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  1. #1
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    The word holograms means a specific scratch pattern inflicted into paint using a rotary buffer

    The word holograms means a specific scratch pattern inflicted into paint using a rotary buffer


    The discussion about holograms comes up all the time in the car detailing world. The word holograms means,

    a specific scratch pattern inflicted into paint using a rotary buffer



    The pattern of swirls you see are actually scratches and the pattern you see in the paint mimic the direction a rotary buffer was moved over the surface.

    Sometimes people will refer to micro-marring caused by the abrasive technology and/or the pad used on an orbital polisher as holograms. But these scratches are not holograms but micro-marring. It is true that on darker colored paint you can see a pattern in the paint that mimics the way an orbital polisher was moved over the surface but even so, this pattern and these scratches are not the same as the scratches instilled by the single rotational direction of a pad spinning against the paint when using a rotary buffer.

    One reason it's important to distinguish between the two types of scratch patterns is so that everyone in our industry is on the same page when discussion paint defects. While a Ford Truck and a Chevy Truck are both trucks, they at the same time they are very different merely because they are built by very different companies.


    Hologram Scratches
    These are holograms instilled into the paint by a rotary buffer and a wool pad.


    1969 Corvette
    This Corvette has a long history as a race car but the current owner tamed it down and now just cruises it to car shows.





    Problem was... the dreaded holograms...












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  2. #2
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: The word holograms means a specific scratch patern inflicted into paint using a rotary buffer

    More hologram articles and pictures



    Here are some hologram scratches from a rotary buffer in a 2006 Mustang

    Here's a few shots taken in the sun. Note how the swirls in the paint closest to the windshield have an almost floating or 3D effect, this is where the term hologram comes from in the context of talking about swirls instilled by a rotary buffer.





    Here's a section of the above photo cropped out and in full size...
    Often times you'll hear or read about "Holograms" or "Buffer Trails". These are both interchangeable terms for Rotary Buffer Swirls. If you look at the below swirls they almost seem to have a 3D or floating in the paint affect, this is the appearance characteristic from which we get the word hologram.





    Mustangs are beautiful cars but not when the paint shimmers with swirls... the paint is supposed to shimmer with a swirl-free shine....





    Here's the same car but now we're using the flash from our camera to light up and reveal the horrendous swirls...





    I don't think I've ever seen a car so swirled out by the mis-use of a rotary buffer...





    The zillions of swirls in the clear layer makes the paint look hazy and blocks your view of the black paint under the clear top coat. This reduces the darkness of the paint making the true black look gray.





    The above pictures were taken from the below article, more pictures including the AFTER shots can be found by clicking the link.

    2006 Mustang GT Convertible - Meguiar’s DA Microfiber Polishing System




    Mike Phillips
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  3. #3
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    Re: The word holograms means a specific scratch pattern inflicted into paint using a rotary buffer

    Geez that's horrible.

  4. #4
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: The word holograms means a specific scratch pattern inflicted into paint using a rotary buffer

    Quote Originally Posted by GSKR View Post
    Geez that's horrible.
    It was cut with a heavy cut compound with a wool pad and a rotary buffer. This is after I chemically stripped it to remove all the polishing oils.

    Nothing wrong with cutting with wool pads and compounds as long as the follow-up step is a foam pad to remove the holograms.

    Mike Phillips
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  5. #5
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    Re: The word holograms means a specific scratch pattern inflicted into paint using a rotary buffer

    The word hologram also gets misused to describe LSP smearing. The lines can and do look like holograms depending how you last wiped it.

    Boy, I bet that silver paint on that trunk looks amazing after you were done.

    I'm looking for a photo of a used red Hummer on sale displayed up on a ramp over looking the busy street in front of the dealership. It has the worst hologramming I have ever seen in person. I was just driving down the street and it totally caught my eye and had to stop. You could totally trace the path the pad took over each panel.

    Somebody bought it though as it was gone about 3 weeks later.

  6. #6
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    Re: The word holograms means a specific scratch pattern inflicted into paint using a rotary buffer

    I've seen Rupes machines make holograms with microfiber cutting pads when the machines speed settings were too high. It's not just from rotary buffers it's caused by heat. Get a DA to heat up the paint and poor polishing techniques and it will cause holograms as well and buffer trails

  7. #7
    Senior Member FUNX650's Avatar
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    Re: The word holograms means a specific scratch pattern inflicted into paint using a rotary buffer

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Phillips View Post
    The word holograms means a
    specific scratch pattern inflicted
    into paint using a rotary buffer


    The discussion about holograms comes up
    all the time in the car detailing world.

