Friday, 18 August 2017

PPG CeramiClear™ ® 2004 - 2010


CeramiClear™ ®Clear coat

In 2002, PPG introduced the first scratch resistant clear coat (CeramiClear™) to the automotive marketplace. Since then, scratch resistant clear coats have rapidly become the standard in the automotive industry.

PPG leads the market in offering a variety of scratch resistant clear coat technologies that not only meet the rigorous requirements of automotive manufacturing facilities worldwide but also help vehicles retain a showroom-like finish for a longer period of time. The result: greater satisfaction with consumers, as they enjoy the look of their vehicles for a longer period of time.

CeramiClear™ ®Clear coat
PPG's CeramiClear™ ®clear coat was the first clear coat to use nanoparticle technology to achieve a previously unattained level of scratch, mar, and etch resistance. This patented technology creates a hard, silica-like surface that provides superior resistance to damage caused by day-to-day use, car washes, and environmental hazards such as acid rain and tree sap.

While this technology is currently employed as a two-component liquid clear coat, PPG is very close to commercializing a one-component version for use in automotive assembly plants. CeramiClear is applied as a final coating over a traditional clear coat and has an approximate thickness of 7.5 µ (0.5 Mil) this top layer also contains the paint systems UV protection. On Mercedes -Benz models that have CeramiClear™ ®paint there is a ‘C’ prefix to the three number paint codes. If the code reads"C040" you have black nanotech paint

PPG's CeramiClear™ ®clear coat was the first clear coat to use nano particle technology to achieve a previously unattained level of scratch, mar, and etch resistance. This patented technology creates a hard (fumed silica used for increasing paint hardness) silica-like surface that provides superior resistance to damage caused by day-to-day use, car washes, and environmental hazards such as acid rain and tree sap. While this technology is currently employed as a two-component liquid clear coat, PPG is very close to commercializing a one-component version for use in automotive assembly plants.

This was the reasoning behind CeramiClear™ ® – [PPG Industries Inc. (2004) ceramic clear coat is unmatched in scratch, surface marring and acid-etching resistance as well as gloss retention. Test results have shown that after a period of six months’ gloss retention shows an 80% improvement and acid-etching resistance is 50% better compared to that of a non-ceramic clear coat. They have also developed an aftermarket refinishing clear coat to provide approximately the same level of protection as the OEM ceramic clear coat.]

DuPont's SupraShield™, PPG's Optech™ and CeramiClear™ ® Clear Coat are all binary clear coat compositions using ceramic particles designed to offer long-term scratch resistance, gloss and durability and is applied as a final coating over a traditional clear coat, CeramiClear™ ® has an approximate thickness of 7.5 µ (0.5 Mil) this top layer also contains the paint systems ultra violet (UV) protection.

[After the CeramiClear™ ® top coat is sprayed, the nano particles of Fumed Silica (SiO2), which are synthetically engineered, migrate to the top 5 µ (micron) (0.2 Mil) of the clear coat as it is curing.
If you remove this portion of the clear layer of paint, the paint under it will be much softer and will not polish out or react the same way the nano particle portion did or would] - Dr. David Ghodoussi

PPG CeramiClear™ ® Clear Coat now comes in two commercial versions: CeramiClear™, a two-component clear coat, and Certech, a single component clear coat.

PPG Industries have also developed an aftermarket refinishing clear coat to provide approximately the same level of protection as the OEM CeramiClear™ ® Clear Coat nanotechnology paint.
PPG Industries Inc. and Menzerna collaborated in the formulation of an aftermarket abrasive polish specifically for removing surface imperfections like scratches and paint defects for the CeramiClear™ ® Clear Coat.

PPG introduced an OEM version of CeramiClear™ ®clear coat in 2003 for Mercedes-Benz. The refinish version of CeramiClear™ ®clear coat, D8126 for use with the Global Refinish System, was released the following year and won the Gold award at the International Grand Prix for Technical Innovation in Europe in 2005, recognizing expertise and technical excellence in the vehicle equipment sector.

Both versions of the refinish CeramiClear™ ®clear coat, Deltron DC4125, and D8126, perform to the same standards as the OEM finish. Both are unparalleled in scratch, mar and acid-etch resistance and retention of gloss," said Randy Cremeans, manager, collision segments, North America, for PPG Automotive Refinish. PPG's technical team in Allison Park, Pennsylvania, specifically developed tougher durability tests for OEM CeramiClear™, because no automotive coating had achieved this level of mar resistance before.

DC4125 is designated for use with PPG's DBC and DBU Refinish Systems, and it is designed for the repair of cars that have a CeramiClear™ ® OEM finish. High-solids clear, it meets all current VOC limits and is suitable for use in Southern California Districts. DC4125 is formulated for use with DCH4126 CeramiClear™ ®Hardener. (Source SpecialChem)

It is important to note that manufacturer-approved paint suppliers vary by country as each country (and even province/state) have their own environmental laws that collision centres must adhere to. For example, in the UK, Standox, Spies Hecker, and BASF are the approved paint suppliers for Mercedes-Benz collision centres; in the US, it is PPG, BASF, and Standox. In Canada, only BASF and Standox are the approved paint suppliers and you will find only one or the other at any authorized Mercedes-Benz collision centre

Abrasive Polishing
Working with PPG, BASF and Mercedes Benz, Menzerna 2003 developed special polishes for use on PPG CeramiClear™ Clear Coat for removing scratches, swirls and paint defects Beyond superior abrasives, Menzerna has pioneered the development of polishes designed specifically for the hard clear coats, like those used by General Motors on the Corvette and PPG CeramiClear™ Clear Coat being used by Mercedes Benz. Super Intensive and Nanotechnology Polish are currently used by Mercedes - Benz in Germany on their production line to remove swirls and over-spray incurred during the painting process.

