[ Although there is no such thing as perfection; if we work towards perfection hopefully we can achieve excellence] Vince Lombardi
Process over Product
A wax or sealant can only reflect what is underneath it, so a clean, level well-prepared surface is the most important consideration (85% of a surfaces reflectivity is its preparation) along with applied product clarity. If you apply a product over a surface that is dirty or one that has surface imperfections a wax or sealant will not disguise it, only highlight them.
Always start with the least aggressive abrasive / pad combination first
White - Compounding
Orange - Polishing
Yellow – Finishing
Orange - Polishing
Yellow – Finishing
Dual Action 5-inch (125mm) backing plate
Menzerna GMBH EU Abrasive Levels and Reference Numbers
· FG 500 – Fast Gloss (1500 grit): Cut 10/10: Gloss 5/10 9 ( not sold in the US, due to VOC regulations)
· FG 400 - Fast Gloss (1200 grit) Cut 9/10: Gloss 7/10
· PG 1000 – Power Gloss (1500 grit) Cut 8/10: Gloss 3/10
· IP 2000 – Intensive Polish (grit) Cut 7/10: Gloss 6/10
· PF 2500 – Power Finish (grit) Cut 6/10: Gloss 8/10
· FF 3000 – Final Finish (grit) Cut 5/10: Gloss 9/10
· SF 4000 – Super Finish (grit) Cut 5/10: Gloss 10/10
· SW - Sealing Wax Cut 2/10: Gloss 10/10
Menzerna GMBH, EU polishes have slightly different formulations and cut levels compared to the Menzerna US versions
Menzerna USA Abrasive Levels and Reference Numbers
· PG 1000 – Power Gloss Compound (S34A) Cut: 5/5.0 - Gloss: 1.5/ 5.0
· FG 400 - Fast Gloss (1200 grit) Cut 9/10: Gloss 7/10
· SI 1500 – Super Intensive Polish (PO83) 2000 Grit Cut 3.8 – Gloss 3.2
· IP 2000 – Intensive Polish (PO91E) Cut 7/10: Gloss 6/
· PF 2500 – Power Finish Polish (PO203) Cut:3.5/5.0 – Gloss; 3.5/5.0
· FF 3000 – Final Finish Polish (PO85U) Cut 5/10: Gloss 9/10
· SF 4000 – Super Finish Polish (PO106FA) Cut:2.5/5.0 – Gloss; 5/5.0
· SF 4500 – Super Finish Polish (PO85RD) Cut:3.5/5.0 – Gloss; 5/5.0
Lake Country (LC) Mfg. Pads
• Wool --- compounding, aggressive cutting (Menzerna power gloss compound)
• Yellow – compounding, aggressive cutting (Menzerna power gloss compound)
• Orange-- polishing /med cut (Menzerna intensive polish or super intensive polish)
• Green --polishing /med cut (Menzerna intensive polish or super intensive polish)
• White- light polishing (Menzerna PO106FA /PO85RD)
• Blue - finishing/glazing, no abrasive abilities (Menzerna po106fa /po85rd/or a liquid wax or glaze)
• Black - finishing/glazing, no abrasive abilities (a softer pad than blue)
• Red – finishing, no abrasive abilities (very soft pad used primarily for waxing)
FG 500 (S100) Fast Gloss, PG1000 (PO203) Power Finish and SF 4000 (PO106FA) Super Finish should be all you need to meet any paint surface polishing needs
I have used and tested all of the automotive polishes that are currently available for aftermarket use; like all abrasives used for car care they must be used with extreme care, as some are capable of removing a substantial amount of paint in a very short space of time. As a result, I would recommend that they are only used by professional or experienced hobbyist detailers and always in conjunction with a paint thickness gauge (PTG).
Founded in 1888 in Pforzheim, Germany by Friedrich Menzerna to meet the polishing needs of the region's jewellery industry, Menzerna stands today as the leading producer of high quality polishing materials with worldwide presence Building on over a century of application experience and technological innovation, their dedication to quality manufacturing and customer service has earned us the reputation for world-class polishing solutions.
For three decades, Menzerna GMBH has been the factory source for the full line of Menzerna compounds in addition to providing technical product and application information.
We have successfully introduced the Menzerna line to the optical, jewellery, furniture, musical instrument, automotive assembly plants, collision repair, and detail reconditioning markets.
With offices in New York and distribution throughout North America, MenzernaUSA offer an exceptional service and the full range of Menzerna compounds to meet any polishing requirement.
Recognizing that the polishing process is a system of interdependent components, buffing wheels and polishing pads were included in the product offering to ensure the highest level of compound performance and compatibility
In 1950 Menzerna came under the management of Dr. Walter Burkart, who began researching industrial polishing technology, culminating in his writing of a guide to sharpening and polishing.
This guide is still recognized as the standard guide on the subject. With the 1960s came the advent of liquid polish emulsions, which is still the norm in the auto industry. Menzerna quickly adopted this new way of processing and applied to it some of the highest standards of quality that the industry has ever seen.
Driven by this commitment to quality and consistency, Menzerna went on to become one of the top producers of polishes for automotive and industrial consumers.
These polishes were designed to work by utilizing kinetic (or dynamic) friction to break-down the diminishing abrasives, while in the controlled temperature / humidity environment (working temp range 60 – 80.0F (15-26.0C) of a vehicle manufacturer’s paint shop finishing line.
It is possible to obtain results with Menzerna polishes utilizing a random orbital polisher; but these products were formulated for use with large offset (0.75-inch) pneumatic Festool orbital or a high-speed rotary polisher that produces high kinetic (dynamic) friction and by using the correct pads. Using them in ways that they were not designed for could impact their ultimate performance and the results obtained.
Working with PPG, BASF and Mercedes Benz, Menzerna 2003 developed special polishes for use on PPG CeramiClear™ Clear Coat for removing scratches, swirls and paint defects Beyond superior abrasives, Menzerna has pioneered the development of polishes designed specifically for the hard clear coats, like those used by General Motors on the Corvette and PPG CeramiClear™ Clear Coat being used by Mercedes Benz. Super Intensive and Nanotechnology Polish are currently used by Mercedes - Benz in Germany on their production line to remove swirls and over-spray incurred during the painting process.
A unique family of abrasives developed by Menzerna allows these polishes to remove defects, even on brand new paint finishes, with no loss of surface gloss and no micro-marring. The abrasives are just one factor in the equation; lubricants, solvents, emulsion and their carrier system will determine the actual functional ability of the polish
Super Intensive Polish (SIP), Power Finish (PF2500) and Nano Polish (FG4000) these polishes contain nanotechnology ceramic micro particle diminishing abrasives, that are milled as fine as 0.3 µ (micron) and /also contain a higher abrasive content, 7% whereas the other polishes contain 3% abrasives
What sets Menzerna apart is quality, they have long been the benchmark of European abrasives. Their plant in Germany has some of the strictest quality control standards in the industry. They mill their own abrasives, rather than buying them from abrasives distributor, which allows them to control the size and uniformity of the aluminium oxide abrasive used in each polish.
Uniform silicone free abrasives give the end user consistent, dependable results. They are the most technologically advanced polishes created to date; each of Menzerna superior emulsions is water-based, silicone-free, and easy to clean up.
A unique family of abrasives developed by Menzerna allows these polishes to remove defects, even on brand new paint finishes, with no loss of surface gloss and no micro-marring. When a silicon-free polish is used to eliminate surface scratches it works on the surface of paint using aluminium oxide spheres, suspended in water and hydrocarbon oils and a mechanical process to abrade the surface of the paint down to the level of the bottom of the scratch.
As enthusiasts become more sophisticated in their knowledge and use of car care products, they demand better products. They want to use the same products used by the car manufacturers.
If you have a need to remove blemishes, swirl marks, spider webbing, or any nasty paint problem, and / or require a superior gloss finish the Menzerna polishes will become your go-to polishes.
Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) Polishes
These products were specifically formulated to polish out any defects found on Nanotechnology PPG CeramiClear™ Clear Coat, along with a high speed pneumatic ¾ - inch (19 mm) offset orbital polisher on the OEM production line of vehicle manufacturing plants, using high speed friction to break-down the diminishing abrasives, while in the controlled temperature / humidity environment (working temp range 60 – 80.oF (15-26.oC) of a vehicle manufacturer’s paint shop finishing line.
These are Germany's best polishes and are used at OEM plants by Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Maybach, VW and Porsche plants in Germany, Volvo in Sweden, Renault in France, Fiat in Italy and here in the US at Daimler-Chrysler and General Motors Corvette.
In 2002 Classic Motoring Accessories first started to import Menzerna directly from Germany to the US for the enthusiast market; as these products are formulated for German OEM and this is the market sector they wanted to concentrate on
Menzerna polishes and compounds are used by so many European vehicle manufacturers because they get a premium product that allows them to produce consistent results on their vehicles. Consistency is the ultimate goal of mass production. Many over the counter (OTC) products use subpar abrasives, i.e., they’re chunky or irregular. They have some of the strictest standards in uniformity, size, and shape of their abrasives.
Menzerna mill abrasives as fine as 0.3 µ (micron), all milling is done in house so they can maintain total control over their polishes from start to finish. That’s how you know you’re getting a superior product.
These polishing compounds are capable of removing grit sanding marks with minimal or no loss of surface gloss. Besides being exceedingly surface friendly, the polishes are water-based and silicone-free. They are ideal for use on new paint finishes in a body shop or manufacturing environment.
Menzerna polishes are formulated for quick and clean defect removal with minimal finishing work. Often you can go from compound polishing to wax (LSP) application without additional polishing.
The Advantages of using Menzerna Polishes
• Contains no fillers (developed for the OEM market where a filler is prohibited)
• Safe on all types of paint, including clear coat, lacquer, nano technology ceramic, and acrylic
• Little or no loss in surface gloss
• Uniform abrasives
• Safe on new paint and factory cured paint
• Clean, often one-step defect removal
• Low or no dusting
• Superior gloss on any colour paint surface
• Minimal polishing is required to restore gloss to dark paints
Not only does Menzerna mill abrasives as fine as 0.3 µ (micron), they have developed some of the tightest quality control procedures in the industry. These polishing compounds are TUV approved (the German Automotive Safety Council) and meet or exceed ISO 9001 standards, the highest in the world.
These polishes are water-based; technically, they're an oil-in-water emulsion. They do contain a petroleum distillate (mineral oils) a lubricant, not a solvent. They do not contain any glazes or silicones.
These diminishing abrasive polishes are foam pad ‘dependant’ as far as its paint correction / renovation abilities are concerned and they appear to work better when the foam pad is ‘primed’ (a very slightly distilled water dampened foam; do not use a quick detailer (QD) as most are formulated with either a wax or a polymer; however they are not easily adaptable to a spray formula.
To be efficient they need to be emulsified to work as a spray, to facilitate this they need to use an emulsion of silicone oils and water. The wax will reduce the friction, negatively impacting the diminishing abrasives; silicon-based products can also have a negative effect on the surface / polish lubrication oils used by Menzerna causing surface smearing. (See also Silicone Removal, surface preparation)
Menzerna has customized many of the formulas in the consumer line to allow the enthusiast to polish cured paint. Slightly increasing the amount of lubricating oils already in the formula gives the consumer the extra time needed to polish cured paint before the polish starts to dry
These are Germany's best polishes and are used at Mercedes-Benz, Maybach, Audi, VW and Porsche plants in Germany, Volvo in Sweden, Renault in France, Fiat in Italy and here in the US at Daimler-Chrysler and General Motors Corvette.
PPG CeramiClear™ Clear Coat ®
Is a binary clear coat composition designed to offer long-term gloss and durability. Formulated for use by Mercedes-Benz and first used on their 2005 Maybach According to PPG engineers, this is the first automotive clear coat to use Nanoparticle technology. PPG CeramiClear™ Clear Coat ® can still be damaged by keys but most day-to-day use including degradation from ultraviolet radiation, acid rain and salt is eliminated. Additionally, reported test results show that it holds onto more than 80 percent of its gloss appearance after several months of weathering and being run through the car wash.
This process results in an extensively cross-linked, very hard paint finish that stands up better to mechanical car washes and day to day abuse. This clear coat from PPG is the only nanotechnology clear coat used on Mercedes production lines and is approved for the repair of Mercedes and Nissans.
On the assembly line, vehicles are painted by robot sprayers, proceed to an oven where the finish is baked and travel about 100 yards to a “finessing” area. Here, while the paint is still warm, inspectors walk around the vehicles and mark paint defects with a grease pen. Still in the finessing area, paint technicians then go to work on the vehicle, repairing the defects marked by the inspectors.
Technicians are given a certain amount of time to correct all the paint defects. If a vehicle cannot be completed, it must be shunted off the line to another staging area until all the defects are corrected.
The problem with the ceramic clear coat is that it is harder to correct than the comparatively soft clear coats used by most other car manufacturers. Ceramic paint can still scratch; just not as easily. When a scratch does occur, not all the polishes on the market are capable of removing it from the new, hard-as-a-rock clear coats.
a) Polymers have a shelf life of approx. 3-5 years if kept in their original containers and stored at temperatures as above
b) Polish - technically 2 years, however if bottle is kept closed, and the product has not separated, there would be no problem with use for four years after sale date.
c) Waxes will last almost indefinitely, provided that they are stored a sealed in their original containers and in the refrigerator or controlled environment once opened. The liquids should last 18 months if stored at normal room temperature.
If product emulsion separates it could be indicative of age (but not necessarily past its useful life) shake vigorously for 5-10 minutes and see if the product remixes.
Temperature that affect Application
Detailing products should be applied to a cool dry surface out of direct sunlight (actual surface temperature of the vehicle) ideal range between 50 (10.oC) and 80.oF (26.oC) the carrier system for waxes is solvents, while polishes (and waxes) use oils for surface lubrication. At higher surface temperatures they evaporate allowing products to dry out and start to solidify
These are the temperatures and conditions that are relative to the application of car care products; the most important is the actual surface temperature of the vehicle. The other things that will have a direct bearing on this is the humidity as this will affect the cross-linking (cure) time, excess humidity will also affect ‘how’ a wax or sealant dries (i.e. it may cause hazing or clouding of the surface) and will also prolong fabric / carpet drying times
Humidity and dew point saturation temperature (the temperature which water vapour will condense into water) will also affect the application of waxes and sealants. Micro particles of moisture will form on the horizontal panels and due to the oil content in waxes it will inhibit the adhesion process, water will interfere with the cross-linking of a polymer sealant
The other climate related condition that should be avoided when applying car care products is direct sunlight, as this will dramatically increase the surface temperature compared to ambient temperatures causing the product to dry prematurely and may render it ineffective.
· Surface Temperature (actual surface temperature of the vehicle) between 50 (10.oC) and 80.oF (26.oC) products will work well within a much broader temperature range, i.e. 45. °F to 90.° F (4.5-32.oC) but at 45 degrees it will take much longer to dry, perhaps as much as two to three hours) but the best results will be achieved in the 60° to 70° F (15-21.oC) range.
· Humidity and dew point saturation temperature (the temperature which water vapour will condense into water) will also affect the application of waxes and sealants.
Micro particles of moisture will form on the horizontal panels and due to the oil content in waxes it will inhibit the adhesion process, water will interfere with the cross-linking of a polymer sealant
· Most detailing products contain solvents that if used on a hot surface will flash (evaporate) and will negatively affect the product used.
· The oils and waxes used in polishes to provide surface lubrication will evaporate, leading to dry buffing and surface scratches
· Using cold water on hot metal will cause heat stress, which will lead to the metal deforming, cracking and failure (rotors, engine parts) once they are warped the brakes cannot work, thermal shock could also cause the engine block structurally fail.
