Saturday, 14 February 2015

Basic 3- Step Leather Care

 
Basic 3- Step Leather Care
1.       Clean
2.       Hydrate
3.       Protect

Finished Leather
The amount of conflicting information out there is just overwhelming, correct information regarding the care of leather is scarce, often contradictory, misleading, or simply wrong. Misinformation can lead to inadvertent damage to your vehicles leather upholstery; my goal is to present clear, concise, accurate information.

There is a great deal of conflicting information on leather care  being put out by leather experts themselves who recommend the same products and techniques be used regardless of the leathers finish or use baffling pseudo-scientific techno speak as another marketing ploy, Furniture, Motorcycle, Equestrian and Automobile leather are all different type of leather finishes and require different care. You do need to understand some of the basic chemistry behind the tanning and finishes applied to automotive leather to understand how to renovate, clean or care for it.

All of which makes it difficult to find a definitive, unbiased answer. Using the correct product is important in order to protect your car’s interior. If you keep your cars’ interior clean, you can easily save your car for a good couple of years and it can stay in a ‘like-new’ condition, and maintain a better re-sale value. Cleanliness is one of the major things buyers look for when purchasing a vehicle. There are several finished leather upholstery cleaners available, which need to be used in accordance to the type of finished leather used in for your vehicles upholstery.
That is why it is imperative, that if you are concerned about the results you wish to achieve, you must perform a bit of research into finding the products suitable for your requirements.

After various meetings and discussions with leather tanners, their research and development teams, chemists and fat liquoring formulators and many leather care product manufacturers I’ve gained an understanding of this versatile material on both a practical and scientific level.
It had always confounded me that such a simple subject has been made into something so complicated. I have always thought that the more facts and information you have at hand the easier it is to judge what information you are being given. After all, how can you fully understand and properly use any product unless you have all the facts? In the final analysis; it’s your vehicle, your hard earned money and your choice

Always keep in mind that you’re dealing with the finished coating on the leather not with the leather hide itself

The use of oils, replacement of fat liquor, oil-based conditioning, proteins or the adjustment of pH levels is totally unnecessary; the surface is a polyurethane that contains pigmentation (colour) it neither needs or benefits from any of the above
Unless a Premium Leather option was purchased urethane finished leather upholstery is used by 95% as OEM in modern automobiles. It comprises a multi stratum acrylic and a polyurethane resin binder system covering over the leather hide; the top strata are the surface pigmentation (colour) and an abrasion resistant urethane is used to improve flexibility, fastness and adhesion to the leather, together with a clear top coat provides a very durable surface finish with an average thickness of 0.02 µ (micron)   

Modern automotive leather upholstery use a completely different tanning  processes and finishing system, utilizing advanced polymers and chemicals (polyurethane doesn’t require conditioning or rejuvenation) and as a consequence  they do not need to be treated with aftercare products containing oils or proteins.
Premium leather has a recognizable fragrance that is missing from polyurethane and plastic; simple cleaning, hydration and protection are the steps that will prolong the life of finished leather.  

Simple cleaning, hydration and protection are the three steps that will prolong the life of Micro pigment finished leather. Always pre-test the product on a hidden area. Shake the foam container thoroughly. Spray the product at a distance of 12 inches from the leather to one section at a time, and allow product to remain in place for approximately 15 to 30 seconds.  

Finished leather doesn’t require conditioning or rejuvenation; always keep in mind that you’re dealing with the finished coating (polyurethane) on the leather and not with the leather hide itself
Leather Care

Finished Leather
There is a great deal of conflicting information on leather care being put out by leather experts themselves who use baffling pseudo-scientific techno speak as another marketing ploy, which makes it difficult to find a definitive, commercially unbiased answer. Having devoted many hours to this particular material and spending a lot of time with both leather tanners and their formulating chemists I have gained some insight and it amazes me that such a simple subject has been made into something so complicated.

Here is one definitive truth –you are dealing with the leathers finish (polyurethane), not the hide itself. The use of oils, replacement of fat liquor, oil-based conditioning, proteins or the adjustment of pH levels is totally unnecessary; the surface is a urethane that contains pigmentation (colour) it neither needs or benefits from any of the above
Unless a Premium Leather option was purchased a urethane finished leather upholstery is used by 95% as OEM in modern automobiles. It comprises a multi stratum acrylic and polyurethane resin binder system covering over the leather hide; the top strata are the surface pigmentation (colour) and an abrasion resistant urethane is used to improve flexibility, fastness and adhesion to the leather, together with a clear top coat provides a very durable surface finish

Modern automotive leather upholstery use a completely different tanning  processes and finishing system, utilizing advanced polymers and chemicals (polyurethane doesn’t require conditioning or rejuvenation) and as a consequence  they do not need to be treated with aftercare products containing oils or proteins.
Premium leather has a recognizable fragrance that is missing from polyurethane and plastic; simple cleaning, hydration and protection are the steps that will prolong the life of finished leather.  