 A unique family of abrasives developed by Menzerna allows these polishes to remove defects, even on brand new paint finishes, with no loss of surface gloss and no micro-marring. The abrasives are just one factor in the equation; lubricants, solvents, emulsion and their carrier system will determine the actual functional ability of the polish

Super Intensive Polish (SIP), Power Finish (PO203S) and Nano Polish (FG4000) these polishes contain nanotechnology ceramic micro particle diminishing abrasives, that are milled as fine as 0.3 µ (micron) and /also contain a higher abrasive content, 7% whereas the other polishes contain 3% abrasives

Beyond superior abrasives, Menzerna has pioneered the development of polishes designed specifically for the hard clear coats, like those used by General Motors on the Corvette and PPG CeramiClear™ ® Clear Coat being used by Ferrari and Mercedes- Benz.

Super Intensive and Nanotechnology Polish are currently used by Mercedes - Benz in Germany on their production line to remove swirls and over-spray incurred during the painting process. Some OEM paint specification requires a dense (hard) clear coat paint- Audi, BMW, Nissan and VW and others

Modern automotive paint systems of whatever density pose unique challenges to the detailer, to determine the correct polish/and pad combination, machine methodology. This requires a ‘test panel’ to see how the selected polish set-up responses to the paint, and wither it will remove the surface scratches

Select a ‘typical’ 18 x 18 – inch area -one that represents the type of defects that you want to remove and starting with the least abrasive polish and / pad combination and then proceed until the defects are removed.

This is the polish/pad combination you’ll need to use. Selecting the correct pad/polish combination for the vehicles paint/defects can take just as long as the paint correction process

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 above article was 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 this article as it helps other detailers further their knowledge.
Questions and/ or constructive comments are always appreciated.
Copyright © 2004 - 2010 TOGWT® (Established 1980) all rights reserved

Rotary polisher usage tips


Surface Evaluation
Diagnosis is the key; not guesswork; examine the vehicle panels, a ‘bag-test will ascertain the need for detailer’s clay, and a 3M Sun Gun or a Brinkman light will help you find any evidence of surface blemishes i.e. swirl marks and scratches.

The most important first step in the process of paint surface detailing is diagnosing the paint surface; density of clear coat (hard or soft) or single stage paint, surface condition; ascertain the severity of the surface blemishes with an inspection light and the paint thickness available.

The paintwork should be evaluated with a paint thickness gauge to see what thickness of clear coat remains before you decide how much paint renovation can be safely carried or wither paint preservation would be the appropriate option, before you proceed, measuring with a paint thickness gauge will dictate the choice and abrasiveness of polish / compound for correction or renovation level required or indeed possible

Always follow the rule of starting with the least abrasive combination, i.e. a machine polish and the least aggressive foam or wool pad (working smarter not harder) The most important first step in the process of paint surface detailing is diagnosing the paint surface; density of clear coat (hard or soft) or single stage paint, surface condition; ascertain the severity of the surface blemishes with an inspection light and the paint thickness available.

Measuring with a paint thickness gauge will dictate the choice and abrasiveness of polish/compound for correction or renovation level required or indeed possible. Assess the correction level working through the range of polishes from the lightest abrasive upwards until the desired level of correction is reached. Selecting the correct pad/polish combination for the vehicles paint/defects can take just as long as the paint correction process

When removing defects from the paint surface, consider not only which polish/compound you'll be using, but how you'll be using it. Your choice of machine speed, pad construction, pad size and applied pressure will all impact the abrasive abilities of the polishing liquid.

Decide on a one, two or three step polishing routine and select a suitable pad. After testing a section to confirm this method, Select an area of 18 x 18-inches and tape it off with painter’s tape, as this is an optimal working section to perform a product test spot; this will help establish a process that will produce the best possible finish, once this is established repeat the process over the entire paint surface

Select a ‘typical’ area (one that represents the type of defects that you want to remove) and starting with the least abrasive polish and / pad combination and then proceed until the defects are removed. This is the polish/pad combination you’ll need to use

Rotary Polishers- a high-speed polishing machine, the high-end machines have a direct-drive with selectable electronic speed control that maintains a constant speed under varying loads conditions regardless of the pressure applied

· Porter-Cable 7428 - reliable , 10-amp motor,  variable speed 0- 3,000  RPM, 9 Lbs weight
· Metabo PE12-175 – ergonomically sound, on/off switch, feathering variable speed 700 – 2200  RPM, 10-amp motor, 6 Lbs weight
· Makita 9227C –a reliable workhorse, ‘soft start’ trigger switch and variable speed 600-3000  RPM
 10-amp motor, 6 Lbs weight
· DeWalt DW849– a reliable machine, 8 Lbs weight, 1000 – 3000  RPM,8-amp motor

Used mainly by body repair / paint shops or very experienced detailers to rectify more serious paint film surface imperfections using a Velcro backing plate, foam or wool pads of varying coarseness and an abrasive compound or polish to remove swirl marks, scratches and paint defects, using their high (revolution) speed and friction (heat) to enable compounds to abrade the paint film surface that requires more power /speed than a random orbital buffer can provide

