Saturday, 17 January 2015

Pad Performance and Cleaning

Different pad / product combinations (least abrasive pad / polish first)

a) Base pad / product (least abrasive pad / product) if this combination does not provide the desired results, increase the aggressiveness of the technique or product selection.

b) Step-up 1 - using the same pad with a more abrasive product

c) Step-up II – use a less abrasive pad and the same product as used in step-up I

d) Step-up III- using the same pad with a more abrasive product

As can been ascertained from the above the total abrasive ability of a polish / foam pad combination is subject to many variables, the polishes abrasive ability is just the starting point.

If you need to be more aggressive, step up from a foam pad to a Foam / Wool hybrid and then Wool then Microfiber, if that doesn't work, go to a SurBuf pad and after that you’ll need to switch your polish or compounds.

Factors that increase abrasion ability

• Increased speed (Velocity)

• Increased pressure (Pad compression)

• Use smaller pad (Reduced surface Area)

• Using a firmer pad (Increases surface resistance and kinetic energy (heat transfer)

• Using a slower panel transition speed (Increased surface contact time) 

• Reduce the working area

The key to the polishing process is to know how the paint will react with each pad / polish combination you consider using. You must know your product and what its capabilities are before using it. This is why a ‘test’ spot is so important. 

The factors that affect the outcome are speed, friction (kinetic energy) applied pressure, foam pad actual surface contact area, pad grit number (abrasive ability) amount of surface lubrication available, the surface area and heat conductivity of material

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.

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

Removal of Oxidized Paint

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 paint surface defects

Use a chemical paint cleaner before you apply a paint protection product. Swissvax Cleaner Fluid Regular is a non-abrasive cleaner used on lightly oxidized paint or Swissvax Cleaner Fluid Professional Finish a nano-polishing compound contains abrasive micro granules.

Applied evenly using strong pressure with a machine polisher. The friction applied by this application technique causes the innovative micro granules contained in its formula to wear away against one another diminishing for a progressively finer abrasive polish allowing you to remove any oxidation or irregularities on your vehicles paintwork while only abrading the minimum required of its sensitive surface

 General Rules  

1. With a random orbital polisher; the limiting factor to pad size is the actual power of the machine. Using larger pads on these machines actually reduces the amount of polishing power due to the surface resistance of the pad, which will cause the motor to slow down or stall. Conversely using a smaller pad will increase the power available by reducing the surface resistance by concentrating motor power on a smaller area.

2. With smaller pads you gain increased control and manoeuvrability. Smaller pads generate more kinetic friction (and subsequently, increased heat) with a PC, which breaks down polishes by generating energy (and applied pressure) over a concentrated area. The random orbiting motion of the PC generates the most power in the centre of the pad (i.e. area of a 6.5 – inch pad is 33 – square inches compared to the area of a 4 – inch pad, which is 12.5 – square inches) This additional pressure / cutting power will facilitate the removal of deeper imperfections

3. The opposite is true with rotary buffers. The speed of the outer edge of a smaller (radius) pad is slower than that of a larger (radius) pad. This helps reduce the amount of friction generated, which makes polishing tighter areas much safer.

4. 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.

5. Water will increase the abrasiveness of a polish; but unlike wool, a foam pad has no fibres to twist, bend, and reshape, therefore helping to loosen the abrasive, so water tends to cause abrasive-clumping, which is detrimental to its performance, it can also cause the pad / abrasive to aquaplane, negating the abrasive

6. There is no recognizable standard between manufacturers that use colour as an identification of the abrasiveness of a foam

7. Apply pressure to the foam; if it springs back the pad is fine. If it stays compressed the foam core is damaged and it’s time to replace the pad.


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