Simple cleaning, hydration and protection are the three steps that will prolong the life of Micro pigment finished leather. Always pre-test the product on a hidden area. Shake the foam container thoroughly. Spray the product at a distance of 12 inches from the leather to one section at a time, and allow product to remain in place for approximately 15 to 30 seconds. 
1. Clean - there are two cleaning-related factors that can cause your leather to wear prematurely.  The first is dirt, and the second is oil, combined they become very abrasive, as dirt / grit and subsequent friction cause the finish to wear
Remove surface dirt and dust, cleaning the seams periodically is important as dirt / grit will abrade the stitching causing them to fail, prise them apart, then use a soft brush, vacuum and then use a foam cleaner, one section at a time, and then finally wipe off with a clean, damp 100% cotton micro fibre towel

The advantage of foam over liquid is the minimum amount of moisture, very important for cleaning absorbent and moisture sensitive leathers.
 Use foam cleaner, which should be given dwell time and then gentle agitation with a medium stiff bristled brush to get the product into the materials surface, the low moisture content of foam can then be easily rinsed and the surface dried. Remove excess product and debris with a clean, damp 100% cotton micro fibre towel. If the foam is allowed to dry the soil will be re-deposited to the surface. Check the results and repeat process as necessary

 

For heavily soiled areas use a foam cleaner (Leather Master™ Foam Cleaner) that contains a surfactant that will lift dirt and soil, allow react time to do its work and then use a soft brush to agitate and loosen the dirt (Swissvax Leather Brush) especially on light coloured leathers; this enables the cleaning of the micro pores and creases and lifts the dirt out and reveal any further work that needs doing (dye transfer, stains, etc.)
A water based foam cleaner will work best and safely (not an aerosol foam that will contain solvents). If you use a foam cleaner you can give the product dwell time and because the foam is already an active cleaner it will draw the dirt out of the grain pattern into the foam and it can then be removed with a terry towel. Foams also ensure that you do not get 'streaking' from runs on the leather from a liquid cleaner - these are often impossible to get rid of without recoloring if allowed to happen.

Alternative product: Optimum Protectant Plus (Leather Protectant) – a versatile product that cleans and protects and also provides ultra violet (UV) protection, can be used on vinyl, rubber, leather, and plastic.  Spray mist the Protectant Plus on a microfiber towel and wipe the desired surfaces


For extremely soiled finished leather - use a Groit’s 3- inch (speed # 4-5) an Interior Brush for Orbital Polisher ( Porter Cable 7424, Groit’s Random Orbital Polishers (3 inch and 6 inch) as well as the Cyclo )  The brush has a connector which screw directly into listed orbital polishers. For extremely soiled finished leather - use a Groit’s 3- inch (speed # 4-5) a Grey Ultra Soft Upholstery Brush for Orbital Polisher ( Porter Cable 7424, Groit’s Random Orbital Polishers (3 inch and 6 inch) as well as the Cyclo x 2 )  The brush has a connector which screw directly into listed orbital polishers.
Use with 1z einszett Vinyl Deep Cleaner (Plastik Reiniger) an intensive, non-corrosive, non-acidic two-phase deep cleaner for that removes build-up thoroughly and effortlessly, these chemicals restore the original texture, tactile feel and resiliency of the polyurethane finish or Leather Master™ Strong C leaner, using very little applied pressure

Aggressive agitation has the likelihood of removing the clear topcoat or marring it creating more micron fractures for soiling particles to lodge in. A soft horsehair brush (Swissvax) is highly recommended as it will always retain its even level upon surface contact even deep into the grooves with good memory; however horsehair brushes still comes in various design some good and some design is just too long that does not stand straight when wet, for efficient cleaning. If using mechanical abrasion it is imperative that a soft bristle brush be used (Grey Ultra Soft Upholstery Brush for Orbital Polisher)  

Cracking occurs in two levels, one to the leather-finish which comprises the colour coat and the topcoat averaging 0.02 µ(micron) and the other is the leather-structure averaging form 0.9 to 1.3µ (micron) thickness.
I would strongly advise against the use of mechanical abrasion as a means of cleaning un-coated leather specially when dealing with leather that is wet. Water easily penetrates unprotected leather, which causes the collagen fibres to swell. This makes leather very soft and highly prone to being abraded and damaged. So when cleaning unprotected leather, you should minimize mechanical cleaning and instead use a cleaning system that is safe but effective to eliminate the need for abrasion.