· The same principle applies to hot water on a cold surface (i.e. defrosting ice from a windscreen)
· Cold ambient temperatures (40.°F >) - water- based products (polish, wax, fabric cleaners, etc.) will be negatively affected at lower temps i.e. some polishes use wax as a lubricant, which will solidify during lower temp conditions, causing the polish to 'clump' and become unworkable
Polish Methodology (polishes and pad selection)
Diagnosis is the key; not guesswork; examine the vehicles bodywork, a ‘bag-test will ascertain the need for detailer’s clay, and a 3M Sun Gun or a Brinkman light will help you find any evidence of surface blemishes i.e. swirl marks and scratches.
The most important first step in the process of paint surface detailing is diagnosing the paint surface; density of clear coat (hard or soft) or single stage paint, surface condition; ascertain the severity of the surface blemishes with an inspection light and the paint thickness available.
The paintwork should be evaluated with a paint thickness gauge to see what thickness of clear coat remains before you decide how much paint renovation can be safely carried or wither paint preservation would be the appropriate option, before you proceed, measuring with a paint thickness gauge will dictate the choice and abrasiveness of polish / compound for correction or renovation level required or indeed possible
Measuring with a paint thickness gauge will dictate the choice and abrasiveness of polish / compound for correction or renovation level required or indeed possible. Assess the correction level working through the range of polishes from the lightest abrasive upwards until the desired level of correction is reached. Selecting the correct pad / polish combination for the vehicles paint / defects can take just as long as the paint correction process
When removing defects from the paint surface, consider not only which polish / compound you'll be using, but how you'll be using it. You choice of machine speed, pad construction, pad size and applied pressure will all impact the abrasive abilities of the polishing liquid.
Decide on a one, two or three step polishing routine and select a suitable pad. After testing a section to confirm this method, Select an area of 18 x 18-inches and tape it off with painter’s tape, as this is an optimal working section to perform a product test spot; this will help establish a process that will produce the best possible finish, once this is established repeat the process over the entire paint surface.
Select a Test Spot – or typical area (i.e. one that represents the type of defects that you want to remove) and starting with the least abrasive polish and / pad combination and then proceed until the defects are removed. This is the polish / pad combination you’ll need to use. Selecting the correct pad / polish combination for the vehicles paint / defects can take just as long as the paint correction process
Always choose the least intrusive product, it is preferable to polish 2-3 times to restore the paint film surface than to use an unnecessarily abrasive machine polish / foam pad combination.
Sandpaper or finishing paper is the most common item from a larger group of products known as "coated abrasives" i.e. Aluminium oxide.
When talking about "grit" is a reference to the number of abrasive particles per inch of finishing paper (sandpaper). The lower the grit the more abrasive and conversely, the higher the grit number the lesser (smoother) the finishing paper
When talking about abrasive finishing paper, "grit" is a reference to the number of abrasive particles per inch of paper. It eliminates the risk of deep sanding scratches by providing a uniform grit size. This makes sense if you imagine how small the grit particles on a 1000-grit finishing paper would need to be to fit into a 1- inch square. Grit finishing paper is referred to by the size of its abrasives (i.e. 1500-grit paper) the grit you use depends on what you are trying to do.
Foam Pads are also rated on a grit number, that is to say the scratches they will remove after using grit finishing paper along with a similarly rated polish (i.e. 2500 grit rated pad and polish combination will remove the marks left after using 2500 grit finishing paper)
Auto polishes and compounds have a grit number associated with them. This is the level of grit made on a paint surface by finishing paper on newly applied OEM paint on the production line i.e. before it has been oven dried and cured
Be cognizant that both polish / compound and pad grit numbers are referenced to a rotary polisher using wool pads (to the best of my knowledge they have never been changed to suit orbital polishers or foam pads)
Select an abrasive polish to match the scratch you are trying to remove. It makes no sense to use a very aggressive polish, that will remove most scratches but at what cost to clear coat thickness. Both foam pads and polishes have a grit number) most polishes will state the level of scratch removed by stating grit numbers i.e. will remove 2000 grit scratches caused by using 2000 grit finishing paper
Once you have identified the scratch ‘grit’ marks you can match a polish and a foam pad (i.e. 2500 grit marks, require a polish that is capable of removing 2500 grit (number) marks, matched with a suitable cutting pad (e.g. Menzerna Power Finish (PO203S) this is a one-step scratch remover polish that will remove 2500 grit, matched with a LC White light cutting foam pad)
1. 1000 < grit Heavy - (Compound) levels and removes heavy defects
2. 1200 grit Heavy - levels moderate to heavy defects
3. 1500 grit Medium - levels light to moderate defects
4. 2000 grit Moderate - levels light defects and removes hazing
5. 2500 grit Light - levels swirl marks, light defects and removes hazing
6. 3000 grit Fine - very minor corrective ability, burnishes paint to high gloss
Start by polishing a small area for a few seconds to ‘warm’ the oil lubrication system and the wax thickener within a 5 - 6 inch area with a few small passes. The idea here is to polish for a few seconds just to liquefy the wax and warm the oils that are used for surface lubrication.
Spread the polish over the work area, it should spread easily, continue your passes at 1200 – 1500 RPM until the diminishing abrasives have broken down, the polish will become translucent, similar to the look of Vaseline® and then reduce the speed to 1000RPM for one or two final passes
A non-linear abrasive that require kinetic friction and applied pressure, while the majority of polishes on the market use a form of diminishing (non- linear) abrasive, which you polish until it turns translucent; when a polish "flashes" from a liquid paste to a light semi-dry haze, much like a coating of Vaseline®, proceed until it looks like a clear oil and then stop; the diminishing polish has then broken down and is ready for removal.
Diminishing abrasives, as the name suggests; the abrasives become smaller with friction, and therefore go from removing paint defects to polishing the paint, which produces the shine. If you don't break them down sufficiently, you are just grinding those abrasive particles into your paint, without polishing it, which can leave behind marring and other paint surface imperfections.
When a paint renovation detailer uses this term it really means that they are going to be abrading the surrounding paint area that that contains the defect (scratch, swirls, surface marring, etching, pitting, etc.)
It is possible to remove a scratch by abrading the clear coat to a lower level then the base of the scratch, which will remove clear coat, just be aware of how much you remove, as you don’t want to compromise the paint systems protection.
What makes a scratch visible is that it makes the paint surface two-dimensional and the light reflects from the microscopic fissures and scratches differently from the rest of the paint surface
Polishing or levelling a paint surface refers to the process of removing scratches, using different grit finishing papers of progressively finer grit or foam / wool pads with progressively denser pads to get a smooth finish.
Each scratch has a corresponding grit number to identify the depth of the scratch i.e.1000 grit scratches are deep, whereas 3000 grit are very fine surface scratches. The process involves identifying the scratch by its grit number and then removing them progressively by using a range of grit numbers i.e. a surface that has a 1500 grit scratch is polished with a corresponding 1500 grit polish and foam pad, this combination will leave its own fine scratches that correspond to the size of the abrasive used, this can then be removed with 2000 or 3000 grit polish / pad combination
Proceed with this in mind; always choose the least intrusive product, it is preferable to polish 2-3 times to restore the paint film surface than to use an unnecessarily abrasive machine polish / foam pad combination. Before commencing polishing do a test panel on the car, once you have achieved the desired results with your selected polish / pad combination then proceed to polish the rest of the panels
Paint System Thickness- Most modern vehicle paint film systems comprise; Primer coat of 2Mils, Colour coat of 1-2Mils, Clear coat 2-3Mils. Removing more than 0.3 mil (7.5µ) of clear coat will cause premature paint film failure. As a point of reference two sheets of Saran wrap placed on top of each other measure 1.5Mil (0.0015") a surface scratch that will `catch' your fingernail is approximately 0.004" deep will usually require wet sanding and refinishing.
