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)

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.

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


  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 - -

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.

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. -
  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.
  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


·         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) -


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


Monday, 19 January 2015

Microfiber Pads


Microfiber Pads

Microfiber Pads-work in a similar way to a collapsed foam cell pad, the pads distort, stretch and compress, while being worked on a polishing machine. The greater the thickness of the foam between the backing plate and the car surface, were you have one surface that stays rigid, being driven by the polishing machine, while the foam acts as somewhat of a shock absorber, taking up any off-axis movement, while also keeping the pads face horizontal to the paint surface.

Ultra-Fiber Microfiber Pads feature two different adhesives, both of which are designed solely for the material that they’re attached to. This equates to a microfiber pad that’s far more durable than conventional microfiber pads and thus enables them to be machine washable.

Ultra-Fiber Microfiber Pads - an advanced microfiber system designed to remove moderate paint imperfections while leaving a swirl-free, ultra-gloss finish

·         Densely knit, long pile Ultra-Fiber™ material cuts fast without micro-marring, runs smooth and cool, leaving in a superior finish.

·         Ultra-Fiber™ Pads are manufactured using ultra-bond adhesive technology to ensure the pads don’t delaminate, even after countless uses.

·         Works on all finishes and can be used on factory paint, repainted, gel coat surfaces and custom paint finishes

·         One pad for all applications, whether you're compounding, polishing or finishing, the specially selected core materials provide the perfect balance of firmness and conformability.

·         Made with high grade microfiber material and the latest laminating technology Machine washable

·         Separate designs for DA and rotary polishers. Different rotations of the machines affect the polishing action. Discs are specifically designed for use with DA/random orbital machines and "cushioned" pads for rotary polishers.

·         Ultra-Fiber™ Discs (Random Orbital) are made with a special cross-linked polyethylene core for maximum cutting and polishing ability, but flexible enough to adapt to curves and contours.  

·         Ultra-Fiber™ Pads (Rotary Pads) are made with a special reticulated foam core designed to disperse heat that occurs with rotary polishing. The foam core also provides excellent flexibility for contoured surfaces.

They give your polisher the ability to remove serious paint defects quickly; swirl marks, scratches, oxidation, and fine grade wet sanding marks can be removed

The carefully selected ultra-plush microfiber material found on the face of the pads and the densely knit, long microfiber pile is functionally non-abrasive to the paint. That means it offers almost no polishing power and is as gentle to your paint as a soft microfiber towel. However your favorite polish will coat each individual fibre and allow a larger percentage of your polish or compound to work effectively

The latest in laminating technology gives the durability to stand up to repeated use. For best results clean the Ultra-Fiber surface frequently while polishing. Use a Pad Conditioning Brush or compressed air to remove caked on polish residue and fluff the microfiber.  After polishing you can wash them in your washing machine with a high quality microfiber detergent and allow to air dry.

Orbital Polisher - pads for dual action polishers are thinner and made with a special cross-linked polyethylene core for maximum cutting and polishing ability, but flexible enough to adapt to curves and contours.

[The reason it works better on the DA is because of the motion of a DA and the surface area of a microfiber pad. Each microfiber has the ability to carry compound on all sides (which is why priming the pad is so important). This vastly increases the surface area available to come in contact with the paint surface when using it with a DA polisher] Kevin Brown

Rotary polisher - pads are made with a special reticulated foam core designed to disperse heat that occurs with rotary polishing. This thick foam core also provides excellent flexibility for contoured surfaces.

Increased pressure and a slow linear speed on initial 2-3 passes (4800 OPM) will increase defect removal. Light pressure on subsequent passes (3800 OPM) will clear finish and optimize gloss

Pads are available in the following sizes:

·         4 1/4 Inch Ultra-Fiber Dual Action Microfiber Pad (2-Pack)

·         Lake Country 5 1/4 Inch Ultra-Fiber Dual Action Microfiber Pad (2-Pack)

·         Lake Country 6 1/4 Inch Ultra-Fiber Dual Action Microfiber Pad (2-Pack)


You no longer have to navigate the sometimes confusing color codes for foam pads and you just focus on choosing the right compound/polish for the job

The cutting ability is magnified because the pad contact area is mostly saturated with the compound which coats the millions of microfibers, compared to a foam pad where the contact area is part foam and part compound.

One pad design; Ultra-Fiber Microfiber Pads are ideal for both compounding and polishing.