All purpose cleaners

An all purpose cleaners (APC) generally require dilution as they are usually highly alkaline - pH 9.5 – 12.5 dependent upon mfg. they usually contain caustic soda or caustic potash. Caustics at high enough concentration can damage the polyurethane coated leather and cause stitching to start deteriorating. If the dilution is wrong and/or the product is too strong it could potentially damage the finish on the leather, which will lead to long term problems and/or require replacement It’s better to use a specific stain remover than to compromise.
Always select a chemical / cleaner that are biodegradable, environmentally friendly and safe to use by observing any precautions recommended so that they won’t harm you, your vehicle or the environment
Many well-intentioned detailers use the so-called all-purpose cleaning (APC) chemical for detailing; if the dilution is incorrect and/or the product is too strong it could potentially damage the materials being worked on, which will lead to long term problems and/or require replacement. Damage to the finish is not always visible to the naked eye. Products that are too strong for the finish will always leave the leather very clean looking but this is only because they are removing some of the polyurethane finish along with the dirt.

Most detailing chemicals are formulated to remove specific stains and a little knowledge of their pH value and chemical content will help in their correct selection and use; the most common types of chemicals include surfactants, solvents, Saponifiers and Chelators
Pigment coatings and clear coat finishes do break down over time if not correctly cared for. Once the coatings begin this deterioration it can appear that they are very dirty when in fact the 'dirt' is micro cracking of the pigment, this would not be visible to the naked eye but can be seen through a microscope. If this micro cracking is present no amount of cleaning will rectify it, it will need a restoration product to refinish the pigment coating. Products that are too strong for the finish will always leave the leather very clean looking but this is only because they are removing some of the polyurethane finish with the dirt. After repeated use the finish may be become delaminated or removed completely.
 
Steam cleaning- a dry vapour steamer has a multitude of functional usages for polyurethane finished leather interiors; doors, leather and vinyl upholstery and trim, all clean exceptionally well with steam, it will loosen up the deep ground in soil that normal cleaning cannot reach and emulsify most types of dirt and grime that gets into what are inaccessible places for other methods of cleaning i.e. cup holders, seams, creases and grooves, between cushion and bolsters, liquid spills, etc.
Apply a cleaner (1z einszett Vinyl Deep Cleaner (Plastik Reiniger) to a sponge, work up a foam and apply to covered leather. Place a terry towel wrapped dry vapour steamer attachment on the finished leather surface and lightly agitate and then wipe dry. This helps emulsify the grime and the water vapour hydrates the leather

Use caution if the finished leathers urethane pigment coating has begun to fail (micro cracking) which cannot be seen with the naked eye but will make the leather appear dirty especially on light coloured leather. Steam or cleaning products may permeate the between the hide and the pigmentation coating causing it to delaminate (separate)
          An alternative method: deep cleaning ‘spa method’ by using a heated towel it will open up the micro pours of the leather, allowing the towel to remove the ingrained dirt (this method is also very effective on perforated leather) Take a few very damp terry weave towels, place them in a bowl and heat them in a microwave. Using gloves wring out the towels just so they don't drip place them on the leather surface and allow to dwell for a short period. Take a couple of very damp terry weave towels, place them in a bowl and heat them in a microwave. Use gloves while handling them, place them on the leather surface and allow to dwell for a short period. Remove the towel and then use a leather cleaner, buff the surface similar to the action used when removing wax (1z einszett Vinyl Deep Cleaner or Optimum Power Clean™)

Note: The melamine open-cell foam Magic Eraser is micro-porous and its polymeric substance is very hard, so that when used for cleaning it works like extremely fine sandpaper. If the surface being cleaned is not sufficiently hard, it may be finely scratched by the melamine material. They work by removing or 'sanding' a very fine amount from the surface that is being cleaned - great for wood and hard surfaces but very detrimental to the fine surface finish on leather
 
2. Hydrated – when leather tanner’s talk about conditioning leather they are referring to its moisture content, re-hydration is used to restore or maintain fluid balance (transpiration and evaporation of moisture); not the replenishment or replacement of the fat liquoring, oils and / or waxes.

Moisture balance is a sine qua non (an indispensable and essential action) in leather care.  Leather naturally absorbs and retains moisture vapour, meaning it’s also susceptible to losing the moisture necessary to keep it pliant and soft. One of major attribute is its ability for transpiration (allowing the movement of moisture back and forth (evaporation and hydration), which it does even better than wool.
Repetitive heat cycling causes the leather to lose moisture, resulting in the formation of creasing or surface cracks, which may lead to the leather contracting; however the urethane remains stable, which may lead to it delaminating.