Paint Removed by Polishing
Using a medium abrasive polish and a rotary polisher will remove approximately 0. 1 Mil (3µ Microns) from the paint surface (typically 4 passes at 1500-1800 RPM) but there are many variables such as polish/compound and speed / pressure used that may affect the paint removed) There comes a point when you must judge whether removing a scratch will compromise the clear coat and if so you’ll have to ‘live’ with the imperfection. If you have reservations about the amount of paint surface removed or the amount of paint coating remaining the use of a paint thickness gauge (PTG) is arbitrary
To remove a scratch you need to level the paint to the lowest point of the scratch. A random orbital polisher requires more pressure to utilize an abrasive than a circular polisher and its orbital action is a less efficient motion for removing a scratch from a paint surface; due partly to its indirect application of pressure; using a medium abrasive polish it usually takes 8-10 steps. A rotary polisher requires less pressure and its circular motion is a more directly applied force will remove more paint for each polishing step, which is usually 2-3 to remove surface defects.
The dual action of a random orbital motion will require more applied pressure to work the compound into the scratch as opposed to the singular action motion of a rotary spinning with less applied pressure; and for these reasons a random orbital polisher removes more paint than a rotary circular polisher to remove the same surface defects
Block wet sanding (finishing paper and a sanding block) is the most efficient process for paint defect removal a polish or compound is applied by the sanding block with a constant pressure applied to maintain a flat and even surface contact. Because of its linear process you abrade the paint surface until the defects are removed.
There comes a point when you must judge wither removing a scratch will compromise the clear coat and if so you’ll have to ‘live’ with the imperfection. If you have reservations about the amount of paint surface removed or the amount of paint coating remaining the use of a paint thickness gauge (PTG) is arbitrary
Painter’s Tape (Masking Tape)
Use to mask around windows, badges, vinyl or rubber trim, can also be used to mask panel edges to avoid thinning the paint surface
3M Scotch® Safe-Release TM Painters' Masking Tape, this tape removes cleanly from a paint film or glass surface without adhesive transfer or surface damage for up to 14 days - even when exposed to direct sunlight. It is a medium adhesion tape with a flexible crepe backing allows for exceptional conformability to semi-smooth surfaces.
Surface Filling / Masking Abilities
Every polish that uses oils or polymers for lubrication will fill surface marks that are not removed and mask defects. If you don’t remove the lubricating oils (Anhydrous Isopropyl (99%) Alcohol (AIPA) wipe-down then you are by passing the post polish inspection and the oils left behind will mask the defects.
Note – some polishes contain specific products (i.e. Kaolin (china clay) or Diatomaceous earth) to mask surface marks, this type of filler will also be removed by the IPA wipe-down process.
Priming / Seasoning Pads
The main reason for priming a pad is to ensure that the accumulated mass of the polish / compound is on the upper surface or contact area of the pad, this ensures that the working surface of the pad has sufficient product allied to its lubrication, avoiding any dry foam having contact with the paint surface for maximum polishing effectiveness.
By ensuring the pad doesn’t become saturated with polish it allows the in-built cushioning effect and the pads designed foam qualities; i.e. density (or rebound), compression (‘hardness or stiffness) and without altering its in-built air-flow, which will decrease its heat dissipating abilities, causing it to transfer more kinetic friction heat to the surface
Polishes and compounds appear to work better when the foam pad is ‘primed’ some things to note about pad priming: the cutting ability is increased, a better finish is obtained, it reduces any solvent-based product ‘flashing’ problems, it produces a more even finish and the polishing machine is less likely to hop.
Dampen the pad thoroughly (do not over wet) as this will aid in compound/polish dispersion. You could also wet the foam and press in a folded towel, do not wring the foam as this could weaken the Velcro® backing. When the pad is dampened properly it becomes flexible and much easier to use, this also helps the pad to absorb polish (capillary action) efficiently.
Pad longevity may be increased as the water will dilute any solvent, paint residue (oxidation) or abrasive materials as these will degrade the structure of a pad, either by mechanical agitation or by absorption.
Dampened foam will be less brittle and therefore less likely to tear or shred.
Spread the polish / compound over the pad evenly and ensure it is absorbed into the foam, then spread that polish onto the pad by hand until the pad face becomes 75 % saturated. After polishing for a minute or two the pad will become more evenly saturated spraying water onto the surface to induce capillary action to draw more abrasives to the surface of the pad for more cut.
Once the pad has been seasoned (pad face is saturated with product) you can reduce the amount of polish / compound applied to the pad for subsequent passes; dependent upon what you're trying to accomplish.
Once the pad is primed it helps by spreading the abrasives uniformly and by keeping the pad flat thus ensuring constant paint / polish contact it becomes similar to a piece of wet-sanding finishing paper, the oils in the polish provide the lubrication (like the water does in wet-sanding)
Apply the compound or polish to the surface and spread the polish using the foam pad with the (Orbital Polisher) machine off. This coats the pad and the surface being polished with product to prevent scratching or hazing the finish, then place the foam pad flat on the surface and turn the machine on. Do no, under any circumstances, turn the polisher on with any portion of the foam pad dry as this will produce hazing.
Most polishes are formulated by emulsifying a powdered abrasive in a carrier system (oil / solvent) the right amount of pressure / friction heat is vital to allow the polish / compound abrasives to level the paint surface and remove surface scratches / marring
Some advantages to pad priming:
· Increased cutting ability
· Better surface finish
· Eliminates carrier system (solvent) flashing problems
· Surface is more evenly polished and polisher is easier to control
Don’t use a quick detailer or a pad conditioner as they are usually formulated with silicones, oils, waxes, polymers, gloss enhancers, which will negatively affect the polish lubrication (exception Meguiar’s Final Inspection Spray, diluted 1:1 distilled water) spraying water while polishing can cause the foam pads abrasives to aquaplane, as water for all intents and purposes is incompressible, so that the pad and the abrasive don’t have actual surface contact, thereby negatively impacting the polishing process. Spread the polish / compound over the pad evenly and ensure it is absorbed into the foam, then spread that polish onto the pad by hand until it becomes 80% saturated.
To apply to the paint surface; lightly raise the back of the machine so you are working with the top 1/3 of the pad. After polishing for a minute or two the pad will become more evenly saturated with product and actually become softer from friction induced heat build-up (seasoned). At this point, you can safely transition from a tilted up to a flat polishing position. Every time you put a fresh pad on your machine (and this should be done often) you should prime and then season it for a minute or two before "flat" polishing.
Once the pad has been seasoned (pad should be 80% saturated with product being used to compound / polish) you can reduce the amount of polish / compound applied to the pad for subsequent passes; dependent upon what you're trying to accomplish. If you use too much polish or compound the oils will cause the surface to become over lubricated, which will negatively impact the abrasive abilities
When you prime entire pad, by spreading the abrasives uniformly and by keeping the pad flat thus ensuring constant paint / polish contact it becomes similar to a piece of wet-sanding finishing paper, the oils in the polish provide the lubrication (like the water does in wet-sanding)
Gloss It EVP Pad Prime is high-grade lubricating oil that greatly extends machine polishing times and enables polishes to break down properly, even on the softest of paints. It helps to extend pad life and reduce the amount of polish used, and therefore pays for itself in the long run.
Works exceptionally well in hot and humid conditions, where it prevents polishes from flashing off too quickly, and is also useful in cold and damp conditions, where it prevents temperature-sensitive polishes like Menzerna RD3.02 from clumping up and becoming unusable.
Designed to be used sparingly; only a single drop is required per panel to be polished; for best results, add the drop to the centre of the pad and then place the pad on to the panel to be polished and run your machine for a few seconds at low speed to spread the oil evenly over the face of the pad.
CCS Foam Pads - patent pending, Collapsed Cell Structure (CCS) Technology™, from Raisins Schaumstoffe, Gmbh., Germany developed for and used by Mercedes-Benz These pads are manufactured from thermally reticulated, urethane foam with an open cell structure, with a layer of engineered, instant rebound foam between the pad and the backing plate to absorb off-axis movements while keeping the pressure of the pad on the surface constant.
The newer, harder, scratch-resistant clear coats require longer polishing times to remove swirls, spots and defects improves polish performance by slowing and controlling the rate of polish absorption.
Quality foam pads used for detailing are manufactured from specially engineered European foam, a blend of thermal reticulated polyurethane with a 90% open cell structure, created specifically for compounding, polishing and finishing vehicle surface paints. This type of foam allows air to circulate through the pad to reduce spot heat build-up.