Albeit a small one; the cutting ability of any given compound or polish is magnified with a microfiber pad (compared to a foam pad), and this can reduce the time to complete the job. This faster cutting time may mean they are not a good choice for a neophyte detailer

Optimum Polymer Technologies - polishing and cutting pads, their low profile, reticulated, open-cell foam interface backing to disperse heat, which provides superior cooling and provides generous cushioning between the polisher and the paint that provides excellent flexibility?  A cooler running pad equals a longer pad life. Along with the unique, open cell foam backing is the advanced laminating system that ensures maximum durability out of the pads. Thanks to this feature, you can use these pads with either a rotary or a random orbital polisher.

The independent, non-tufted vertical fibres work like the fingers on your hand. They flex or stiffen when necessary to reach the peaks and valleys found in wood, painted or other solid surfaces. This constant flexing and stiffening action produces uniform results over the entire surface, adding depth and brilliance of shine not found in other products.

Available in several sizes as a polishing and cutting pad, they are designed to work with their Hyper Compound Spray, Hyper Polish Spray and Poli-Seal AIO and will also work with other polishes to provide superior paint correction. These pads have a similar abrasive ability when compared to wool

Orbital Polisher- I’ve found superior results with all orbital buffers in both compounding and polishing. It cuts as well or better than the orange or yellow foam pads while leaving less marring that is inherent with these pads. For polishing I’ve found it will remove swirls left with a rotary buffer and a wool pad. Initial speed #2 to spread and evenly distribute polish on the pad, speed 4-5 using medium heavy pressure and then reduce to speed #3 using medium light pressure

Rotary Polisher - tests with the rotary buffer at 1200 RPM it   produced amazing results with fast and easy polishing applications. The deep pile microfiber pads are thick and designed for long lasting durability. The soft, reticulated, open cell foam structure reduces heat, also produces less holograms. Clean the pad using compressed air or a pad conditioning brush after each section.

These are both machine washable.

It’s important to control the amount of polishing liquid that is on the pad. The key to polishing is removing any abrasive and abraded paint residue from the pad. These pads don’t require nearly as much pressure as with the other cutting pads on the market. I experienced zero issues with this pad from start to finish.



Is a registered trademark of Velcro Industries B.V. it is what George de Mestral named his invention Velcro [: a portmanteau of the two French words velour’s, meaning 'velvet', and crochet, or 'hook']


Generic terminology for these fasteners includes "hook and loop", "burr" and "touch" fasteners. Velcro® is a registered trademark in most countries.


It consists of two layers: a "hook" side, which is a piece of fabric covered with tiny hooks, and a "loop" side, which is covered with even smaller loops.

When the two sides are pressed together, the hooks catch in the loops and hold the pieces together. When removing the foam pad from the backing plate do not just grab the foam and pull or you may find it separates, hold the Velcro and gently pull the pad to prevent any damage.

 It is very important that you keep your working pad clean; as you go over the surface the removed polish and oxidation is being absorbed, which will become large abrasive fragments and will interfere with the cutting ability of the abrasives

Pad Conditioning Brush

These brushes clean and restores buffing pads that have become caked with oxidized paint wax and / or polish. Wax and polish get caked in-between the fibres making the texture of the pad smooth and therefore ineffective. Very inexpensive and a worthwhile investment as pads will last longer and by cleaning lessens the risk of hard wax scratching the paint surface

After polishing 2-3 panels you will need to clean the pad to remove oxidized paint and polish debris, by using a Pad Conditioning Brush. Place the brush onto the face of a foam pad spinning at 1200 RPM on a rotary polisher, slowly starting at the centre and working outwards towards the outside edge.

Repeat until the pad is free of polish dust and etc. Once the pad becomes overly saturated with polish clean with warn water and some APC. Spin to dry. The pad does not have to be totally dry to use it again. After about 4 or 6 panel sections switch out to a fresh, clean pad.

Using Compressed Air

With the machine off and the pad face upwards hold the air nozzle close to the outer edge of the pad and allow the pad to spin, working from the outer edge to the centre. It takes very little air pressure to do this as you should avoid causing high RPM as the foam may delaminate from the Velcro®

Cleaning Pads

All pads have a performance cycle, meaning you will get the desired results only to a certain point on that curve. The point of declining performance is typically reached by polish / compound pad being overloaded with product; you should always be able to see the individual cells or texture of the pad, with proper, regular cleaning pad overload can be avoided.

Clean (or replace) you pads frequently: pads are easy to clean; the slotted pad face actually makes it easy to clean. Do not use the same pad to apply differing products as cross contamination will reduce the effectiveness or completely negate their purpose altogether. A new or freshly cleaned pad must be used with each type of car care product.

