ago and no longer applies with today’s base-coat/clear-coat paint systems.

I would like to think that these articles become an asset to anyone who is new to detailing and to professionals alike, as well as industry experts who seek to advance their knowledge.

I hope the above article was informative. By having some understanding of the ‘What’ and ‘Why’ as well as the ‘How’ along with a little science to help you understand how the chemicals we use react, you can achieve the results you desire.
I would appreciate it if you would share this article as it helps other detailers further their knowledge.
Questions and/ or constructive comments are always appreciated.

Copyright © 2002 - 2012 TOGWT® (Established 1980) all rights reserved