In September of 2006, this green, German foam was introduced with Collapsed Cell Structure (CCS) Technology™ at Automekanica in Frankfurt, Germany. The newer, harder, scratch-resistant clear coats require longer polishing times to remove swirls, spots and defects. The longer you polish with conventional foam pads, the less effective they become because polish migrates below the working surface of the pad, it then dries out. It has a unique compression/load/deflection ratio which means it conforms quickly to contours
This advanced, Collapsed Cell Structure uses constant pressure technology utilizes a layer of engineered, instant rebound foam between the pad and the backing plate to absorb off-axis movements while keeping the pressure of the pad on the surface constant, these foam pads were specifically developed to polish the new, harder, scratch-resistant clear coats. Matching an Engineered foam pad to a specific polish for maximum results takes a lot of R & D to ensure optimum surface finishing results
Compounding, polishing and finishing are different polishing methods that do not necessarily have to be applied consecutively. The appropriate combination of polishing steps depends on colour and quality of the coating as well as on the required quality of the surface.
Never mix polishes on a foam / wool pad and never use a pad that been used for compounding for polishing unless it’s been washed as there may be compound polish residue that will be too aggressive for polishing
A System Approach
For the first time a consortium of German and American companies have cooperated to enable a unique solution for the care and maintenance of Nanotechnology surface coatings; an American coatings manufacturer (PPG Inc.) a German abrasive compounds company (Menzerna GMBH & Co) the largest supplier of polishes and compounds to Germany's automakers and an American specialist manufacturer of Engineered European foam (Lake County Mfg.) Proper Auto Care first started to import Menzerna directly from Germany to the US for the enthusiast market; as these products are formulated for German OEM and this is the market sector Menzerna wanted to concentrate on, PAC asked LC to manufacture the German Green foam pads for them as a re-labelled product
The Green CCS 6.5-inch foam pads were specifically developed for use with Menzerna nanotechnology polishes for the new, harder, scratch-resistant clear coats these include DuPont's SupraShield™, PPG's Optech™ and PPG CeramiClear™ Clear Coat ™ the new Nanotechnology ceramic clear coats being used by Mercedes Benz. While these pads were specifically designed for use on these new clear coats, these pads can also be used on conventional clear coats and single stage paints.
Nanotechnology (ceramic particle) clear coats
DuPont's SupraShield™, PPG's Optech™ and PPG CeramiClear™ Clear Coat the new, Nanotechnology ceramic clear coats being used by Mercedes-Benz. PPG CeramiClear™ comes in two commercial versions: CeramiClear, a two-component clear coat, and Certech Clear Coat ™ a single component clear coat. Ceramic clear coat uses nanotechnology to migrate silicon particles to the outer surface of the coating, creating a very thin, hard, glass-like surface.
It sets a new standard for scratch resistance; at least three times better than those of any prior coatings, while maintaining excellent acid etch resistance
a) Menzerna polishes and compound
Super Intensive Polish (SIP), Power Finish (PO203S) and Nano Polish (106FF) these polishes contain nanotechnology ceramic particles, these micro diminishing abrasives are milled finer and much harder, and also contain a higher abrasive content, 7% were as the other polishes contain 3% abrasives
b) Lake Country (LC) Mfg. CCS Technology, German Polishing Pads Green Foam Pad, these pads removes 2000 grit sanding traces, swirls and paint defects with minimal or no surface dullness or haze. The diminishing abrasives allows these polishes to remove defects, even on brand new paint finishes, with no loss of surface gloss and no micro-marring
These products were specifically formulated to polish out any defects found on Nanotechnology ceramic clear coats, along with a high speed rotary polisher.
The newer, harder, scratch-resistant clear coats require longer polishing times to remove swirls, spots and defects. The longer you polish with conventional foam pads, the less effective they become because polish migrates below the working surface of the pad; the pad dries out. Collapsed Cell Structure technology solves this problem using strategic patterns of partially closed foam cells. These cells slow the rate of polish absorption, gradually releasing polish as needed by the operator. CCS pockets reduce surface tension, prevent pad skipping and allow the operator to run the pad flat on the working surface.
Both of these pads (German Green and the Orange Power Pad) are thermally reticulated, urethane foam with a 99% open cell structure especially developed for Nanotechnology paints. These foam pads provide ample surface contact to effectively work the paint.
The pockets are small so they don't affect the amount of foam continuously touching the paint during operation. Standard foam pads are flat-cut, CCS foam pads have the top edge rounded over because it prevents pads from snagging while working in tight spaces.
For most hard clear coats this combination will produce excellent results - Menzerna Super Intensive Polish IP2000 on an Lake County (LC) Orange pad and / or (LC) Green foam pads
1. You should always be able to clearly see the (open/unclogged) pores of the CCS; pads or you’re using too much product you’ll achieve best results by slowly working in the products to allow the abrasives to diminish. Many people get hazing for now allowing the abrasives to go through the burnishing cycle.
2. Clean and / or replace pads as often as is necessary; a clean, primed and seasoned pad will enhance the abrasive abilities of the compound / polish and make the process not only more efficient but less time consuming.
3. Never mix polishes on a foam pad and never use a pad you´ve used for compounding for polishing
4. Compounding, polishing and finishing are different polishing methods that do not necessarily have to be applied consecutively.
5.The appropriate combination of polishing steps depends on colour and quality of the coating as well as on the required finish quality desired / possible
6. It is important to apply adequate pressure on the polisher for the first passes over the surface. Pressure is required to cut through the swirl marks and/or surface imperfections
Polish / Pad Combinations
All abrasive polishes are ‘foam pad and applied pressure dependant’ as far as their paint correction abilities are concerned. If we consider the Lake County (LC) White foam (50 PPI) polishing pad as the baseline; any polish used will derive help from the abrasive abilities of the foam. Then consider the LC Blue (70 PPI) finishing pad has no abrasive ability and will contribute nothing to the cutting capability of a polish.
What is derived from this is that a polishes abrasive ability can be ‘fine-tuned’ by using different combinations (abrasiveness) of polish and foam (the same thing is true of wool pads) and of course differing the amount of downward pressure (10-15 Lbs is the usual range) applied will also have an effect on the abrasives capability of a polish or compound as well as other factors (See also Foam Pad Selection and Use)
Typical speed to spread product; 600-1000 RPM, single pass, working speeds 1000 – 1800 RPM. Here are just a few examples of foam pad and Menzerna polish combinations.
Polish - Pad Combination
Patience and methodical analysis is often the only way to select the optimum polish, pad combination. I've found through trial and error that with these polish / pad combinations you should be able to tackle most paint correction problems.
The low profile 5.5 inch buffing pads pack the same CCS technology and performance into a compact, highly effective size that works best with dual action polishers and air sanders.
Use with a moulded urethane backing plate (0.5-inch smaller in diameter that the pad used) for excellent flexibility and balance by Lake Country (LC) manufacturing
· Menzerna Super Intensive Polish IP2000 with a Lake County (LC) Orange pad, or a SurBuf® R Series or an LC Purple Foamed Wool pad
· Menzerna Power Finish PF2500 with a Lake County (LC) Orange or a Green pad
· Menzerna Final Polish FF4000 with a (LC) White pad or use a (LC) Black or Gold pad for finessing
· Lake County (LC) foam pads- 2 each - Purple Foamed Wool (PFW), Orange, Green, White and Black foam pads
· A flexible backing plate and a foam pad with a cut-out design can be of benefit when dealing with surface contours and angles as they tend to conform to these shapes better than a plain flat pad, they also tend to transfer less heat. They also provide an extra level of cushioning while polishing curved surfaces, distributes pressure evenly over the contact area of the pad, they are less aggressive than a more rigid backing plate and will help to reduce swirls
When performing this level of polishing, you're typically trying to accomplish as much correction as you can while at the same time finishing down as well as is feasible for a 1-step polish.