Experience will teach you how your polish/pad combination ‘feels’ as it goes through the various stages; i.e. cutting, to polishing stage and finishing stages, where the polish lubrication has dried up, this is where you stop, wipe off the polished area, inspect the paint surface and either clean the pad, apply more polish or change it for a clean fresh one

Warning: Always use ground fault protection interruption (GFPI) when using any electrical device around water

1. ALWAYS stay focused on the job while using a rotary polisher.
2. Nearly every rotary on the US market today uses a 5/8 - inch / 11pi arbor spindle for backing plates. (non-US M14) I would recommend getting a hook and loop (Velcro™) backing plate and a 5.5-inch pad to start with as they are more easily controlled.
3. Masking the vehicle (Masking tape and Masking paper) pre-prep as if it were being ready for painting saves allot of cleanup time.
4. A rotary will usually ‘sling’, especially at the higher speeds used with compounds. Priming and using the correct amount of product on the pad will also help minimize ‘sling’ and keep product usage to a minimum.
5. Learn to steer the machine (not fight it) a lighter more relaxed grip will help to master the process
6. Practice (steering) control of the rotary polisher, on different panels, different orientations (i.e. flat –hood roof and trunk, vertical - doors and fenders) as differing techniques of machine movement must be adopted.
7. Clean your pads before you use them, or start out with a new pad; use a soft toothbrush for foam, and a spur for wool. As a general rule, the more aggressive the polish, the more often you'll need to clean out your pads. I clean out my pad after every panel when compounding.
8. Oxidized paint and polish residue accumulates on the pad surface and will negatively impact polish results
9.  Clean (or replace) you pads frequently – a clean or fresh pad will restore the intended abrasive ability, where as a saturated foam pads abrasive ability will decrease (note dried or caked on polish will increase the risk of surface scratches) clean often with a soft fairly stiff brush or pad spur (Duospur).

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 diminishing abrasives as the old polish debris will not break down a will affect the desired surface and may also be the cause of surface hazing

10. Practice centering the pad on the rotary; spin it at a low speed to ensure it is properly centered. Higher  RPM speeds can give the illusion that it is centered as the centrifugal forces push the foam out slightly making it appear more centralized
11. Before commencing polishing do a test panel on the car, once you have achieved the desired results with the chosen polish/pad combination proceed
12. Diminishing abrasives- you need to allow the abrasives to break down (become progressively smaller) to create a great finish or you may impart surface marring, holograms or worse. When a polish "flashes" from a liquid paste to a light semi-dry haze; its colour changes from the polish colour to almost transparent; the polish has then broken down and is ready for removal. It is important to know when a polish has broken down because if you take it too far you (dry polishing) will re-introduce surface marring.
13. Conversely, if you don’t work diminishing abrasives sufficiently they will cause surface marring; this is due to the size of the abrasive and its cutting ability, once an abrasive has broken down it becomes very fine and will burnish the surface as opposed to cutting it
14. Ensure a ‘wet’ polishing film is always present between your pad and the surface. Swirls are usually caused by using an aggressive polish without breaking down the diminishing abrasives properly, or you may have used too much polish or it may have dried. To remove, spritz the pad with distilled water (un-primed pads can cause marring) do not add further polish) and re-polish using the polish left on the pad.
15. Holograms - A pattern of small scratches left in a finished paint surface by the pad or sander during the sanding compounding and/or polishing operation;
16. Are caused by not allowing a diminishing polish to fully break-down i.e. insufficient work time, the product should become somewhat transparent (i.e. looks like thin cover of Vaseline) A finishing foam pad and polish should remove them
17. Dry buffing
· Using too little polish
· Working a product for too  long
· Using an overly aggressive pad
· RPM speed too high
· Pad angle (keep the foam pads flat) etc.
18. Some professionals prefer to polish the surface first in a side-to-side motion and then in an up-and-down motion. I was taught (many years ago) to polish in a figure-8 movement and it's now second nature to me. Side-to-side and up-and-down motions seem awkward to me now. Try both motions and stick with the method that is comfortable for you.
19. Edge (spin-off) – a light sensitive approach is essential, using only the weight of the machine, on vertical panels just enough pressure to maintain contact with the surface (without applied pressure) tilt the contact edge of the pad a few degrees so that only the leading edge of the pad is in contact with the paint surface.