A regular wipe down with a damp towel on a regular basis is all you need to condition and / or hydrate finished leather, and  by using aqueous (water- based) products that do not contain oils and/or waxes, check the label if they do then don't use them. Leather should be hydrated on a regular basis and is somewhat climate dependent.

3. Protected - is essential as it will protect the surface finish, without hindering transpiration, while acting as a sacrificial layer; this way you are not actually cleaning the Leather's original surface, but cleaning from the surface of the protection. It also makes dirt easier to clean off
Leather Master™ - Protection Cream (a Scotchgard™ type product specifically formulated for lather) the polymers penetrate the surface of finished leather and cross-link to form a durable protective film that is breathable, allowing transpiration and keeps the leather supple. Being aqueous (water- based) it restores moisture to polyurethane finished leather, it also adds abrasion resistance, whilst provides a protective sacrificial barrier against all kinds of soiling, water, oil, alcohol-based stains and perspiration marks, so you are cleaning the protective layer

3a. Ultra violet (UV) protection - 303® Aerospace Protectant will provide invaluable ultra violet (UV) protection  against photo degradation (fading); especially in a roadster or convertible vehicle, steering wheel and dashboards
Is water-based and will provide invaluable ultra violet (UV) radiation protection against photo degradation (fading) protection; especially in a roadster or convertible vehicles. It doesn’t contain silicones, so it won't attract and capture dust. You should apply to a clean surface (it doesn’t contain any cleaning agents) 

It will not prevent finished leather hydration (transpiration and evaporation of moisture) as it’s water-based, although it coats the leather with a micro fine coating; it will not seal it per se.
Note: this product does NOT air dry.  Use a second dry cloth to finish the application process.  Extra buffing with at dry cloth increases bonding, repellence and durability

Patina(softness)  - used to improve and maintain the tactile feel and lustre  to ensure the finished leather remains soft and supple; apply Leather Master™ Soft Touch and allow to dry for approx. 20 minutes, finally using a clean dry 100% cotton micro fibre towel  buff to a matte sheen. This product is NOT a conditioner per se but is used to restore the softness to hard finished leather; place the car in a sunny location and roll down the windows. Allow the car to sit in the sun for one or two hours to warm the surfaces
Maintenance:

Monthly hydration of leather upholstery in most southern states; Florida, Texas and Arizona, and etc. especially during the summer months, would not be out of line

Note: Both Lexol and Saddle Soap are formulated for Equestrian tack, which is an entirely different type of leather than the finished leather used for automobiles
Summary:
These are just my recommendation based on my knowledge, detailing experience and the chemistry of leather. Each case is very different and you should choose the best approach based on its merits and your experience and what works best in that situation.

Relevant Articles
1. “Leather Articles Hyperlinks”

2. “Proper Finished Leather Cleaning and Care”


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

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Clear Coat & UV Protection

 


A clear coat system consists of one or more primer layers, a flat colour layer and a glossy, clear top layer.  The primer is a corrosion inhibitor and a bonding agent for the bare metal and the colour layer.  It prevents corrosion and provides a stable substrate for the colour and clear coats.  The colour layer is applied to the primer and is typically very thin.  Its only purpose is to provide colour.  The clear coat is two to three times the thickness of the colour layer, adding to the appearance of paint depth and offering additional protection. 

Automotive clear coats are generally based on urethanes, acrylics, melamine’s, silanes, etc. which are hydrophobic and repel water and other contaminants initially. However as the paint surface becomes oxidized water beading changes to sheeting and environmental contaminants will bond to the surface. Polishing paint will remove the oxidized layer and makes the paint surface hydrophobic again for a short period of time.

Specific gravity [: the specific gravity of water is 1.0 if an object or liquid has a specific gravity greater than one, it will sink. If the specific gravity of an object or a liquid is less than one, it will float]

Density (or specific gravity); different materials usually have different densities, so density is an important concept as less dense fluids float on more dense fluids if they do not mix, causing it to rise to the top (we have Archimedes to thank for this discovery)

OEM paint specifications usually require the addition of ultraviolet absorber technology in their clear coat systems for protection against photo degeneration (sun fading). UV absorbers have a greater specific gravity than clear coat resin (1.15 g/ml for instance) which is heavier than water (0.80 g/ml) and much higher than the solvents used so there is reason to believe that it migrates throughout the clear coat. On the other hand fumed silica (CeramiClear) is low (less than 1.0 g/ml) and therefore migrates to the top of clear coat as the solvents evaporate and the paint cross-links and hardens.
Modern Isocyanate resins (clear coat) finishes are so good today that they lull people into thinking that vehicle paint has protection and shine when in reality there is not really much there, the clear coat that has a thickness of ~25.4 µ (micron). As a point of reference a sheet of copy paper is 89 µ. 