Menzerna Power Finish PO203S and a Lake County (LC) Orange or a Green pad
Menzerna Final Finish PO106FA on a (LC) White pad (single stage, soft paint)
Some paints are hard, finicky, or have deeper imperfections that won't correct after one pass with your polish and you need to work them a bit in order to achieve that next 10-15% of correction.
1. Menzerna Super Intensive Polish SI 1500 on an (LC) Orange pad
2. Menzerna Final Finish FF 3000 or SF 4000 on a (LC) White pad
This combination removes 2000 grit scratches and produces a refined finish
1. Menzerna Power Finish PF 2500 on a (LC) Orange or Green pad or a SurBuf® R Series
2. Menzerna Final Polish SF 4000 on a (LC) Black or Gold pad
1. Menzerna Super Intensive Polish IP 2000 on an (LC) Orange pad
2. Menzerna Final Polish SF 4000 on a (LC) White pad
a) When performing this type of polishing, you're typically trying to accomplish as much correction as you can while at the same time finishing down to a level suitable to apply a (LSP) paint protection product
1. Menzerna Super Intensive IP 2000 on an (LC) Orange pad or a (LC) Purple Foamed Wool (PFW) pad
2. Menzerna Final Finish SF 4000 on a (LC) White pad
3. Menzerna Final Polish PO85RD on a (LC) Black pad
1. Menzerna Power Finish PO203S an (LC) Yellow or a (LC) Purple Foamed Wool (PFW) pad
2. Menzerna Super Intensive Polish SF 4000 on an (LC) Orange pad
3. Menzerna Final Polish SF 4500 on a (LC) White pad
Specific Paint types / Polish and (Lake County (LC) Foam Pad Combinations:
a) Dark, Single Stage or Soft Paint Finishes - Final Polish SF 4500 black or dark coloured paint surfaces, and 'soft' paint - 1200 RPM - (LC) White primary (softer less dense foam (70 PPI) with a light abrasive cutting action) (LC) CCS foam pad followed by a secondary (LC) Blue finishing (very soft 100 PPI) (LC) CCS foam pad - 1100 RPM
b) Light / Medium Paint Correction - Power Finish PF 2500 on and Final Polish SF 4500 on a (LC) CCS Green / (LC) Blue foam or Micro Mesh TufBuf ® black lamb’s wool pads 1500 - 2000 RPM, should be all you need.
c) Paint Renovation - Power Gloss PG 1000 (LC) Purple wool pad 1500 – 1800 RPM, it has a short work time and slow cut.
d) Hard and medium hard paints - that require two-step correction Power Gloss PG 1000 followed by a Final Polish SF 4500 as a finishing polish.
e) Soft and medium soft paint - Final Polish SF 4500
f) Paint finishing - Final Polish SF 4500 on hard paints, PF 2500 Power Finish on medium and PO 106FA for soft paints
Combination for Most Polish Projects
Menzerna PG 1000 Power Gloss or Power Finish PF 2500 along with a suitable Menzerna pad and SF 4500 will take care of 80% of your paint renovation projects
· Rotary machine 5" Menzerna Backing Plate M14 x 2 thread
· This compounding pad is very firm and has an aggressive cutting action which will remove even deep scratches and severe oxidisation
· This polishing pad used at OEM levels by many major automotive manufacturers offers a softer less dense structure over that of the compounding pad. What that means is you have a pad that has enough cut to remove surface oxidisation and swirls whilst at the same time allowing polishes to break down perfectly to a bright glossy finish.
· The finishing pad is a much welcome addition to the Menzerna line up of pads. It's the missing link in being able to finish to the very highest levels of gloss. The pad is also ideal for using on softer paints, so it's now possible to achieve the same Menzerna trademark finish on all paint types
Menzerna Paint Refresh - formulated to remove dust, dirt and fingerprints from all paint surfaces, leaving a high gloss finish with the added benefit of a light protective barrier. With a single application it will leave the surface looking great and will also leave a smooth and slick-feeling without any harmful silicone. Paint Refresh will help to keep the surface clean by repelling water, dust and dirt with its anti-static formula. Safe for all surfaces, Paint Refresh can be used on chrome, plastic and even glass without leaving any hazy residue.
Polish / Compound Application
If you were to apply polish to a body panel, and then place a pad on the surface and turn the machine on, it would be very difficult to control and will produce hazing. This is due to most of the pad being "dry". (See also Pad Priming)
Polishes and compounds appear to work better when the foam pad is ‘primed’ some things to note about pad priming: the cutting ability is increased, a better finish is obtained, it reduces any product ‘flashing’ problems, it produces a more even finish and the polishing machine is less likely to hop.
Use a very slightly distilled water dampened pad, not too wet (otherwise the polish will clump); then spread two or three pea sized drops of polish / compound
Do not use a quick detailer (QD) as a pad primer medium as most are formulated with either a wax or a polymer; however they are not easily adaptable to a spray formula. To be efficient they need to be emulsified to work as a spray, to facilitate this they need to use an emulsion of silicone oils and water. The wax will reduce the friction, negatively impacting the diminishing abrasives; silicon-based products can also have a negative effect on the surface / polish lubrication oils used causing surface smearing.
As a polish or a compound uses either oil or a polymer as a lubricant the water content of a quick detailer (80 – 90%) is not miscible and therefore acts as a buffer between the pad and the polish negatively affecting the abrasive abilities of both diminishing and non-diminishing abrasives.
Apply the compound or polish to the surface and spread the polish using the foam pad with the (Orbital Polisher) machine off. T
his coats the pad and the surface being polished with product to prevent scratching or hazing the finish, then place the foam pad flat on the surface and turn the machine on. Do no, under any circumstances, turn the polisher on with any portion of the foam pad dry as this will produce hazing.
Most polishes are formulated by emulsifying a powdered abrasive in a carrier system (oil / solvent) the right amount of pressure / friction is vital to allow the polish / compound abrasives to level the paint surface and remove surface scratches / marring
Work the polish until it goes clear, somewhat like Vaseline™, proceed until it looks like a clear oil and then stop
Surface Filling / Masking Abilities
Every polish that uses Kaolin (China clay) oils or polymers for lubrication will fill surface marks that are not removed and mask defects. If you don’t remove the lubricating oils with an isopropyl alcohol (IPA) wipe-down then you are by-passing the post polish inspection and the oils left behind will mask the defects.
Pores per inch (PPI)
Compressible, open cell polyether polyurethane reticulated foam is usually specified by pores per inch (PPI).The greater number of pores per inch generally equates to foam that is softer; and has less abrasive ability, less density, more porosity and easier compression.
There is no recognisable standard for the abrasive abilities of foam, other than a colour assigned; most foam manufacturer’s that supply foam to detailer’s product vendor assign their own colours to donate abrasion. On this basis a PPI rating allows abrasive ability comparisons between different foams
• Abrasive Cutting Foam (40 pores per inch)
• Medium Cutting Foam (50 pores per inch)
• Light Cutting Foam (60 pores per inch)
• Finishing Foam (70 pores per inch)
• Fine Application (80 pores per inch)
• Ultra-Fine Finishing (100 pores per inch)
The thicker consistency products (i.e. a hard wax) seem to work best with a more porous pad; a very tight pad used with these types of products seems to load up and clog the pad, which in a turn leads to product clumping.
When applying light consistency products (i.e. liquid polymer) a more porous pad will absorb and waste product
• The coarser the abrasive, the faster the cut
• The more aggressive the pad, the faster the cut
• Wool cuts faster than lamb’s wool, foamed wools are next, then foam.
• Foam pads generate more friction induced heat than wool pads
Foam Pad Size (Area and Applied Pressure)
Smaller pads in general will offer you more control with any buffer, as it can reduce the tendency for the buffer to skip on the paint surface. Smaller pads also make it easier to manoeuvre in tighter areas and closer to trim pieces.
Assuming equal orbital speed, orbital radius and foam compression (50% - 15 pounds of force applied) the difference between 4- inch and 6 - inch pads is their different surface area and therefore surface friction applied.