Make sure the leading edge (right-hand side) of the pad is rolling off the panel so that would mean the right side of the pad is rotating off the panel. If you have the trailing edge (left side) of the buffer on the edge it will tend to strongly force the machine out of your hands and burn the edge almost instantly.
A smaller pad surface contact area will increase friction heat so adjust machine speed accordingly As far as the edging goes; normally you aren't going to find excess marring and scratching over the edges. So if your machine in steps (and you definitely should be) save the edges for you last stage of polishing. This way you’re using a least aggressive product and pad with less pressure.  
20. Knowing when a polish is fully broken down comes with experience but a good yard stick is when the polish has gone clear and is very easy to wipe off. Holograms or micro marring are again imparted due to polish that hasn’t been properly broken down or too high speeds. Following the advice above or below should cure these.
21. Intermediate polishing horizontally, final polishing vertically, so if there are buffer trails, they will be able to tell which process created them.
22. Buffer hop’ is when the rotary jumps across the paints surface usually due to insufficient polish/lubrication and as the foam pad grips the paint it jumps. Try spreading the polish more evenly across the pad, add more polish, distilled water or quick detailer (QD) This can also be caused by a bogged down pad – clean / spur / replace pads often.
23. For the neophyte user, I would suggest starting out by using a smaller pad, 6.5 – inch I have even found 4- inch pads to be very useful for polishing small tight spaces and smaller panels.
24. Speed – With a rotary, as you move away from the centre the pad is moving faster to complete a revolution as it is covering a greater distance towards the edge of the pad and therefore producing for friction, the higher the RPM the friction increases along with the abrasive power. Reducing the size of the pad reduces the faster moving area, reducing these factors, so the speed needs to be raised to make up for this.
You can see this in action if you drop the pad size from 6inch to 4inch, but keep the speed the same you'll always see a drop in cut, where before you may have been getting perfect correction it'll drop off. Up the speed and the previous results return.
High RPM i.e. >1700 will cause high surface temperatures (should be limited to 1000F / 300  
25. 115.F / 45. C < spot temperature will damage clear coat to the point that it requires repainting.
26. A rotary requires no more pressure than that required to ‘hold’ it on the paint surface
27. Always tape pinstripes; it doesn't take much to wipe them right off the paint, or thin them out
28. Inspect your work under full sun (or use a 3M Sun Gun®) Holograms, fine marring hooks, etc. are very difficult to see under man made light. There's nothing more frustrating than having to strip off your LSP and re-do.
29. Remove all polish residue and oils before applying your LSP. This is a general rule of thumb for best results across all product lines, and you will notice an overall improvement in the clarity, gloss, and overall 'look' of your finish.
30. If you're new to rotary polishing start off by only using finishing pads and do not exceed 1500  RPM < faster is not better and it may cause you problems. Let the rotary do the work, you'll be surprised at what you can correct with a finishing pad and a mildly abrasive polish.
31. When you shut down the machine never let the pad stop on the surface. Bring the machine to the closest edge of the panel and slowly let it roll off with an angle facing inward to the panel, this will help prevent marring.
32. One of the biggest problems when using a rotary is product sling. However when using highly lubricated polishes sling is a sign that you’ve used too much polish or you have turned the speed up to too fast, too soon. No matter how much you try and avoid it you’re still going to see it. Cover areas you don’t want to be covered in product and mask off trim with blue painter’s tape if necessary and cover windshields or other vehicle parts with towels. Be careful around moldings, antennas (aerial’s to us Brits ) and other trim pieces
33. Do not to put the chemical on the pad as the product will sling. The rotary should be in constant motion, if you're putting the chemical on the pad, then that means you are starting from a standstill. That also means that the rotary isn't spinning when it touches the paint, rather you are accelerating up to speed while already on the paint. Another reason you want to put the chemical on the paint is that the chemical is acting as a lubricant between the pad and the paint.
34. Do not remove compound or polish grit/dust with a dry towel; as this will cause surface marring. Use a damp Micro fibre towel with minimum downward pressure and a no-rinse type product (Optimum No Rinse) that contains surfactants to encapsulate the debris
35. Moisten the pad with distilled water as it stops the pad absorbing too much product and provides a longer ‘working’ time.
36. A smaller pad on the PC has more cutting power than a smaller pad on the rotary An 8- inch pad on the rotary will have more cut than a 6- inch

Pad Trailing and Leading Edge
Looking at a pad that is on the paint surface; the trailing edge is the left side (between 7and 5 o’clock) and the leading edge is the right side (between 11 and 1 o’clock)

A light sensitive approach is essential, using only the weight of the machine, on vertical panels just enough pressure to maintain contact with the surface (without applied pressure) use a lower speed 1000 – 1200 RPM and keep the pad moving. Tilt the contact edge of the pad a few degrees so that only the leading edge of the pad is in contact with the paint surface. Make sure the leading edge (right-hand side) of the pad on a rotary polisher is rolling off the panel so that would mean the right side of the pad is rotating off the panel

If you have the trailing edge (left side) of the buffer on the edge it will tend to strongly force the machine out of your hands and burn the edge almost instantly.

Optimum Micro Pads and Hyper Spray – Shake the polish and then apply two sprays to prime the pad and then use one spray per panel. Random orbital polisher; spray the pads perimeter as the product will migrate to the centre during use. Rotary polisher; spray the centre of the pad as centrifugal motion will spread the polish outward



Wednesday, 9 August 2017

“Mould (Mold) Remediation” -





Stachybotrys Chartarum [: fungi that grow in the form of multi- cellular filaments, called hyphae] 

[Many moulds can begin growing at 4 °C (39 °F), the temperature within a typical refrigerator, or less. When conditions do not enable growth, moulds may remain alive in a dormant state depending on the species, within a large range of temperatures before they die. The many different mould species vary enormously in their tolerance to temperature and humidity extremes. Certain moulds can survive harsh conditions such as the snow-covered soils of Antarctica, refrigeration, highly acidic solvents, and even petroleum products such as jet fuel. Xerophilic moulds use the humidity in the air as their only water source; other moulds need more moisture. Mould has a musty odor.] 

