Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Wipe down Process


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

Wiping the finish with a micro fibre cloth you may feel that the swirls have been removed, only to have them reappear after the surface has been washed. After polishing a section, mist and wipe to fully remove residues and reveal the true paint finish. Nothing worse than a client having paid for paint renovation to wash the paint surface and then have paint marring reappear

·         Polymer sealants will not form a proper monocular bond with a paint surface if there are any silicone or synthetic oils present, they will also negatively affect durability if not removed

·         Silicone will cause surface smearing and will affect abrasives effectiveness, product bonding and durability (See also Silicone Removal

Water-based polishes tend to fill far less than oil-based; but they both contain silicone resins and polymer or wax lubricants. A wipe down after polishing or compounding is used to remove the carrier oils and wax used for surface lubrication and 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 and / or waxes or oils to settle in the swirls, hiding the true paint finish (drop back).
Prior to the application of a paint protection coating it is absolutely necessary to remove any (mostly invisible to the naked eye) fillers and oils; if they are allowed to remain a white or grey hazing will appear on the paint once the coating is applied.

It’s the one thing that keeps those who practice paint correction honest. Paint enhancement (glaze or an oil-based wax) anybody can do. But paint correction is a lot harder and IPA (or equivalent) is a liquid lie detector

Evaporation [: vaporization of a liquid that occurs from the surface of a liquid into a gaseous phase]

Isopropyl alcohol

[Anhydrous Isopropyl alcohol [Molecular formula C3H8O] for all-purpose cleaning, isopropyl alcohol, is a colourless liquid with a pleasant odour, and is highly flammable. A miscible clear fluid, Flash point 53.0F (12.0C) closed cup]

Be cognizant that modern paint systems are porous, so be cautious as to what solvents you use. Isopropanol (IPA) is a moderately polar solvent - Xylene and Toluene are non-polar strong solvents, which can etch the paint surface

Isopropyl alcohol (IPA) is available as 70 to 95 percent ethanol, or ethyl alcohol, along with water, acetone, methyl isobutyl ketone, and additives to give it a bitter taste some rubbing alcohol includes perfumes or artificial colouring. The term "rubbing alcohol" has become a general non-specific term for either isopropyl alcohol (isopropanol) or ethyl alcohol (ethanol) Rubbing-alcohol products can leave a residue behind It is prepared from a special denatured alcohol solution and contains 97.5-100% by volume of pure, concentrated ethanol (ethyl alcohol) or isopropyl alcohol (IPA)

For less dense (soft) clear coat, the lower rate of isopropyl alcohol dilution (1:10) is recommended; conversely denser (hard) clear coats should use a higher dilution (1:25); as you increase the dilution rate of isopropyl alcohol its paint softening effect drops exponentially.

 Isopropyl alcohol (IPA) is a fast evaporating solvent and at higher ambient temperatures will filly evaporate (flash) within ~30 minutes at higher temperatures. At greater dilution percentages it will evaporate more slowly, bear this in mind in warmer environments.

A recommended isopropyl alcohol (IPA) dilution of 1:10 to 1:4 ratios (10-25%) in distilled water as a ‘safe’ surface Wipedown cleaning solution. The reason for this wide range is due to the variations in the clear coat paint systems. My personal recommendation would be a 10% < dilution of Isopropanol (IPA) / distilled water solution. Be cognizant that a stronger (less diluted) solution of IPA can stain and even soften some clear coat paints, causing it to delaminate (wrinkle).

Isopropyl alcohol (IPA) and or other solvents will permeate the paint, causing both temporary softening and some swelling as well as paint delamination or staining Dependant on the solvent (strength) used and how much heat is entailed, the amount of swelling varies. (See also “Paint (Solvent / Alcohol) Swelling”)

Isopropyl alcohol (IPA) is readily available and like acetone, it dissolves a wide range of non-polar compounds. It is also relatively non-toxic and evaporates quickly. Thus it is used widely as a solvent and as a cleaning fluid

Mineral oil can be used to clean heavier oil stains by diluting and liquefying the other oils, rendering the oils more accessible to detergents.

Likewise, it can be employed to de-gum, to remove adhesive residue left by adhesive tape. Be cognizant that while it can be used as a solvent cleaner it can leave a residue, which is undesirable for paint cleaning applications.

Denatured alcohol (or Methylated spirits) - is ethanol that has additives to make it more poisonous or unpalatable, and thus, undrinkable. Do not use denatured alcohol as a substitute for Isopropyl alcohol (IPA)

An analogy: bituminous asphalt concrete (tar) is highly non-polar and IPA is not. Like dissolves like is a good general rule.

Use caution if using paint thinner / strong solvent as there is a possibility that it can have detrimental long term effects, which cause the paint matrix to fail over time leaving a dull area that has a similar appearance to strikethrough, which cannot be corrected

Distilled water

Potable water usually contains a number of microscopic contaminants (turbidity) along with dissolved minerals such as calcium and iron. Distilled water should ideally be nothing but hydrogen and oxygen molecules and virtually all of its impurities are removed through distillation, which involves boiling the water and re-condensing the steam into a clean container (pH 6.0 – 7.5)

Any dissolved solids such as salt, bacteria, calcium or iron remain solid while the pure water converts to a much lighter steam and is drawn out for condensation, leaving most if not all solid contaminants behind. Distilled water is preferred for dilution as it’s a ‘known’ quality, unlike domestic potable water

In larger chemical and biological laboratories, as well as industry, cheaper alternatives such as deionised water are preferred over distilled water.