Nanotechnology and Conventional Surface Coatings
While these foam pads and polishes were specifically designed for use on Nanotechnology clear coats, they can be used very successfully to remove surface defects on any isocyanate polyurethane conventional ‘hard’ clear coats (i.e. Audi, GM Corvette, BMW, etc.) and as the polishes are ‘foam dependant’ with the correct combination of polish / foam pad they can also be used successfully on ‘soft’ clear coats
Micro Mesh TufBuf® Polishing Pads
Black Lamb’s wool polishing pads are designed to repair clear-coat finishes, made from natural lamb’s wool, durable, well-balanced and effective that major automotive manufacturers use them, leaves clear-coat finishes with less haze and swirl than conventional foam or wool polishing pads.
The dense 0.75 – inch nap material has 60,000 fibres per square inch versus 13,000 per square inch for synthetic pads, this nap surface distributes and applies material evenly and consistently. This very soft 100% lamb’s wool pad can be used for final (finesse) polishing as it’s even softer the LC CCS Gold Ultra soft foam
CCS Technology Green and Orange (German) Foam Pad
These pads have separate and uniquely distinct layers-
1. The top foam layer is the European, engineered foam designed for each specific detailing task (i.e. polishing, compounding, glazing, finishing and finessing).
2. The bottom, blue, foam band is the constant pressure, instant rebound foam that keeps the pad's pressure on the surface uniform.
3. These advanced pads also feature a curved convex design; this curvature allows easy transitions over seams and ridges.
To restore gloss and bring out the brilliance that German paints are famous for, use the 6-1/2 inch, CCS, Green, German Polishing foam (60 PPI) pad and a finishing polish (PO 106 FA - Final Finish Polish / Super Finish) This pad features a curved outer edge to allow easy transitions over seams and inclines.
Orange Power foam (50 PPI) foam pad with a compound or cutting polish (FF 4500- Super Intensive Polish) to remove or reduce swirls, spider webs, light scratches, and water spots; this unique foam has the cutting power of a compounding pad but is specifically designed to minimize or eliminate compounding haze (surface dullness).
These foam pads are easy to use; they improve operator control, prevent product waste, reduce surface ‘spot’ friction induced heat and help to positively improve polishing end results. The secret to successful machine polishing is using the correct type and size of foam pad, and the correct machine operating speed (RPM) Foam pads are available in various sizes from 3.5 to 8.0- inches diameter, but I have found that for the application of a compound or polish the optimum size of a foam pad for the whole of a vehicle panel (i.e. trunk, hood, fender, etc.) is 6.5 x 1.25– inch, that has an effective contact area of 5.5 to 6.0- inches.
For ‘spot repair’ on a specific surface blemish or paint defect my preference is a 4- inch pad as this allows me to focus on the problem area without affecting the surrounding area.
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.
Anhydrous Isopropyl alcohol [Molecular formula C3H7OH: Proper Name: Isopropanolind] contains approx. 99% isopropyl alcohol, is a colourless liquid with a pleasant odour, and is highly flammable.
Wiping the finish with a Micro fibre cloth you may feel that the swirls have been removed, only to have them reappear when applying the final wax or sealant. After polishing a section, mist and wipe to fully remove residues and reveal the true paint finish
1. Polymer sealants will not form a proper monocular bond with a paint surface if there are any oils present and it will affect durability.
2. Silicone will cause surface smearing and will affect both bonding and durability
Wipe-down after polishing or compounding allows you to inspect the surface to determine if the surface is defect free or if further work is required. When polishing or compounding to remove fine swirls or holograms, it's easy for residues to settle in the swirls, hiding the true paint finish. The effectiveness of this process is dependent upon a few factors; strength of product used, surface temp of paint, pressure applied and number of passes will all affect the outcome.
The wipe down process should be carried out both before to ensure a surface that is free of any debris and after to ensure that defects have been removed as opposed to masked by any lubrication oils or fillers left behind after the polishing process. The wipe-down process may need to be repeated to ensure a perfectly ‘clean’, debris free surface
Removing surface oils - Isopropyl alcohol (IPA) primarily encapsulates the oils, but once the alcohol evaporates the oils may resettle on the surface. Use a 10:1 ratio of P21S Total Auto Wash (pH controlled detergent, which means a pH 10<) and 1:1 Isopropyl alcohol (IPA) / distilled water or a lesser dilution as required
Application methodology - Isopropyl alcohol (IPA) if used undiluted it flash dries (evaporates) rapidly, which lessens surface inspection time and will also redeposit the oils you're trying to remove. Alcohol and water will emulsify any oils, enabling them to be removed
Fill a fine misting spray bottle with an 8:1 ratio of (IPA) / distilled water solution. Spray the surface you have just polished and allow the solution sit for approximately 15 seconds. If it flashes too quickly (hot surface or environment) use further dilution
Agitate the area with a clean, soft 100% cotton micro fibre towel (you may need to repeat this process) change the towel to a fresh quarter after each panel to ensure oil and debris are not re-deposited and observe. What you have done is remove any silicone, wax, and oils that may have filled any remaining swirls.
Now using your surface inspection light, shine the light directly on the panel and look for fine swirls. If they are still present, you should be able to see them. If not you will see a clear bright reflection from the panel with a great shine, and clarity
a) Isopropyl alcohol (IPA) - fill a fine misting spray bottle with a 8:1 ratio of Isopropyl alcohol (IPA) / distilled water solution spray the paint surface, leave it to dwell for 30-45 seconds, agitate before wiping the paint surface with a clean, dry 100% cotton towel
b) Menzerna Top Inspection (PP95) – use to inspect your work, use this water-based cleaner that removes dust left by compounding and any lubricating oils so you can see the real results of your work. There are no silicones or fillers, just gentle cleaning agents to uncover the real condition of your vehicle’s paint.
c) Hi-Temp's Prep Wash - to prepare a paint surface for polishing, compounding, wax and / or polymer sealant application (especially if changing from a wax to a polymer product) this is a water-based paint cleaner designed to remove all traces of silicone, oil, and buffing residue from any exterior paint surface
d) DuPont PrepSol II™ - http://www.xurex.com/products.html) spray onto a 100% cotton or a micro fibre towel and clean the surface
Note – a strong concentration of alcohol (or a strong solvent) will fill the paint micro pores and cause the majority of paint to swell and may be detrimental to its durability.
How much polish
Add two or three dime sized drops of polish to a primed foam pad (or two thin lines in a cross, about 2 or 3 - inches long). This along with the distilled water will help to avoid polishing with a dry pad. Thereafter, two dime sized beads is enough to polish an area of 18 to 24- inches square
Apply the polish to the surface and spread the polish using the foam pad with the machine off. This coats the pad and the surface being polished with product to prevent scratching or hazing the finish. Work the polish onto the paint surface at low speed 600 RPM – then using a light pressure begin working polish at 900 - 1000 rpm – increase the speed to 1500 – 1800 RPM were most of the polishing work is done, until the diminishing abrasives have broken down, then reduce the speed to 1200rpm and finally burnish the paint surface at 900 RPM.
A rotary polisher should ‘glide’ across the paint surface, if the polish is clogging up the pad, clean the pad with a spur and reduce the speed, maintain this speed until the polish has spread, then steadily increase the speed as the lubricants can have different reactions to differing paint types, so your technique needs to be adjusted accordingly (see also Diagnosis is the key; above)
The speed at which the foam pad travels across a paint surface is also important, moving too fast won’t allow the micro-abrasive to ‘beak down’, Machine linear speed; machine left to right movement shown as inches per second (IPS) apply polish at an MLS of 3-inches per second with a rotary polisher (1.0 to 1.5-inch per second random orbital buffer).
Heat from Kinetic (or dynamic) Friction
Kinetic friction induced heat is an often misunderstood concept of polishing / compounding; abrasives require friction to breakdown, not heat; heat is just a resultant of friction between two surfaces.
Polishing a paint surfaces transfer’s kinetic (or dynamic) friction induced heat to the paint surface, thermoplastic polymers have both tensile strength and elongation (elasticity) which allow the surface to flex, expand and contract in accordance to surrounding temperatures, solvents, resins and other ingredients in polishes will expand causing the paint film surface to expand.