Mould in vehicle interiors is, unfortunately, more common than you would imagine. Although car manufacturers do their best to keep water and even moisture from getting into your vehicle, over time, seals wear out and eventually will start to allow water ingress, or something as simple as forgetting to roll up your windows or closing the sunroof during a rain storm
Without identifying and eliminating the source of the mould you can't get rid of it, there are many 

Counteractant type products that only mask odours; what you need to do is remove, clean and thoroughly dry the whole area; carpets, and any padding or under-carpet materials, upholstery (inc. foam and etc.) that is affected, including the headliner and metal floor pan (don’t forget to clean/replace the cabin air filter).  

There are hundreds of thousands of types of mould, but only about ten types cause health problems, commonly sinusitis, bronchitis and other respiratory conditions, as well as allergies. I would strongly recommend you wear appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE) safety glasses, respirators; etc. inhalation of mould could be very detrimental to your health and can cause an allergic reaction

There are many Counteractants products that only mask odours; what you need to do is remove and clean and disinfect the whole area; carpets, upholstery (including the upholstery foam and etc.) that is affected, including the headliner and metal floor pan. Don’t forget to clean/replace the cabin air filter.
Remove the seats and thoroughly clean the carpet with a carpet cleaner and a disinfectant. Then let it air dry, or use a heater to ensure that they are completely dry. To neutralize mould use 10:1 Distiller water / (non-chlorine) bleach solution, use a syringe to inject the solution into seating foam, you may need to remove and replace the carpet padding.

Test the solution on an inconspicuous area first to ensure it will not remove the dye. Some carpet cleaning solutions also contain a fungicide

Chlorine Bleach - bleach labels will warn you that chlorine bleach will only be effective on a hard, non-porous surface. This basically means that chlorine bleach is not made to permeate a surface (soak in). Therefore, its disinfecting properties are limited to a hard surface like tile or glass. The basic problem is that to ensure survival, mould spores spread its Mycelia (roots) deep into a porous surface. Mould remediation requires a cleaner to reach deep down into porous materials to remove its Mycelia. The properties of bleach prevent it from soaking into these materials. The surface mould appears to be gone but bleach will only remove the green stain by bleaching it, and the internal mould and its Mycelia remains to grow back.

OSHA and the EPA have specifically advised against the use of bleach for mold remediation.

Bactoshield- is an all in one safe antimicrobial dry cleaner, stain blocker and deodorizer for carpets - http://www.4-c.co.uk/carpet-cleaning.html

Sporicidin® Enzyme Mold Stain Cleaner - concentrate is a blend of enzymes in a low foaming solution formulated to loosen and remove dried debris, protein, blood and mucin deposits. It effectively cleans both natural and synthetic fibres that have been soiled with organic and inorganic debris. Ideal for use as a pre-cleaner for mould remediation, and restoration applications

Clean the material using a steam extractor’s upholstery attachment, this will eliminate the bacteria that create mildew, ensure the carpets and upholstery is thoroughly dry before you re-install.

Microban Mildew & Mold Remover - an environmentally-safe, anti-microbial formula that destroys mould, mildew, and other bacterial odours on contact, when you cannot use chlorine The formula is a water-based, non-flammable bactericide, fungicide, deodorant and anti-microbial, all in one unique formulation
It eliminates the spores instantly and has a long-lasting, residual effect. It may be sprayed by hand on any surface or injected into carpet and upholstery padding with our hypodermic syringe. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved for both spray and fogging applications (cannot be shipped to CA)

Leather Upholstery – Leather Master’s Mold Remover (N-Nubuck / Alcantara®) (A-Aniline / Non-Coated) (P-Protected / Coated) you may notice dark or white blotches where two areas of the leather touch or areas not used.

If the contamination is not removed, the fungus will dissolve the leather, forming small pits. Just like mould and mildew contamination in other areas, you cannot wash or shampoo it away. This only makes the problem worse. The fungus is caused by living organisms that must be killed before the leather is cleaned. This product is effective in most forms of bacterial or fungus growth.

Carpets, Mats and Fabric and Vinyl covered upholstery Microban Mildew & Mold Remover is an environmentally-safe, anti-microbial formula that destroys mould, mildew, and other bacterial odours on contact. When you cannot use chlorine, Microban is a very effective solution. The formula is a water-based, nonflammable bactericide, fungicide, deodorant and antimicrobial, all in one formulation
Application - do not dilute, use full strength, apply via sprayer to porous surfaces until moist, no not over wet, brush into carpeting, allow to dry 10-20 minutes. Due to VOC Regulations Microban cannot ship to California

The presence of bacteria and mould in vehicle interiors
Dr. Charles P. Gerba and Sheri L. Maxwell set out to test the presence of bacteria and mould in vehicle interiors. There were 100 vehicles involved in the test in the states of Illinois, Arizona, Florida, California and Washington, D.C., to provide a good cross-section of climatic conditions across the country. The following lists some of the results of their testing’s. “Testing for bacteria and Mold” by Dr. Charles P Gerba and Sheri L Maxwell (Professional Car washing & Detailing – July 2009)

Most germs present:
1. Radio knob
1. Seat belt
2. Window opener
3. Steering wheel
4. Car seat
Places with most Staphylococcus. aureus (most common form of Staph infections:
1. Steering wheel
2. Seat belt
3. Cup holder
4. Dash board
5. Window opener
Most mould spores:
1. Cup holder
2. Food spills
3. Change holder
4. Dash board
 5. Steering wheel
Cities with the most bacteria in vehicles (from a select sample):
1. Tucson, AZ
2. Oakland/Pleasanton, CA
3. Chicago
4. Washington, D.C.
5. Tampa, FL

Information resources:
1. Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation, published by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) also contains valuable information
2. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides free brochures to anyone who asks.
3. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and a few other organizations can be considered unbiased and reliable sources.
4. The National Institute of Safety & Health (NIOSH) is also an excellent source of unbiased information.