 A micron (µ) is a metric unit that equals one millionth of a meter, or 1/1000 of a millimetre. A micron is much smaller than a Mil. A human hair is about 2 Mil (50 µ) thick and individual bacteria are 0.1 mil (2.5µ). There are 25.4 millimeters in an inch and a micron is 1/1000 of a millimetre.

 Using the micron (metric) measurement system gives you a much better idea of paint thickness as the numbers used are so much smaller. Most detailers are or should be aware of how thin clear coat paint is and it puzzles me why people over-polish paint causing it to fail prematurely

 Radiation Damage

 Ultra violet (UV) radiation is unrelenting, and can never be totally eliminated. It affects human skin, the paint and polycarbonate headlights of motor vehicles and aircraft as well as the gel coats of boats, and trailers. This process is called oxidation. It also affects paint, plastic, rubber, and vinyl, just to name a few.

Paint turns dull, then chalky. Rubber seals and bumpers turn white, dry out, and become hard as a rock. Vinyl trim will also turn white and eventually crack. Hard plastic (headlights, air dams, side mirrors, trim) react similarly to paint.
Many natural and synthetic materials are attacked by ultra-violet radiation and products made using these materials may crack or disintegrate. This problem is known as ultra violet photo degradation, and is a common problem in products exposed to sunlight.

 Infrared (IR) rays create heat in much the same way as rubbing your hands together does. The energy contained in the infrared rays causes the molecules of the substance it hits to vibrate back and forth. However, the energy contained in ultraviolet rays is higher, so instead of just causing the molecules to shake, it actually can knock electrons away from the atoms, or causes molecules to split. This results in a change in the chemical structure of the molecule

IR dries out the binder system causing structural failure; it will dry the resin in paint; leading to oxidation. A paint surface will often show cracking as the resin binder dries out the paint draws up on itself forming ‘crow’s feet’. It will also dry out the oils and plasticizers in vinyl and other materials and may lead to structural damage (this is especially relevant to open top convertibles)

 Ultra violet (UV) radiation exposure leads to gloss and colour instability (photo degradation or photo oxidation and surface fading stains. But before UV light can cause harm, it must first be absorbed. If it is not turned into heat or transferred to a nearby stabilizer molecule called a quencher, it breaks weak chemical bonds. This is the beginning of UV damage.
 
Some materials absorb UV radiation more readily than other materials. Materials that readily absorb (UV) radiation are quickly damaged...rubber, vinyl, gel coat fibreglass, and many other plastics.
 

When radiation is absorbed, it starts to break (cleave) weak chemical bonds, which leads to photochemical degradation (bleaching, (fading), discoloration, chalking, brittleness and cracking) all indications of UV deterioration. The bond cleavages resulting from UV absorption cause the formation of “radicals.” Each free radical can trigger a chain of reactions (in the presence of air), leading to more bond cleavages and destruction. These oxidising chain reactions require no further UV exposure, just the presence of air

Photo degradation [: decomposition of a compound by radiant energy] a common reaction is oxidation.

Today’s water-based products have a number of obvious environmental benefits, but some are more susceptible to photo degradation (fading) over time, a significant drawback. In addition, because of ozone depletion, higher levels of solar ultra violet (UV) radiation now reach the surface of the earth. This further contributes to the rate of fading.

 Polymers use in auto paint, plastics and vinyl, where they are routinely exposed to sunlight; the UV radiation adversely the mechanical properties of these materials, often causing structural failure, which limits their useful life.

 Photo-oxidation of polymers

 Sometimes incorrectly described as oxidation; is the degradation of a polymer surface in the presence of ozone. This is a consequence of ultra violet (UV) radiation, which instigates a chemical change that reduces the polymer's molecular weight. As a consequence of this change the material becomes more brittle, with a reduction in its tensile, impact and elongation strength. Discoloration and loss of surface smoothness accompany photo-oxidation. Infra-red (heat) radiation or high surface temperature significantly increases the effect of photo-oxidation by drying.

 

Ultra violet Blockers and absorbers
There are a couple things that should be realized; auto paint or chemical companies don't state the amount of ultra violet protection is in their clear coat, nor do they tell you what the specific ultra violet stabilizing chemical is in most cases. Most automotive ultra violet (UV) absorbers are very durable and exhibit a 5 year half-life, meaning that every five years the concentration is reduced by 50% percent.

UV stabilizers are a group of chemical agents with the ability to counteract or neutralize the harmful effects of UV and infrared (IR) light. Competitive absorbers provide protection by converting UV light to heat so it can dissipate harmlessly All UV stabilizers are consumed as they do their job. In a way, they serve as sacrificial molecules, taking the abuse from the UV light instead of the material they are protecting.