    The word holograms means,
    a specific scratch pattern inflicted
    into paint using a rotary buffer


    The pattern of swirls you see are actually
    scratches and the pattern you see in the
    paint mimic the direction a rotary buffer
    was moved over the surface.



    Sometimes people will refer to
    micro-marring caused by the abrasive
    technology and/or the pad used on an
    orbital polisher as holograms. But these
    scratches are not holograms but micro-
    marring.

    It is true that on darker colored paint you
    can see a pattern in the paint that mimics
    the way an orbital polisher was moved
    over the surface, but even so, this pattern
    and these scratches are not the same as
    the scratches instilled by the single rota-
    tional direction of a pad spinning against
    the paint when using a rotary buffer.



    One reason it's important to distinguish
    between the two types of scratch patterns
    is so that everyone in our industry is on
    the same page when discussion paint defects.
    ^^^ ...Wholeheartedly!!


    Bob
    "Be wary of the man who urges an action in which he himself incurs no risk."
    ~Joaquin de Setanti

  8. #8
    Senior Member Aaryn NZ's Avatar
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    Re: The word holograms means a specific scratch pattern inflicted into paint using a rotary buffer

    Ugh!

    I see my share of holograms down here, actually - I have cursed my entire family into being able to tell the difference between holograms & swirls amongst other defects. Ooops. I cringe at the sight of any but sometimes you can at least tell the person doing the damage has some sort of methodology to their work, its the ones that go in every which direction, like they have a start point & they see how fast they can move the polisher from that point to as far as their arm can reach & back again that I shake my head at the most.

    The ugly ones in the pictures are horrible! Imagine how bad they would look on a darker colour if you can see them that well on such a shade of pearl white. . . . I'm guessing its more purple in person but way to go capturing them with your camera Mike. Correct me if I am wrong but this car was done in one of the Competition Ready Classes yes? I think I read in another post that it suffered some damage, & had been repaired. Are these pictures taken before the class worked on it? Or after it was repaired?

    As a pro detailer this type of work is job security but not in every case. Sometimes walking away is the best option. Earlier in the year I was approached by a man who had purchased a semi SIV car, & after a little time had passed, he noticed the holograms in his black paint. He then took it back to the dealership to have this rectified & in turn, they carried out the same work (minus re applying the ceramic coating he had paid for the first time) & a wash or two later, & a bright sunny day - low & behold, Holograms!

    When he then brang the car to me to see if I could fix it, he told me the story behind the situation & I set about inspecting the car. I thought about how nice it was going to look after I had done my work, until I started measuring the paint. Thin! Thin thin thin! The dealership had tried so hard to polish their holograms out that they simply didn't leave me with enough clear coat to comfortably work with. I explained what the issue was & how I wouldn't be working on the car & why.

    He returned to the dealership & explained my reasoning to which the dealer principal said "buffing wouldn't take that much paint off". He came back into our shop a few weeks later & said the dealership was going to repaint the horizontal surfaces.(because thats where the holograms were mostly seen?) I since found out from an employee from the dealership that they hadn't repainted any of it, that they had wet sanded it & re polished instead. All I can imagine is how long the little remaining clear coat is going to last in our climate . . . not long I'm guessing.

    As much as holograms are ugly, they are also inflicting unnecessary damage that at times, cannot be repaired.

    Great thread Mike.

    Aaryn NZ.
    a DETAILS Blenheim New Zealand - IDA Member - C.Quartz Finest Authorized Installer

  9. #9
    Senior Member Paul A.'s Avatar
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    Re: The word holograms means a specific scratch pattern inflicted into paint using a rotary buffer

    I have always understood what I was seeing in the paint as holograms because they look 3 dimensional...thus the term hologram. It's the perfect descriptor!

    I also sort of like to see them because they are typically very easy to remove. I have even caused them myself when I was using my rotary for heavier corrections back when. they never really bothered me because I knew how to remove them and jewelling paint, especially darker colors, is the real payoff time when correcting. How anyone calling themselves a detailer can leave them without finishing off the job is beyond me!

    Good instructional piece, Mike. Thanks.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Eldorado2k's Avatar
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    Re: The word holograms means a specific scratch pattern inflicted into paint using a rotary buffer

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul A. View Post
    I have always understood what I was seeing in the paint as holograms because they look 3 dimensional...thus the term hologram. It's the perfect descriptor!
    Way back in the days when I was a rookie meat clerk at Safeway, I used to think baby back ribs came from baby pigs. Lol.

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