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I think I burned my clearcoat


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That about says it. I think I burned my clearcoat trying to polish out a scratch using focus pads on a drill. I tried to polish only for a few seconds at a time, keeping moving, and ensuring I kept the rpms under control. Never seemed to quite get all the parts of the technique right though. Sometimes the pad seemed too wet, with a bit of splatter, and other times it seemed to dry. I found it difficult to tell when I had worked the product the right amount. That may mostly be due to inexperience with these polishes though.

 

FYI, used the orange pad with SHR followed by a white pad with FMP.

 

Ended up with a small cloudy patch just adjacent to the scratch that I was working on. It feels just as smooth as the paint, but I'm scared to try to do anything further with it. I'll snap a few pictures and post.

 

Unfortunately I can't imagine anything else it could be. Guess I learned a lesson......practice on the junk car first!

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Let's not jump to conclusions. As long as you kept the pad moving well it would be difficult to burn through the clear. And in my experience if you did burn through it you would know. there would be no questioning it.

 

Got any pics of the damage?

 

This is generally true but not always a sure method.

 

I've found thru personal experience that pressure - or the correct amount - is the best method to avoid burns.... moreso than regular movement of the pad.

 

Was there any paint transfer onto the pads? If not maybe you are safe. :xfingers:

 

I've been taught this is always a sure indicator of [severe] clearcoat burn.

 

Even the slightest paint residue transfer onto a pad is a [near] sure sign of clearcoat burn. Also, unfortunately, it's almost always a case of "too late."

 

 

Cloudiness is a sign that excess cleartcoat has been removed.

 

Let me paste a section from another board that a member wrote when a near identical situation as yours was encountered by a user --

 

Quote - "The top layer of the clearcoat contains most of the Ultra Violet blocking material and is also [much] harder and less porous than the lower level. Cutting through this top layer leaves the weaker clearcoat underneath, which will oxidize [cloud] faster. The result is the cloudiness you speak of or a sunburned appearance as you seemed to imply.

 

There is really no cure for this except repainting.

 

This is why you cannot buff out scratches you can feel with your fingernail because it goes too deep into the clearcoat. Clearcoat is only about as thick as a piece of cellophane."

 

Hope this helped.

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Ryan, no PC or FLEX (although I do have a birthday coming up.....). I would have used that if I had the option, since I know it's safer.

 

Jon, Chris, I'll post pics tonight.

 

Didn't notice any transfer onto the pads, but I'll double check when I get home this evening.

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how about any of the hand polishing stuff?

 

i have removed a scuff from a bumper using SHR and Revive by hand before. you really gotta apply some pressure and move back and forth very quickly to try and mimick a orbital as much as possible.

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A picture would be really helpful in diagnosing what it might be.

 

Also, and sorry if I missed it and you already mentioned -

 

What type of vehicle?

What area of the vehicle were you working on?

What material? (steel panel, plastic bumper, fiberglass, etc)

Did you notice the problem after the SHR pass or after the FMP pass?

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Mike, I had the exact same thing happen while trying to polish out a scratch on the rambox on my truck. The rambox lids are plastic. I was using the PC with the 4" pads and SHR. I knew the scratch was deep and just held the PC, on 5, in one place too long. I freaked out. After I calmed down I spritzed the pad with DS and went over the area again with little to no pressure and it cleared it up.

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Quote - "The top layer of the clearcoat contains most of the Ultra Violet blocking material and is also [much] harder and less porous than the lower level. Cutting through this top layer leaves the weaker clearcoat underneath, which will oxidize [cloud] faster. The result is the cloudiness you speak of or a sunburned appearance as you seemed to imply.

 

 

Whoa, timeout. I don't want to hijack this thread, but since we're all learning here, I want to be sure this point doesn't get glossed over. Was this post meant to mean that there are 2 different layers of clearcoat? I've never heard of this. Primer, Color coat and Clear coat, but never 2 different types of clearcoat.

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Whoa, timeout. I don't want to hijack this thread, but since we're all learning here, I want to be sure this point doesn't get glossed over. Was this post meant to mean that there are 2 different layers of clearcoat? I've never heard of this. Primer, Color coat and Clear coat, but never 2 different types of clearcoat.

 

No. You're over-reading it.

 

He means the very top layer of the clear coat as in thickness or depth of application/finish.

 

In most cases, and as a general rule, clear coat is applied at about 2-3 Mills thickness OEM, where the actual color is applied at around 1-1.5 Mills

 

Mill standard = .001 inches or .0254 mm [millimeters]. Yeah, not as much as you probably thought.