Ultraviolet Light Absorbers (UVAs) are molecules used in organic materials (polymers, paints, etc.) to absorb UV light in order to reduce the UV degradation (photo-oxidation) of a material. A number of different UVAs exist with different absorption properties. UVAs can disappear over time, so monitoring of UVA levels in weathered materials is necessary.

Ingredients which absorb UVA/UVB rays, such as Avobenzone, Benzotriazole and Octyl Methoxycinnamate, are known as absorbers. UV absorbers do not add to the hardness and are heavier than clear coat resin. They are contrasted with physical "blockers" of UV radiation such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.

 Ultra violet light (UV) radiation and environmental contaminant exposure leads to photo degradation of materials and surface staining. But before UV light can cause harm, it must first be absorbed. If it is not turned into heat or transferred to a nearby stabilizer molecule called a quencher, When UV light is absorbed, it starts to break (cleave) weak chemical bonds, which leads to bleaching (fading), discoloration, chalking, brittleness and cracking, all indications of UV deterioration.

The bond cleavages resulting from UV absorption cause the formation of "radicals." Each free radical can trigger a chain of reactions leading to more bond cleavages and destruction. These oxidising chain reactions require no further UV exposure, just the presence of oxygen. This is the beginning of UV damage. Some materials absorb UV light more readily than other materials.

Be cognizant that infrared radiation (heat) can also affect the structural integrity of materials by drying out and therefore removing their elasticity and causing structural damage (cracking).

 UV Protection

Ultra violet stabilizer - providing protection from ultra violet radiation (UV) is very important to avoid photo synthesis (colour fading / yellowing) ultra violet heat (IR) infrared radiation can also affect the structural integrity of materials by drying out and therefore removing their elasticity and causing cracks.

Be cognizant that Carnauba wax or polymers do not contain a natural ultra violet radiation protection, they both oxidize as a way of providing a sacrificial protection against ultra violet radiation, neither of these elements contains UV stabilizers (protection) they must be added. This renewable barrier is probably less than 0.1 µ (4 Mils) thick.

There is no such thing as a permanent UV stabilizer, it a matter of physics, not chemistry. This chemical must be added to a car care product, it is not inherent in any wax, sealant or coating. Ultra violet protection is a sacrificial and therefore a renewable protection; this is due to the UV protection layer being degraded by exposure to the elements (sun, sand, road or sea salt, and etc.) so it is imperative that you renew it and it needs to be re-applied on a regular 45 to 60 day basis (dependent upon location climatic condition)
Protecting the Protection
To ensure the UV blockers can absorb and reject the radiation heat without drying itself out it is encapsulated with Silicon dioxide. Among the inorganic pigments, TiO2white is, by far, the most important one.

The photo catalytic activity of TiO2leads to a rapid degradation of the organic binder matrix, so the surface of the TiO2particles has to be covered by an inorganic coating to prevent the matrix from being photo oxidized. This is done by applying layers of Silicon dioxide, also known as silica (SiO2) and Aluminium oxide, better known as Alumina (Al2O3)


 Summary
The main premise of this article is inform detailers that there is a very limited amount of clear coat available and to keep them from unnecessarily removing their clear coat. New polymer technologies are now available to add clear coat to the existing layer without the need for an expensive re-paint and at a fraction of the cost. Depending on the resin technology, these clear coats can be more resistant to scratch and marring, more resistant to chemical etching, and more resistant to oxidation, therefore minimizing the need for polishing. Even if you have to polish it off at some point, you can always add a new layer without removing the thin layer of factory clear and avoiding the possibility of premature failure of the paint system and the need to repaint.

Bibliography
1.             UV Protection and Coatings for Plastics in the Automobile Industry - Paint & Coatings Industry (PCI)
 
2.             “Protecting UV-absorbing Clear Coats from Sunburn," Polymers Paint Colour Journal, February 2000

3.             Evolution of Automotive Paint and Protectant Technology by Gene Praschan and David Ghodussi


References

  1. Distribution of Stabilizers in Multi-Layer-Coatings and Plastic Coatings - 3rd International Coatings for Plastic Symposium, Troy, MI, June 2000.
  2. Potential Reasons for Yellowing of Coatings over Plastic Substrates -  4th International Coatings for Plastic Symposium, Troy, MI, June 2000

 

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

 

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Paint Scratch & Chip Repair



Paint Scratch and Chip Repair
 

Auto Paint Color Library - http://www.autocolorlibrary.com/

Automotivetouchup.com - http://www.touchuppaintonline.com/

Not expensive to fix but impossible to ignore ; stone chips and other minor damage are not only aesthetically displeasing they look unsightly and once they begin to accumulate, especially on dark coloured car. But worse still, because the stone chips, scratches and scuffs have penetrated the clear coat, you car will be prone to rust.
Paint ages and fades due to ultra violet radiation exposure, which causes photo degradation (fading). This happens to both the colour and clear but some colour change more than others; matching paint colours is an art.  Combine the base colour coat with flakes and tints then add a few costs of clear, some tinted and some not.
 