Protect yourself, work safe. Respiratory Protection; mould spores represent a health hazard to your lungs and may cause respiratory distress so wear Respiratory Protection. Consult the current 3M Respiratory Selection Guide for additional information or call 1-800-243-4630 for 3M technical assistance hazard to your lungs and may cause respiratory distress. As in all things, allow common sense to prevail and proceed with due caution

Professional detailers – as your you’re dealing with health-related issues, bear in mind that we are living in a litigious society, so document the process / procedures used on this type of remediation.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

“Five Tips to Branding Yourself” -


Career Development  

We’ve all been taught that a firm handshake, professional attire, and sound credentials are the makings for a good first impression.

Today, that’s no longer enough.

The advent of blogs, Facebook, and Twitter have enabled anyone and everyone to become known; connect in almost real time directly with clients, colleagues and friends; and build relationships across the globe. Now, making an unforgettable first impression in-person is no longer the only way to establish your brand. Yes, your brand.

While you may not be Nike or Disney, who you are and how you come across are really important to being successful. Our personal brands are in the spotlight everyday for everyone to see online. Are you putting your best foot forward? Maybe it’s time for some personal branding.

If you don’t brand yourself, someone else will, and the outcome might not be so favorable. Branding yourself keeps you current in your field, opens doors for you, and creates a lasting impression on potential and existing clients. By developing your own brand, you’ll have control over the initial perception people have of you.

“What is it that you want to be known for? Personal branding is how we define ourselves in the work space while also incorporating the personal elements that make us who we are,” according to Dawn Rasmussen, president of the Portland, Oregon-based Pathfinder Writing and Career Services.

What Makes You, You
A successful brand can go a long way with self-promotion, conveying loyalty, and offering consistency in the quality of the services you provide.

#1: Define your brand and become an expert.
Take the time to do some soul searching and determine exactly who you are and what makes up your brand. Use words such as collaborative, resourceful, flexible, forward-thinking, connected, visionary, diplomatic, intuitive, precise, enterprising, ethical, genuine and/or accessible to describe your persona, culture, and outlook. Whether you’re looking to garner media attention, attract new clients or build your business, you should focus on becoming an expert in your field. Avoid establishing an expertise that's irrelevant to your mission, goals, and vision. You’ll just be wasting your time.

For example, if you know corporate tax accounting, it's probably not wise to brand yourself as a personal financial expert. Yet, remember that people want to hear about the professional you, but they also want to understand your personality. Don’t be afraid to inject your personality into the conversation.

#2: Establish a presence.
You’re being Googled by friends, colleagues, and potential customers, so make sure your branded content is what people find when they Google your name. One way to do this is to build a basic online presence through your own website or blog.

For example, you can purchase your full name as a domain name (yourfullname.com). By developing either a static website or a blog under your domain name, you will own the first result for your name in Google and other search engines. This should be a separate site than your company's website. After purchasing your domain name, add your picture, a bio, your email address, and links to the rest of your presence (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter). This way, people can get in touch with you in their medium of choice. Claim your name before someone else does. While search engines will pick up on your social media pages, having your own domain will produce a more finite result.

#3: Generate brand awareness through networking. You should be connecting with other young professionals in the accounting industry by using social networks and commenting on their blogs. Networking is one of the best ways to become known in the industry. By forming relationships with people in your audience, you can grow your business and your brand long-term.

#4: Remember the 3 C's of branding. Clarity, consistency, constancy. Be clear in who you are and are not. Don’t sugar-coat your qualifications. Express your brand across all communications mediums. Determine where you want to fit in (industry and niche area of expertise) and then remain visible to your target audience.

#5: Get feedback from those who know you best—at work, at home, anywhere. The true measure of your brand is the reputation others hold of you in their hearts and minds. Notice how they introduce you to others. Ask them what your top brand attributes and core strengths are. If they can easily tell you, then you’ve succeeded in branding you.

These days, branding the company you work for isn't enough. The world wants to hear what you have to say as a professional within a company. The work involved in uncovering your brand may seem daunting, but your efforts can benefit you immeasurably. Your unique brand message differentiates the best you have to offer, gives a good indication of what you’re like to work with, and shows how you make things happen.

American Institute of Chartered Public Accountants (AICPA)

 https://www.aicpa.org/interestareas/youngcpanetwork/resources/career/pages/fivetipstobrandingyourself.aspx

Monday, 7 August 2017

Leather pigment (Colour Dye) restoration


After years of use, automotive finished leather can become worn and tired looking, and can often make an otherwise pristine interior, look old and unappealing. The option of a replacement is both expensive and very often unnecessary, and can affect the originality of your vehicle.

Leather restoration helps you or your clients add value and prestige to their vehicle, wether it is a daily driver, a Concours d’élégance entrant or a classic car. When the time comes to resell the vehicle, one with damaged leather will realise much less than one with clean undamaged upholstery so clients use renovation for commercial as well as aesthetic reasons.