 

You can now gauge why "burning" through the clear coat is really not that difficult of a task..... and why I'm a huge fan of the Porter Cable 7424XP Polisher over the Flex XC3401VRG Polisher for novices like myself.

 

Hope this helped.

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My guess is you are just noticing the fine scratches left by the SHR. This is normal. Try hitting it with FMP + white pad now and see what happens. I tore up a 2x2 spot on my new Mustang's hood using SHR and a hand app, believe it or not. I think this is the nature of SHR as it cuts more than FMP to remove heavier swirls. Only cure was a PC and FMP. I don't think I wore through the clear using a hand app and SHR but it did look pretty bad.

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Here are the photos of the local area. To answer Dylan's questions....

 

The vehicle is a 2011 Chevrolet Camaro. The location seen in the photos is the rear quarter panel/fender, just above and slightly ahead of the rear wheel. It is metal, rather than a plastic panel. I'm kicking myself because I don't remember which product I was using when I noticed the spot (SHR vs FMP).

 

DSCF3108.JPG

 

DSCF3109.JPG

 

DSCF3110.JPG

 

DSCF3111.JPG

 

DSCF3113.JPG

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Trust me...I'm not the expert. But I've seen some examples posted on other forums and that looks like clear failure. But on a new vehicle and with Adams? Idk, maybe you brought something out the dealer covered up?

 

Don't take my word, but that's what that looks like, the beginning stages of failure.

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Hmmm... first lets rule out strike thru.

 

Take a light colored towel with a drop of SHR on it and gently rub the area. If you get color transfer you've cut thru the clear and into the base coat, if not you still have clear coat to work with.

 

Take Dylan's advice and report back. Should take you a couple minutes, I'm curious myself.

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David, as best as I can tell, it feels exactly the same smoothness as the surrounding paint (i.e. very smooth).

 

Dylan, I'll check for that color transfer tonight....have to wait until I'm home with all of my gear. I'll use a doublesoft with a drop of SHR for the color transfer check.

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So, I tried the check that Dylan suggested.....looking for color transfer from a hand rubbing using SHR. Maybe I goofed, but it seemed inconclusive to me (but I'm a rookie). A quick video of this process and the resulting towel are below.

 

I did notice that even though the blemished area feels as smooth as the surrounding area, it seems to sound rougher under the microfiber towel.

 

<EMBED height=360 type=application/x-shockwave-flash width=640 src=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdkYBjBjq88?version=3 allowScriptAccess="always" allowfullscreen="true">

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Oh, good video. Dylan needs to really speak up on this one. It is tough to tell man, if the surface was indeed clean, that looks like paint transfer. I would assume though it would feel different if it were burned through.

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Score one for the scientific method! Forget about the video. It's useful to get a good visual of the spot, but can't hold a candle to the results from "phase 2 testing".

 

Phase 2 Testing:

Step 1: Re-cleaned the area using IPA and a double-soft microfiber

Step 2: Hand rubbed a spot next to the blemish with SHR for 15 seconds. Photographed the towel both before and after.

Step 3: Hand rubbed on the blemish with SHR using a fresh spot on the towel for 15 seconds. Photographed the towel both before and after.

 

Note: The photos have slight changes in shadows between shots, but should be relatively consistent exposures...each was taken in the same place with a point and shoot. Only changes in lighting would be due to changes in daylight as cloud roll through (and shadowing from my hands while holding the camera).

The Control - Testing Next to the Blemish

 

Towel Prior to Hand Rubbing Adjacent to Blemish:

DSCF3122.JPG

 

Towel Prior to Hand Rubbing Adjacent to Blemish (with SHR):

DSCF3123.JPG

 

Towel After Hand Rubbing Adjacent to Blemish:

DSCF3124.JPG

 

Testing on the Blemish

 

Towel Prior to Hand Rubbing on Blemish:

DSCF3125.JPG

 

Towel Prior to Hand Rubbing on Blemish (with SHR):

DSCF3126.JPG

 

Towel After Hand Rubbing on Blemish:

DSCF3127.JPG

 

Thus, my conclusion is that I have actually cut through the clear somehow. I was extremely careful (I thought to the point of paranoia) while using the focus pads, so I am stunned that I managed to do this. Regardless, what's done is done. I'll have to consider what do do about it now. Any advice? The panel in question is at the tail end of a multi-panel scratch that may require respray. I'd hoped to polish out the rear quarter panel, and thus limit the required respray to the door and front fender.

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If you have cut through the clear, find a good body shop and get that sucker fixed up. Personally though, I've used the focus pads on both a drill and the PC on my Camaro and haven't managed to cut out the clear yet so I'd be interested to have a full run down on your technique to ensure that I don't do the same :( Sorry though ...

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