It is very important that you keep your working pad clean; as you go over the surface the removed polish and oxidation is being absorbed, which will become large abrasive fragments and will interfere with the cutting ability of the abrasives During the polishing process, trace amounts of paint and / or oxidation is removed; this can cause the debris and the polish to ‘load-up the foam’. This can cause a haze to the paint surface, or the hardened polish could cause scratches, a wipe-down or a paint cleaning product will eliminate this.

A polishing pad, even if it’s been primed correctly, will become dry due to paint debris (paint oxidation) loading this can be eliminated if you run the pad (foam or microfiber) against a damp towel and then apply more compound and continue.

As an alternative, use the first pad to remove paint oxidation and give a light polish and then change to a clean primed pad and continue. This will ensure that the second polishing is actually removing surface defects

Most car care products contain polymer or oils that serve as surface lubricants. Even if you rinse the pad immediately after using it, the oily residue remains because oil and water are not miscible.

To properly clean the wool or foam pads, you need to use a fairly strong cleaner that contains a degreaser; especially for pads that have been used for wax or sealant application as they are formulated to be detergent resistant

A common misconception is that a regular all-purpose cleaner (APC) or detergents can be used to clean pads. While they do clean the pads but they also leave a soapy residue that doesn't completely rinse out. This residue will reactivate the next time you use the pad.

Using (P21S®® Total Auto Wash or Optimum Power Clean ™)  diluted 2:1 (or stronger) soak the pads in hand-hot water for about an hour. Then gently work the surface of your pads with your thumbs for a minute or two. Compress the pads individually (do not wring as this may damage the Velcro®) under the water with the flat of your palms a few times. Drain the water and rinse thoroughly with warm water and compress the pads to drain the excess water.

Place pads between two terry cloth towels and compress to remove water. You can also put them in the dryer using the setting for air dry (no heat) or spin them on a rotary by placing the pad in an empty bucket until excess water is removed.

A clean or fresh pad will restore the intended abrasive ability, were as a saturated foam pads abrasive ability will decrease (note dried or caked on polish will increase risk of surface scratches) clean often with a soft fairly stiff brush or compressed air


1.       Clean and / or replace pads as often as is necessary; a clean seasoned pad will enhance the abrasive abilities of the compound / polish and make the process not only more efficient but less time consuming.

2.       During the polishing process, trace amounts of paint and / or oxidation is removed; this can cause the debris and the polish to “load up” the pad (you should always be able to see the pores of the foam pad)This can cause a haze , or holograms on the paint surface, a wipe-down or a paint cleaning product will eliminate this.

3.       Use a brush to clean the pad after each time you polish a section, as it keeps the pad from accumulating  too much polish on the paint surface but the  pad remains saturated, avoiding the necessity of  adding  as much polish as the first panel or two.

4.       After using foam pads place in some water with P21S®® Total Auto Wash or Optimum Power Clean™. This keeps your pads moist and begins the cleaning process while you finish detailing. Never allow a used pad to air dry before it is washed.

5.       When you are ready to clean them, rinse well, re-wash, squeezing out reside between a folded towel (do not wring as this may weaken the Velcro™  )and then ‘spin’ drying them on the polisher or leave to air-dry Velcro™ side up on a grit guard or drying rack

6.       You can also use a terry cloth towel, fold it in two and then simply hold the towel against the face of the pad and then turn the polisher on and push the towel into the foam. This will remove excess liquid and clean any residue from the face of the pad.

7.       Store cleaned, dry wash media (wash mitts, sponges, etc.), foam pads, micro fibre towels, foam applicators in plastic zip lock bags (only 90% close if contents are damp to avoid mildew / mould formation) and place the bags in a plastic storage or wall cabinets

Backing plates

A rotary polisher has 5/8-inch (14mm) diameter shaft, 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. It’s time to replace the backing plate when they become noticeably less flexible or when the composite rubber stats to crumble, always check the metal attachment post and if there is any damage then replace.

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

Pad delaminating Issues

These pads don’t require nearly as much pressure, or the higher speeds used with the other cutting pads on the market. I experienced zero issues with this pad from start to finish.

Ventilated Backing Plate

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 vent holes help to dissipate the heat from the pad, helping transfer less heat to both the pad and the paint surface. While remaining perfectly balanced and constructed of high quality, durable, materials

Mirka backing plates (5/16" attachment) 125mm (5-inch)

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