As tough and durable as finished leather can be it can still suffer from wear and tear problems which can be repaired at an affordable cost compared to renewal. Finished leather upholstery is often the most costly item to replace in a vehicle. Small scale damage can be fixed with a localised repair quickly and smoothly i.e. cuts and cracks, scuffs and scratches, fading, stains, and discoloration as well as general wear and tear

Kits are available that allows you to recolor worn and faded leather relatively easily. The colour coat provided is water- based material, colour matched, that is designed to be highly compatible with leather, and provides a long lasting finish

Ensure that the pigmentation manufacturers have continued to keep pace with advances in copolymer technology and uses only the finest, first-quality pigments Prior to the removal of seat covers or renovating the pigmentation it is advisable to apply Leather Master Soft Touch (ex Vital) liberally to surfaces and then allow it to sit for 20 – 30minutes, this will soften the covers making them more workable.

Photo Degradation

[: decomposition of a compound by radiant energy]

If the interior is subjected to extreme ultra violet (UV) radiation the pigmented urethane protection will begin to exhibit a common reaction, oxidation. This is the beginning of photo degradation; a common primary reaction is an oxidation. Some materials absorb UV radiation more readily than other materials. Materials that readily absorb (UV) radiation are quickly damaged; rubber, vinyl, gel coat fibreglass, and many other plastics.

When radiation is absorbed, it starts to break (cleave) weak chemical bonds, which leads to (oxidation) photochemical degradation (bleaching, fading, discoloration, chalking, brittleness and cracking) all indications of ultra violet deterioration. The bond cleavages resulting from UV absorption cause the formation of “radicals.” Each free radical can trigger a chain of reactions (in the presence of air), leading to more bond cleavages and destruction. These oxidizing chain reactions require no further UV exposure, just the presence of air

Urethane Surface Cracks

As the leather hide loses moisture, it begins to shrink and stiffen. This leaves a minuscule gap (delamination) between the leather hide and the pigmented (colour) urethane coating on top of it. The urethane coating is no longer supported by the hide; without proper support, it starts to crack.

Pigmentation suppliers – 
I've done extensive concourse leather restorations using Swissvax or Leather Masters products and I must say they are the best I have used compared to Zymol, Leatherequi et al

Swisswax Leather Healer Leather Dye - an easy-to-apply Leather refurbishing dye, it Is easy to apply and sets automatically and permanently, without leaving a heavy layer of pigments as often encountered with other leather tinting. The purpose of this product is to restore leather to its original colour and with a uniform matte finish, but without a "just been painted" appearance.

Apply after the thorough preparation of the leather surface; Swissvax dye sets automatically and permanently without leaving a heavy layer of pigment as it is often the case with another sprayed-on leather tinting. The leather fine and natural structure, as well as its typical original feel, are perfectly preserved.
Certain areas of your vehicles leather interior like seats, upholstery, side mouldings and steering wheels inevitably start to show signs of wear, even if well taken care of, that spoil its overall impression. Often these imperfections are not serious and are simply colour that has worn off or light scratches in the leather surface which can be removed and will disappear with the right application The Swissvax dye is easily applied with a small sponge and sets automatically and permanently. The leathers fine and natural structure as well as its typical original feel are perfectly preserved.  46 Standard Colours

Alternate Products
Refinish Coating - a two part system of premium coatings delivers OEM standards, using the highest-grade water-based coatings to give lasting durability, flexibility, and versatility

Leather Magic! ™ - colorants are water-based pigment restoration products used for re-colouring large areas or changing the colour of your leather completely

Leatherworld Technologies – water-based auto leather dye for most marques

Surface Preparation
A few days before commencing the actual leather renovation, clean the finished leather surfaces.  As a cleaning solution, I use a formula that is used by one of the major tanneries to clean their leather. Mix a solution of 3% detergents that contains a surfactant (P21S Total Auto Wash) 10% isopropyl alcohol (IPA) and the balance distilled water. And then apply Leather Master Soft Touch (formally Vital) this is not a conditioner per se; it softens the finished leather and make it easier to remove the seat covers.

Like all detailing task’s the correct surface preparation prior to the application of the pigmentation (colour) will ensure that it adheres correctly, and has both durability and aesthetics. Use a safe degreaser to ensure any oil and grease free surface (Leather Masters™ Leather Degreaser) this aerosol product is ideal for cleaning as it dissolves the oils and transforms them into a powder that is more absorbent than the leather. This powder is what is wiped off, cleaning and degreasing the leather. Allow the white powder to dry fully. If the powder is drying to a yellow colour, it means that there are still a lot of oils in the leather.

And then use a safe solvent cleaner (Leather Magic DT-152 or Leather Master Color Prep & Cleaner)  these chemicals are formulated from several types of alcohol and milder based solvents and is used primarily to prepare the surface of leather for repair or pigmentation application. It will remove all dressings, protectants, waxes, and oils from the surface, but more importantly, it will strip off the top most layer of the finish, which cleans the surface so that it is receptive to the application of repair and colorant materials. This also creates a permanent bonding of the materials to the leather.

To ensure adhesion lightly sand areas to be re-coloured by using an abrasive (Scotchbrite 7447 - Maroon pad, General Purpose Hand - 320-400 grit) You’ll need to break down approximately 25µ (1 mil)  of the surface, this is important so the new leather dye can ‘key’ into the finished leather and look natural. Be consistent in how far you remove the pigmentation, it is not necessary to completely remove the pigmentation that is sitting on the leather surface. Remove dust with a tack rag or damp micro fibre towel.

The leather is correctly prepped when you start to see colour transfer from the leather onto the abrasive pad or towel. This indicates that the finish has been removed exposing the colour beneath.

