Friday, 3 July 2015

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 all purpose cleaner (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.

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,  t here 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 hest 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) 

Always be willing to learn; because the more you learn, the more you’ll realize what you don’t know.

It is said that knowledge is power, with the caveat that it includes access to a reliable information sources. I would like to think that these articles become an asset to anyone who is new to detailing and to professional’s alike, as well as industry experts who seek to advance their knowledge.

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

I would appreciate it if you would share these articles as it helps other detailers further their knowledge.

 As always if you have questions, I’ll do my best to answer; bear in mind the only stupid questions is the one that was unasked. Questions and/ or constructive comments are always appreciated

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