Dual Action Polisher - Pads

Dual-Action Polishers

The head of a dual-action polisher, has, as the name implies, two simultaneous motions--it spins in a rotary motion AND oscillates (vibrates) about the center of the head.  We learned that it is the pad spinning that creates heat and friction and the potential for problems if the rotary polisher is used incorrectly.  But since the spinning head of a dual-action polisher is married to the secondary movement of oscillation, the potential for damage to the paint surface is greatly reduced.  The spinning cannot create too much heat or friction because it is never concentrated over one place.

The motion of the head of a dual-action polisher is similar to moving your hand in large circles across the paint surface, kind of like the way people used to put on paste wax by hand.

As mentioned earlier, the common term in the industry for the simple rotary machine is “high-speed” polisher or buffer.  The funny thing is that many dual-action machines run at revolutions per minute (rpm) that are actually higher than anyone would ever run on a simple rotary machine.  Because of the oscillation component of the dual-action polisher’s motion, however, friction and heat can virtually never build up to the point of causing damage.

Another design fact that greatly reduces the risk of technical paint damage is the fact that the dual-action spinning can be stopped by pressure.  You can demonstrate this yourself by placing a solid mark using a black marker at one point on the backing plate.  As you use the polisher across the paint surface, you will notice that the black mark spins at different rates depending on the amount of contact and pressure of the pad to the paint surface.  If you press hard enough, the black mark WILL stop moving.

There are a wide range of dual-action polishers available, varying in head size and speed.  There are even some with two heads, the advantage of which is the ability to work a much wider area at a time than a single head model.

How do you tell the difference between a random-orbital and dual-head polisher?  The head of a powered-off dual-action polisher will spin freely with little or no resistance if you grab it and rotate it by hand.

So, the dual-action polisher is great for polishing to remove minor paint defects with no fear of paint damage or swirls.  It’s also great for wax or sealant application.

In recent years, there have been some new developments in dual-action polisher technology that have made them nearly as powerful as rotary polishers while still remaining relatively safe from the pitfalls of the rotary.  The two main developments have been the Long-throw or High-action polisher and the gear-driven/forced rotation polisher.

















Application Charts

BUFFING FOAMS

Buffing and polishing your car with foam pads has been around for many years.  Foam pads work allot differently than wool pads as far as cut, feel and performance.  There are many new technological advances in the foam pad industry and I am writing this to help give you more information so you are able to choose the correct foam for your next job.

There are many ways to identify foam pads in the industry.  PPI is a generic way of distinguishing foam, but not the 100% correct way.  Since there are so many ways to measure foam, we are going to start here with the basic.

OPEN CELL and CLOSED CELL

The first and basic thing to understand about foam is whether it is open or closed cell.  Many open cell foams start out as closed cell and are “reticulated” to produce open cell.  “Reticulation” is a process used in processing foam where they take the bun of foam, put in in a concrete and controlled room, fill the room with hydrogen so the foam can absorb it, and then they ignite the foam.  This process causes the membrane or window of the foam to wrap around the branches.  The window/membrane on foam is the transparent thin layer in between the branches.  The branch is what you feel by hand in the foam when you touch it.  If you look at foam under a microscope, you will see the branches and windows.  Foam that has been reticulated is open cell and foam no reticulated is closed cell.

Once you reticulate a foam it may become stronger in its tearing characteristics.  Reticulated or “open cell” foam run much cooler on the surface as compared to closed cell foams.  The reason for this is that with the cells being open, they are allowed to let air pass thru them to dissipate heat.  With this happening, there may be a chance the chemical you are working with may dry faster and possibly dust since the lubricant in it is getting dried with the air passing thru the foam.

 There are Pros and Cons to each of the foams, and each type works differently with all chemicals:

Keep in mind that not all foams work the same way with all chemicals.  In many instances, it can be trial and error.

There are many other ways foams are measured, this is just a starting point so you are able to pick the best foam for your project.

 

APPLICATION CHARTS ARE COARSES TO FINE

US FOAMS
WHITE 45 PPI HEAVY CUT
YELLOW 50 PPI MEDIUM CUT
GREEN 60 PPI POLISHING
BLUE 70 PPI  SOFT POLISHING
BLACK 80 PPI FINISHING
SOFT WHITE 90 PPI ULTRA FINISHING
BABY BLUE 100 PPI  FINAL FINISHING

EURO FOAMS
YELLOW HEAVY CUT
ORANGE MEDIUM CUT
WHITE POLISHING
BABY BLUE SOFT POLISHING
RED ULTIMATE FINISHING

EXTREME RETICULATED FOAMS
COARSE GREEN EXTREME CUT
COARSE ORANGE MEDIUM CUT
MAROON POLISHING
RED FINISHING

URO-TEC “OPEN CELL”
COARSE BLUE HEAVY CUT
MAROON MEDIUM CUT
YELLOW POLISHING
WHITE FINISHING

URO-CELL “CLOSED CELL”
LIGHT BLUE CUTTING
ORANGE POLISHING
RED FINISHING

STANDARD WOOL PADS
100% WOOL 4 PLY NATURAL CUTTING
WOOL BLEND SINGLE PLY NATURAL MEDIUM CUT
WOOL BLEND 4 PLY TWIST YELLOW MEDIUM CUT/POLISHING
WOOL BLEND SINGE PLY WHITE POLISHING
WOOL BLEND SINGLE PLY YELLOW POLISHING/FINISHING
KNITTED WOOL BLEND  LIGTH POLISH/FINISHING
KNITTED 100% WOOL NATURAL FINAL FINISHING

INDUSTRIAL WOOL PADS
ALTERNATE STITCH DUAL STRAND WOOL BLEND AGGRESSIVE CUTTING & LONG LASTING