Pigmentation (Colour) Renovation 
Certain areas of your vehicles leather interior like seats, upholstery, side mouldings and steering wheels inevitably start to show signs of wear, even if well taken care of, that spoil its overall impression. Often these imperfections are not serious and are simply colour that has worn off or light scratches in the leather surface which can be removed and will disappear with the right application technique and leather pigmentation. Swisswax Leather Refurbishing Pigmentation

Steering wheels typically have a matte clear coat to protect them from ultra violet (UV-B) light, so it’s important to replace this finish as it protects and enhances the leather and preserves its durability. Leather World Technologies Top Coat is a water-based clear coating for finished (pigmented) leather. This product provides a clear finish designed to give abrasion protection and better durability for finished leather.  

Allow the pigmentation to cure for 24 hours before the application of the clear coat. Apply with a clean lint free 100% cotton micro fibre towel, being careful to apply two thin uniform coats (allow each coat to thoroughly dry) to reduce build-up and streaks, allow to dry for 24 -36 hours; dependent upon temperature and humidity. This type of clear paint can be 'heat cured' with infra-red heat, a heat gun or a hair dryer

Finally, apply a surface a protection product Leather Masters Protection Cream with a dry micro fibre towel and allow to thoroughly dry and then lightly buff. This provides a Scotchgard™ type protection specifically formulated for leather

Note: the same methodology and products can be used on leather shift stick (gear knob) covers

Leather Stitching
If the stitching and finished leather surfaces are different colors try to avoid allowing any pigmentation to dry on the stitching; to remove wipe with a water-based solvent cleaner.

Leather stitching is usually cotton and nylon mix, nylon is attacked by harsh petroleum distillate solvents, they melt it and weaken the threads, which may cause the stitching to fail over time

Stitching is somewhat friable if subjected to excessive abrasion, bearing this in mind the cleaner needs to ‘do the work’ without relying on friction.
To renovate / clean stitching using a medium / hard horse hair brush, a toothbrush or a sponge and a safe solvent cleaner (DT-1105) this chemical is formulated from several types of alcohol and milder based solvents and it will remove all dressings, protectants, waxes, and oils from the surface. And then remove all traces of the solvent/alcohol with a foam cleaner Leather Master™ Foam Cleaner

Pigmentation (colour) Application

[: in the US pigmentation is called dye (although it’s a very different process for the application of a colorant]
 Ideal temperatures for application 70 – 75.0F with 30%-40% humidity, test the product on a small area for a colour match; it is normal that the newly applied pigmentation colour may appear more vibrant and translucent than the faded hue you have become accustomed to. If you’re satisfied with your test area, apply the product

Pour all the pigmentation into a suitable container so it can be stirred and mixed properly with a wide paint stirrer.  As some pigments are heavier than others and settle. If it is too thick, stir in a small quantity of distilled water to achieve workable consistency

 Wipe-on colour wash application - use a clean white cotton terry cloth, along with a small painting brush for small and difficult to reach areas By using the wipe on application technique you’ll be able to control the amount of pigmentation applied and don’t have to worry about overspray.

Should go without saying, use latex gloves or your hands will end up being ‘dyed’ with colorant

Using a small amount of the pigmentation,  apply to one area at a time and keep changing to a clean area of the towel, or use a fresh micro fibre towel. Being a detailer, I’m used to waxing in back-and-forth motions; however, the finish will streak with this method of application.
Thin coats (i.e. a diluted colour ‘wash’) are better than heavier applications and will produce a more natural, translucent finish. The first coat may not look great but once you have 2 or 3 coats on, then the colour will look more even. 

 Work it into the leather like you were applying a wood stain, hence the name ‘colour wash’. You use the cloth to spread the colorant around and actually work it into the leather without leaving a thick coating, since you’re working it in but not leaving much on the surface. You don't want to remove all the dye, but you also don t want to leave so much liquid dye down that it puddles in any way. It should appear almost dry when you’re done working it in

Before the pigmentation dries (seating areas) use a small foam paint roller and an artist’s soft paint brush on seams, piping, and stitching to even out colour and ensure good adhesion. If a better coverage or more colour is required apply thin coats as necessary. When the colour is correct and allow to dry for 6 hours or preferably overnight. It is normal that the newly applied colorant may appear more vibrant and translucent than the faded hue you have become accustomed to.

 Do not use an oil-based product after the application of a water-based colorant, the newer formulations of the dye will apparently be chemically altered and ruined by treating it with the oil, and your colorant will be no longer water-insoluble

Urethane Protection Clear Coat
OEM finished leather typically has a matte clear coat to provide abrasion resistance and to protect them from ultra violet (UV-B) light, so it’s important to replace this finish as it protects and enhances the leather and preserves its durability.

This clear coat (Leather Magic DT-70 Matte Finish Clear) is water- based, polyurethane compound that will provide the toughest finish over a repaired area. The clear coat may be applied either by wiping or spraying over a surface and creates a pleasing matte finish over a colour coated surface to provide substantial protection and durability

Allow the pigmentation to cure for 24 hours before the application of the clear coat. Apply with a clean lint free 100% cotton micro fibre towel, being careful to apply two thin uniform coats (allow each coat to thoroughly dry) to reduce build-up and streaks, allow to dry for 24 -36 hours; dependent upon temperature and humidity. This type of clear paint can be 'heat cured' with infra-red heat, a heat gun or a hair dryer

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