3M Finesse-It Hand Sanding Pad.

This 3M product is a small 1 ½-inch (36.5mm) hand held sanding pad and is used with our 3M micron abrasive discs typically to remove micro imperfections on the repaired dent, or can be used to gain a "read" of the dent by flatting the top of the dent, this usually shows any highs or lows left over.

Repairing Paint Chips
It is important to properly set customer expectations; most people will wrongly assume that a paint touch-up repair will make the paint perfect.   It won't.  You must explain that paint chip touch-up does not remove the chip; it simply makes it the same colour as the vehicle.   You must make it very clear that your paint touch-up service is a quick and inexpensive alternative to going to a body shop to have a fender, hood or door repainted.

Why repair paint chips and scratches; to improve the vehicles appearance, to prepare vehicle for lease return, increase retail value and to protect the vehicle from further (corrosion) damage. Chips and scratches aren't just aesthetically unpleasing, the exposed metal underneath may be prone to rusting or additional chipping. Fixing these spots with touch-up paint is an easy step in protecting your investment-
If your repair paint is a good match you can slowly add layers till it's slightly higher than the surface of the original surface. Then you can use fine sandpaper to blend it and polish the area. Of course test on a hidden or low spot on the vehicle to be sure the repair paint and the original paint will sand and polish well. If either paint doesn’t take to buffing, then the best you'll be able to do is fill the spot with as close a match as possible and then leave well enough alone.
It’s a good idea to have a bottle of touch-up paint available so that you can immediately touch up any scratches before the corrosion process begins. Do not try to paint over rust; always treat it first by sanding or by applying rust inhibitor paint. Use rust converter as the primer coat if the scratch (chip) is down to bare metal.

       Methodology
Apply isopropyl alcohol (ISP) to a Q-tip and dab on the rock chip or scratch a few times.
  1. Take a clean towel and dry the paint chip.
  2. With a utility knife cut the paint around the edge of the chip, the edge of the paint chip indentation will be slightly higher than the surrounding area and/or  the edge of the chipped area may have separated from the metal surface or there could be some wax/dirt in the area or the paint may have oxidized on the edges (it is not absolutely necessary, but it does improve the results and will avoid leaving a dark outline)
  3. Angle your blade toward the centre of the chip and press down gently. Work slowly and carefully, removing a small piece at a time, it’s not necessary to remove a lot of material.  Sand the area with a Wurth spot sanding pen, and then clean the area with isopropyl alcohol (IPA) and then allow it to dry. 
  4. With painters masking tape cover the area surrounding the scatch
  5. Use Nikkens ™3000 grit finishing paper and a Unigrit Sanding Block to remove any rust
  6. Or a Proxxon Mill/Drill Unit Micromot 50/E – Handheld_Tools
  7. Use an AutoSharp paint pen colour matched to your vehicle. The pen itself is very easy to use. You simply shake it, depress the felt tip a few times to start the paint flow, and then begin to "colour" paint into the damaged areas, much like you would highlight a section of text in a book.
  8. Do not to try to fix the chip in one application, apply a small amount of paint and ensure that you cover a small area surrounding the ‘chip’, allow to dry, repeat over a couple of days. Once the painted area is slightly higher than paint surface, allow to dry.
  9. Once completely dry, using  a Nikkens™ 3000 grit finishing paper and a Unigrit Sanding Block (previously soaked for 4 hours or overnight) to ‘feather’ (see note ) and level touch-up paint with the surrounding paint surface
  10. Use Woolite® or a car shampoo on the chip repair for lubrication.
  11. Wet-sand the raised paint dot by using blue masking tape and a centre punch; with a 1/8-1/4 -inch hole punched into it centered over the blemish and then use Wurth Spot Sanding Pen or 1500/2500 grit sandpaper on the end of a new pencil eraser to bring the paint thickness down to the surrounding level.
  12. Use a very light pressure on the sanding block, lightly wiping the area often to check your progress
  13. Next, using a Nikkens™ 3000 grit finishing paper and a Unigrit Sanding Block, using the block in one direction only, feathering the edge out into the surrounding area. Wet-sand to bring the surface back to level with the surrounding area.
  14. Do not use a circular motion (it will produce swirls) or a back and forth motion and ensure the sanding block is always wet
  15. Keep the area well lubricated with water and shampoo; otherwise it will dull the paint.  Once the surface appears level, use a block to squeegee off the excess water / slush (3M™ Wetordry™ Rubber Squeegee, P/N 05517, 2 ¾-inch x 4 ¼-inch)  If the water you are using has a high mineral content, don't let it dry on the car, as it could leave spots which may bleed through the new paint.
  16. Dry the surface with a clean towel and inspect with your fingertips.
  17. If you can feel a high spot, repeat the sanding / feathering process.
  18. If done correctly, you will hardly notice the repair.
  19. A good car polish (Menzerna Intensive Polish or Menzerna Final Polish II ) will restore the paints lustre
  20. Finally apply wax/sealant protection   

