Clearing Up Paint Defects
Paintwork defects such as scratches, swirls, and holograms are all removable by machine polishing.
Machine polishing is a recognized method of paint correction for professionals and a growing number of amateur enthusiasts are also taking up the buffer.
But how much do you really know about the process behind paint correction and the science behind paint application technology?
Absolutely paramount to the whole procedure is understanding paint, its composition, its thickness and ultimately knowing how much you have to play with.
How much is being removed each time the paint correction process is undertaken (each time you buff)?
The thickness of the paint you see on your car is measured in microns (m), 1 micron is equivalent to one-thousandth of a millimeter (1/1000mm).
There are different types of paint, but almost all modern vehicles are comprised of three layers: Primer, Base Colour Coat and Clear Coat (lacquer). The most common paintwork imperfections occur as swirl marks, deep marring, and scratches (usually introduced during the wash process), etching caused by acid rain and calcium carbonate deposits from environmental and industrial fallout, as well as buffer marks resulting from poor machine polishing techniques!
These can best be seen using high output specialist lighting equipment such as the 3M Sun Gun, placed close to the paintwork surface.
When tackling blemishes on paintwork the layer being corrected, or rather, partially removed, is the clear coat.
It is important to note the UV protective elements are mixed in with the clear coat and due to their weight will rise to the upper level, whilst the paint itself will sink.
Therefore the uppermost layer of clear coat contains around 50% of the UV protection system for the base coat, so it’s vitally important to only work as much of this layer as is absolutely necessary. Most car manufacturers will only allow 25% of the clear coat to be removed before it voids the paint warranty. Taken literally, if the vehicle has 75 microns (m) of clear coat the most you can remove without voiding the warranty and impacting on the UV protective system is just under 19 microns (m).
Keep in mind that the customer does not need to know all this technical jargon.