April 23, 2019

Automotive Polishing: Combatting Wear and Tear of the Daily Driver

Car owners largely accept the idea that vehicles depreciate over time. Age, mechanical degradation, and general wear and tear will impact the value of your daily driver to different degrees. Time will cause components to gradually fail. The way you drive may alter the efficiency of oil flows throughout the mechanic systems of the powertrain. These are unavoidable issues that can only be mitigated by preventative maintenance and careful adherence to a recommended maintenance schedule. Visual wear and tear, however, can be easily rectified by proper cleaning and automotive polishing procedures.

In this blog post, Saint-Gobain Surface Conditioning explores the ways you can combat the daily driver’s tired aesthetic via automotive polishing.

Factors that Cause Wear and Tear

Automotive wear and tear is an unavoidable but manageable issue. We recently explored 3 surface defects that affect surface finish, but there are myriad additional factors that can cause the aesthetic profile of your vehicle to degrade. In single stage paint systems, simply leaving your car parked in harsh sunlight could cause colors to fade due to ultraviolet (UV) bleaching. Clear coats provide enhanced UV resistance for paintwork, but microscratches in this polymeric coating can give a dull finish by scattering incident light. The only way to revitalise surface finish is to remove these tiny optical flaws.  

Driving in highly-industrialised and urban environments can result in industrial fallout; which refers to small metallic particles that settle on the panels of bodywork and fuse to the vehicle over time. These are visible as small flecks or particles that give the car a rusty aesthetic. I am not expecting to see rust.  Manufacturers recommend that drivers avoid parking lots in busy industrial environments, such as airports, railways, and motorways. There is no guarantee that a vehicle will not accumulate industrial fallout if drivers follow these guidelines, however. The best way to remove these particles is to polish the surface with an advanced automotive polishing compound with extremely fine particle size distributions (PSDs), before cleaning and waxing the bodywork to provide an effective barrier for the paint film.

There are countless factors that can cause wear and tear, such as acid rain, tree sap, stone chips, scratches, and more. Taking precautions to preserve the quality of your vehicle’s finish will reduce the frequency for mandatory automotive polishing. Yet there is no vehicle that is impervious to wear and tear and no style of driving guaranteed to eliminate the risk of accumulating minor damage. Automotive polishing with an abrasive particle tailored to the extent of the damage and the composition of the paintwork is the only way to correct the aesthetic depreciation of your daily driver and maintain a high glossy finish for years to come.

Automotive Polishing with Saint Gobain Surface Conditioning

Saint-Gobain Surface Conditioning supplies four proprietary solutions for automotive polishing products, based on our unique experience in the synthesis of high-functionality alumina (Al2O3). This product range is book-ended by the IDEAL Finish and IDEAL Super product lines. IDEAL Finish is a fully-dispersed polycrystalline alumina with primary crystallites on the order of 50 – 100 nanometres; perfect for removing minor paint defects and surface flaws in fewer passes. This is suitable for reaching a high gloss finish and removing the damage caused by most of the elements discussed in this blog. IDEAL Super, on the other hand , is designed for more aggressive cutting, capable of removing deep scratches on the clear coat.  The engineered structure along with the controlled aggregate size imparts greater cutting strength while still providing a good finish.

If you would like to learn more about our IDEAL automotive polishing product range, please do not hesitate to contact us directly.