Note - Paint blending is basically painting an area larger than the defect and then blending or feathering the clear to match the surrounding paint, then wet-sand to bring the surface back to level with the surrounding area.

Run Razor - This cleverly-designed tool will take care of any problem areas that crop up toward the end of the painting process.

Run Razor holds standard razor blades at a precise angle to shave down semi-hardened runs, sags or dust between colour and clear coats.  Just pass it gently over the surface, dialling down the blade position indicator in.001" increments until the imperfection is gone –Eastwoods 

Alternative products-

  1. Lanka Paint chip and scratch repair technologies, is both a chemical and mechanical process, once the touch up paint has dried, The Blob Eliminator® will re-soften the paint, and the light rubbing mechanically begins to "smooth" down the excess paint, with the touch up paint now appearing on the cloth
  2. Langka and Metallic Paint-the reason metallic looks different after using the product is the metallic flakes migrate to the upper level of the paint surface while setting up.  To counter this, use the blue sanding card on edge immediately after applying the touch up, like a razor. This will remove most of the touch up while the metallic flakes are still suspended evenly throughout the paint, smearing the excess across the local area. Let dry and use the Langka to wipe away the smear tail left across the original (OEM) paint. - http://www.langka.com
  3. A system called Sprayless Scratch Repair
  4. AutoSharp pen the pen itself is very easy to use. You simply shake it, depress the felt tip a few times to start the paint flow, and then begin to "colour" paint into the damaged areas, much like you would highlight a section of text in a book.

Note: The newly applied paint will appear darker; it will eventually lighten to match once it has been exposed to UVR

  1. Dr. ColorChip™ Paint Chip Repair system – is a  proprietary three-step paint chip repair process is the easiest and most effective way to touch-up minor automotive paint chips and road rash. Effective paint chip repair keeps your car looking like new and protects it from rust and other long-term damage. Easier to use than traditional touch-up paint or paint pens, you'll get professional results and guaranteed an exact OEM match to your car's finish. http://drcolorchip.com/
  2. Touchup123- Use detailer’s clay on panel to be treated, Wipe on Final Touch Compound to prep surface, Wipe Colorfill on ENTIRE panel to cover all the blemishes, Wipe on Final Touch Compound to remove excess Colorfill, Wipe off haze of Final Touch Compound to leave a polished shiny finish, Touch up any leftover larger chips with a brush (can be built up and smoothed out later with Final Touch Compound if desired)

Metallic paints, silvers and gold’s, have to be applied with care to avoid problems with the "colour flop". Colour flop is the term given when metallic flakes in the chip reflect light giving you a lighter or darker appearance. This is a variable that cannot be controlled, for best results; shake the paint very well to get the metallic flakes evenly distributed before you apply

  1. Auto Touch-Up Paint - dedicates itself to touch up paint, aerosol spray paint, and auto or car paint backed by a strong exact colour match guarantee for your basecoat/clear coat original finish. They offer touch up paint packaged in aerosol spray paint cans and touch up bottles with a brush in cap applicator as well as auto paint packaged in pints and quarts cans. Auto Touch-Up Paint

They guarantee your touch up paint or spray paint to match the original factory finish on all vehicles. Orders are custom matched to your vehicle using your original factory paint code and the highest computer technologies available. Not only is their touch up painting the exact colour; the size of metallic and pearl colour is the same in your paint.

  1. Touch-Up Magic - TOTL

Application:

·         Thoroughly clean each chip or scratch with a silicone remover and shampoo.

·         Cover chip or scratch with touch-up paint.

·         Allow paint to dry to touch, but not hard. (Time varies with paints)

·         Dab-on Touch-Up Magic, wait 15-30 seconds.

·         Rub across blob with a soft cloth.

·         May also use plastic razor blade if necessary (included)

·         After repair has completely dried (24 hours), follow with your favourite swirl remover and wax.

  1. Quixx GSRS German Scratch Remover System

2.       Airbrush Tutorial (inc video) - http://www.airbrushtutor.com/airbrush-tutorials.php

 

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