As the metal substrate expands the paint moves with it, due to its elasticity, thereby becoming elongated (thinner) this is part of the cause of friction induced ‘burn’, you’re applying pressure and an abrasive to a less dense (‘thinner’) paint surface.
Kinetic Friction induced heat can cause a rapid temperature rise; (i.e. initial surface temp 80.oF, friction heat attained with a stationary cutting foam pad at 1,100 RPM for approx. ten seconds is approx. 104.oF) the paint temperature can be checked by utilizing an instant read-out infra-red ‘gun’ thermometer, paint surface ‘spot’ temperature should be limited to 110.oF
In accordance with the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) a spot temperature of 115.oF will cause the urethane clear coat to soften and the foam pad will cause scratching that is forced deep into the clear coat.
Using a Sliding Scale 600-900-1200 rpm- commence by spreading the product and then start polishing by setting the speed to 600 rpm, then adjust to 900rpm culminating at 1200 rpm then descend to 900rpm and finish at 600 rpm; linear speed should be 2 – 3 inch per second (IPS) 1200 rpm is where most of the paint surface defects will be removed. There probably will be some polishing defects (holograms, etc.) by descending the sliding scale (1200-900-600 rpm) you will remove these and any other minor defects
1. Spread at 600 rpm, single pass
2. Begin polishing at 1200 rpm, 2 - 4 passes
3. Increase speed to 1500 rpm, 10 passes until abrasives breakdown
4. Refine at 1200 rpm, 2 - 3 passes
A non-linear abrasive that require friction - while the majority of polishes on the market use a form of diminishing (non- linear) abrasive, which you polish until it turns translucent; when a polish "flashes" from a liquid paste to a light semi-dry haze, much like a coating of Vaseline® the diminishing polish has then broken down and is ready for removal. Diminishing abrasives, as the name suggests; the abrasives become smaller with friction, and therefore go from removing paint defects to polishing the paint, which produces the shine. If you don't break them down sufficiently, you are just grinding those abrasive particles into your paint, without polishing it, which can leave behind marring and other paint surface imperfections
Aluminium oxide has a hardness factor MOHS 9 and will not break down during polishing. Rather the larger clusters of aluminium oxide reduce in size. Bear in mind that non-diminishing abrasive polishes are particularly sensitive to applied pressure; as they require friction to activate them; they should not finish up dry (dusting) but will always have a hazy film to them.
The particulates in the formula fracture under kinetic friction and pressure so you need less of the product and you’re less likely to burn the paint because it requires a lower speed. The particles start off by acting like a compound and then as they break down their properties change to act more as a polish. Menzerna are famous for producing uniform shaped particles in their polishes and this reduces hazing, so it’s possible to go directly from compounding to a finessing polish
It is important to know when a polish has broken down because if you take it too far you (dry polishing) will re-introduce surface marring conversely if you don’t work diminishing abrasives sufficiently they will cause surface marring (this is due to the size of the abrasive and its cutting ability, once an abrasive has broken down it will burnish the surface as opposed to cutting it)
When the polish is broken down properly you should have a clear surface (somewhat like Vaseline®) the polish will become clear but still barely visible on the pant surface. If it is oily (Menzerna uses both oil and wax for paint surface lubrication) then either too much polish was used or the diminishing abrasives were not sufficiently broken down, if you don’t allow the polish to haze as it diminishes the abrasives, stopping to soon, is like rubbing sand paper across the paint
Note that silicone has an adverse effect on the oils used for surface lubrication and can cause the polish to smear, also be aware that working outside you may have issues like excess humidity, heat, cold, etc. that will affect their performance especially with the Nano polish (SF 4000) as it uses wax as a lubricant (colder temps may cause the wax to harden)
It should also be noted that these polishes use oil in water emulsion for lubrication; if you are using a polymer after polishing it will be necessary to wipe-down the paint surface with Menzerna Top Inspection, or a 1:1 solution of isopropyl alcohol (IPA) and distilled water or DuPont’s PrepSol solvent.
The appropriate combination of polishing steps (Compounding - Polishing - Finishing) depends on the colour, quality of the paint surface and the desired finish quality of the paint surface.
Surface preparation is one of the most important steps when polishing to achieve a flawless finish
Prior to the polishing process; you’ll need to remove the old paint protection and any oxidation first so you can get down to the bare paint where these contaminants have attached themselves, using a chemical paint surface cleaner as any dirt and or oxidation on the paint can interfere with the polish.
If the paint surface is heavily contaminated (Industrial fall-out, Metallic Brake dust, Rust Blooms or Oxidation) it may require a decontamination process (See Paint Decontamination article)
The paint surface should be as clean as possible, this will ensure that nothing comes between the polishing pad and the surface to interfere with the abrasives and the pads will not get clogged with surface debris. After polishing a wipe down allows you to inspect the surface to determine if the surface is defect free or if further work is required. When polishing or compounding to remove fine swirls or holograms, it's easy for polish residues (oils, wax, silicone, etc.) to settle in the swirls, hiding the true paint finish.
Wiping the finish with a Micro fibre cloth you may feel that the swirls have been removed, only to have them reappear when applying the final wax or sealant. After polishing a section, mist and wipe to fully remove residues and reveal the true paint finish.
a) Polymer sealants will not form a proper monocular bond with a paint surface if there are any oils present and it will affect durability.
b) Silicone will interfere with the abrasion ability of polishes, cause surface smearing and will affect durability of polymer sealants
[Can you remove silicon from a clear coat completely? It is impossible to remove silicon from a painted surface without using a chemical process so aggressive that it dissolves the paint. Wax and grease removers will chemically remove one layer of silicon off at a time but are unable to completely remove all the silicon. Tests by Dr Michael Hauber at Menzerna using a spectroscope showed the layers become thinner but the silicon remains. Removing silicon completely can take place over time and involves a lengthy process of oxygen, chemicals, time and sunlight.] Menzerna
Preparation- If the car has been treated with silicon, use a wax and grease remover to remove as much of the silicon as possible before polishing. You will not be able to remove it all but it helps.
When a silicon-free polish works on the surface of paint it uses aluminium oxide spheres, suspended in water and hydrocarbons and a mechanical process to abrade the surface of the paint down to the level of the bottom of the scratch. Silicon cannot be removed this way. Silicon is removed by a chemical means and is designed to resist being removed by mechanical means. Instead the silicon mixes with the blend of paint dust and polish powder and it creates a smear on the paint.
We should differentiate between swirl marks in the silicon layer and swirl marks in the paint underneath. Some polishes may appear to remove the swirl marks in the paint but are really only working on the layer of silicon. So the swirl marks in the paint itself remain unaffected by the polishing and reappear after a few weeks, as the silicon is being removed by time.
Removing Silicone - polishing is a mechanical process; silicon is a product that has been designed not to be removed by mechanical abrasion. When using Menzerna to polish surfaces which have been previously treated with silicon, a smear may result. It is important to understand why this occurs.
Menzerna polishing compounds GmbH & Co. KG, P.O. Box 60, 76468 Oetighei, Germany
Phone: +49-7222-9157 0 - firstname.lastname@example.org www.menzerna.com
1. Menzerna GMBH. KG, Professional Products - http://www.menzerna.com/
2. Menzerna USA - http://www.menzernaUSA.com/
3. For information from a factory source (e-mail) email@example.com
4. Product Information (Download) - http://www.menzerna.com/93.html?&L=1
5. Material safety data sheet (MSDS) -http://www.homesteadfinishing.com/pd...menzerna
1. 1.Chemistry Definitions (Terminology) Hamilton
2. Glossary of Chemical Terms - Faculty of Chemical Technology
3. Scorecard provides detailed information on more than 11,200 chemicals,
4. National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA)
5. The Royal Society of Chemistry; Cambridge, 1995 Silicon-Containing Polymers Jones, Richard, G.
6. The American Solvents Council (ASC) Annual Occupational Hygiene, Vol. 40, No.6, pp. 705-710,
7. Center for Disease Control and Prevention - http://www.cdc.gov/Workplace/