Wipe down Application Process

Application - fill a fine misting spray bottle with a dilute solution of isopropyl alcohol (IPA) / distilled water 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

Isopropyl alcohol (IPA) and or other solvents will suspend waxes and silicones, and then re-depositing them, this can be avoided by adding 10% d-limonene (P21S Total Auto Wash) to the dilute IPA solution and wiping the surface with a clean, dry micro fibre towel.  (TAW will provide surface lubrication to minimise surface marring on less dense (softer) paints)

Agitate the area with a clean panel wipe or a 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. This should have removed any wax or oils that may have filled any remaining swirls and show the true post-polish surface condition.

If a diluted IPA solution doesn’t remove the surface oils perhaps a specific paint preparation product, i.e.  CarPro Intense Oil & Polish Cleanser or DuPont PrepSol II™ may be more suitable

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

These fast acting solvent cleaners will not leave a film residue
·         CarPro Intense Oil & Polish Cleanser
·         DuPont PrepSol II™
·         Menzerna Top Inspection
·         Wurth Clean Solve

Mineral Spirits (White Spirit) are a petrochemical based product (Stoddard solvent) it also contains oils, so its use in a paint Wipedown process is self-defeating as you’ll need to remove the oils from the surface

1.      For dense (hard) clear coat use a very light dilution rate, for less dense(soft)clear coats use a more diluted solution, as use too much alcohol will cause a micro fibre to offer more surface resistance and may cause surface marring.

2.      After the paint surface has been subjected to a chemical cleaning its protective layer (s) have been removed and the paint surface left without protection, so it is very important that a wax or polymer protection be applied immediately.

Alternative products

·         3M™ Prep Solvent-70 (#08983) is a low VOC, water- based solvent used to remove oils, wax, grease, and silicone from surfaces prior to the application of a coating. Effectively cleans metal, primed metal and painted surfaces. Use with 3M™ Panel Wipes (#4567) the Panel Wipes have excellent absorbency and are super strength when wet or dry. They are easy to carry and are supplied in an easy to dispense box.

·         CarPro Intense Oil & Polish Cleanser - is anti-static, isopropyl alcohol (IPA) based cleaner designed to dissolve oil particles and remove polish residue to inspect the surface after polishing or to prepare the paintwork for the application of a coating product. Its intense cleaner dissolves oils and it also attracts the dust left by compounding. When you wipe down your vehicle with Eraser, you’re removing oils, fillers, and dust completely. Enabling a coating to form a stronger bond and create an even, long-lasting shine with a more durable protection.

·         DuPont PrepSol II™ - spray onto a 100% cotton or a micro fibre towel and clean the surface

·         Groit’s Paint Prep - to remove wax, silicone polymers and oil from painted surfaces so products can properly bond to the surface. Paint Prep is easy to use and is safe for vinyl and rubber (not for use on glass)

·         Hi-Temp's H-23 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

·         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 cleaning agents to uncover the real condition of your vehicle’s paint

·         Optimum Power Clean - Optimum Power Clean™ is an environmentally friendly, all surface-safe cleaner, used for paint dilute it 2:1

·         Wurth Clean Solve - is a fast acting cleaner and solvent that will not leave a film residue. It will quickly remove wax, tar, gum, grease, paint overspray, adhesive, oil, and silicone. It can be used on a variety of surfaces including: base coat, clear coat, aluminium, fibreglass, glass, fabrics and vinyl.

Current Information
A little science is useful to understand both the How and Why of detailing and to be of real practical use, a subject like automotive detailing requires a great deal of research, and updating as new products become available. The advent of materials like detailing clay, micro fibre technologies and finely milled micro diminishing abrasives, suitable for ceramic nanotechnology paints are examples of why it’s so important to monitor the industries new products, chemical technologies and ideas that are constantly being introduced, as are the techniques for applying them, hence all of the in-depth articles will be up-dated and revised on a regular basis

Always be willing to learn; because the more you learn, the more you’ll realize what you don’t know. You should never stop learning, and your quest for information should be part of your everyday process. 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 detailed my first vehicle at the age of fourteen (1958) forty plus years later I started to write detailing articles to share my experiences. For about fifteen years or so I started to contribute to various detailing forums answering questions posted by neophyte’s, enthusiasts and professionals alike. 

My mantra has always been Experience Unshared Knowledge Wasted.

About the author -

This is not a product vendor’s catalogue, nor am I a vendor pretending to be an educator, as there are a lot of companies that are now sponsoring detailing forums, giving advice and preaching that only the product they sell or manufacture are suitable. In reality they are just advertisements, with the appearance of educators, mere salesman. Those who have something to sell can be very persuasive, often using marketing pseudo-science (i.e. blurring the distinction between science and fiction) to make a great case while completely ignoring meaningful facts, like their product adds nothing of real value.

I purchase all the products I use, so the endorsement is entirely personal and commercially unbiased, the product recommendation is based on "Does exactly what it says on the tin" and it suits my detailing goals. The products mentioned have been personally subjected to extensive laboratory (using state of the art instruments and methodologies in some of the world's most prestigious labs) as well as field testing, and using the methodology and tools cited, which may or may not be the same as those recommended by the manufacturer.

It has been my experience that they will perform the task more than adequately, hence the personal recommendation, as this testing is carried out without sponsorship I have no intention of publishing any test results. Using the methodology and tools cited, which may or may not be the same as those recommended by the manufacturer.

I hope these articles are informative. They are based on the current status of technical development as well as my experience with the products.

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 are the one that was unasked. Questions and/ or constructive comments are always appreciated

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