autogeekonline car wax, car care and auto detailing forum Autogeek on TV
car wax, car care and auto detailing forumAutogeekonline autogeekonline car wax, car care and auto detailing forum HomeForumBlogAutogeek.net StoreDetailing Classes with Mike PhillipsGalleryDetailing How To's
 
Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Stuart, Florida
    Posts
    50,921
    Post Thanks / Like

    The difference between Rotary Buffer Swirls, Cobweb Swirls, Micro-Marring, DA Haze & Tick Marks

    The difference between Rotary Buffer Swirls, Cobweb Swirls, Micro-Marring, DA Haze & Tick Marks

    There’s a lot of talk about swirls on detailing discussion forums when it comes to the topic of paint correction and I’m going to do my best to differentiate between the two primary groups of swirls as well as explain what Tick Marks or Micro-Marring is and then show what all 3 types of paint defects look like.


    Swirls are Scratches
    First off, lets make sure everyone understands what swirls are at their core scratches in the paint.

    That’s right; swirls are simply scratches in the paint. Why we call them swirls instead of scratches is because of they way they look as compared to our preconceived ideas as to how we think scratches should look.

    Most of us think of scratches as defects that are in more or less straight lines, like this,





    Swirls on the other hand are usually thought of as having a visual appearance of circular patterns of some type and when we view swirls, they do have circular patterns and it is these patterns that identify which type of swirls we’re looking at and more important.. how they were instilled into the paint.

    Above and Below
    Before we get into the different types of swirls and micro-marring, lets address the topic of above and below surface paint defects because which type of defect you’re working on will determine how you remove it.


    Above Surface Bonded Contaminants
    This would include air-borne contaminants that land on your car’s finish and then bond to the paint tightly enough that they won’t wash off when you wash your car. For example, Overspray Paint, Industrial Fallout, Pollution, Tree Sap Mist, basically any kind of contaminant that can becomes air-borne and lands on the surface of your car’s paint. Above Surface Bonded Contaminants can usually be removed using detailing clay and the removal process does not remove any good paint. While we’re talking about detailing clay, one of the most common questions I get is,

    “Will detailing clay remove swirls?”

    The answer is “no”

    Detailing clay only removes contaminants sitting or bonded to the “top” of the paint, detailing clay will not abrade the paint and level it like an abrasive compound or polish.


    Below Surface Paint Defects
    This would include, all types of swirls, all scratches and any type of etching that penetrates below the original surface level of the top coat of paint.

    Because below surface defects are physically a defect that is “in” the paint, not “on” the paint, the only way to remove Below Surface Paint Defects is to physically abrade the paint. The goal is to remove enough of the paint surrounding the Below Surface Paint Defects to level the upper most surface of the top coat with the lowest depths of the defects you’re trying to remove.

    Does that make sense?


    The problem is paint is thin. Because paint is thin you are limited to how much paint you can safely remove without jeopardizing the integrity of the top coat and/or possibly removing so much paint that you expose the underlying color coat in the case of a basecoat/clearcoat paint system or primer in the case of a single stage paint system.


    Now that we know,

    • What swirls are
    • Where they’re located in the paint
    • How to remove them
    Lets take a look at the different types of swirls.


    Rotary Buffer Swirls
    Also called: Holograms or Buffer Trails


    Rotary Buffer Swirls, also called Holograms or Buffer Trails are circular scratches inflicted into paint by a rotary buffer and usually by the individual fibers that make up a wool cutting or polishing pad. The abrasives used in most compounds and polishes can also inflict swirls into a car's finish, thus anytime you're using a wool buffing pad and a compound or polish you now have two things potentially inflicting swirls into the paint.

    Foam pads can also inflict rotary buffer swirls into paint depending upon the aggressiveness of the foam formula and the product used.

    It is the direct drive rotating action of a rotary buffer that instills the circular pattern of scratches into paint usually in some type of zig-zag pattern that mimics the pattern in which the buffer was moved over the paint by the technician.

    A rotary buffer is not evil because it and the buffing pads and compounds used with it impart swirls into paint, it's just a part of the cause and effect from using a direct drive tool that rotates a buffing pad in a single rotating direction.


    Rotary Buffer Swirls usually show up when a car is exposed to bright light like the sun when its high overhead in the sky.

    It's possible to use a rotary buffer and not instill rotary buffer swirl if the operator has a high skill level and uses quality pads and products. If rotary buffer swirls are instilled into paint, a true professional will do a follow-up process to remove them using less aggressive pads and products and sometimes switch to a different type of tool with a different mechanical polishing action.


    The primary visual difference between Rotary Buffer Swirls and Cobweb Swirls is the rotary buffer imparts this identifiable pattern while Cobweb Swirls do not.

    Examples of Rotary Buffer Swirls





    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.





    Cobweb Swirls also called Spiderweb Swirls
    Cobweb or Spiderweb swirls get their name because of the visual effect created when you place a strong source of focused bright light, like the Sun or the light from a Brinkmann Swirl Finder light onto a section of paint and view the finish.

    The swirls you see look as though they form a circular pattern around the point of light but that's not actually what's taking place.


    The fact of the matter is that the entire finish is so filled with random scratches, both straight and circular, that wherever you place a point of strong, focused light you'll see the circular or cobweb pattern show up because the millions of random scratches are reflecting light back to the source; this is what causes the visual cobweb effect.

    You can easily prove this to be the case by simply moving your body position in a way that moves the point of light around to a different place on the panel.

    As you move positions and thus move where the light is shining on the paint, it appears that wherever you place the point of light there is a circular or cobweb pattern of scratches in the paint.

    The scratches are not specifically circular or round scratches and many of the scratches in the paint may be in straight lines, but with a strong beam of light shining on the paint the visual effect from the scratches all shining light back at the source creates the cobweb effect.


    Does that make sense?


    Cobweb scratches are instilled by all the random ways the paint is scratched through normal wear-n-tear and improper washing methods and products. Over time the finish is so filled with random scratches that the cobweb effect is the visual results when you look at the paint in bright light.

    The cobweb swirl pattern is a different pattern than what you see with rotary buffer swirls because the rotary buffer swirls are not instilled randomly over time, they are instilled by a known source, (not random), usually in one detailing session.


    Cobweb Swirls
    Also called: Spiderweb Swirls







    Micro-Marring - Tick-Marks - DA-Haze

    These three terms are pretty much the accepted terms for a scratch pattern left in some paints from the oscillating and rotating action from a compound or polish and a buffing pad when applied using a DA Polisher.

    Unlike Cobweb swirls or Rotary Buffer Swirls, the scratch pattern instilled by a dual action polisher is made up of millions of tiny scratches, some are curved or circular but some are straight, like a small tick mark you would make with a pencil if you were keeping track of a count of some type.

    Tick Marks are a sign that either the paint is on the soft side, so easily scratched or the pad and compound or polish you're using are too aggressive to finish out without leaving a mark.

    In most cases Tick Marks can be removed by re-polishing with a different pad and product combination.







  2. Thanks TheDubs thanked for this post
    Likes TheDubs liked this post
  3. #2
    Regular Member JonFD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Lake County IL
    Posts
    130
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: The difference between Rotary Buffer Swirls, Cobweb Swirls and Micro-Marring

    I was trying to explain this to a client the other day... printed this out! Thanks Mike!

  4. #3
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Stuart, Florida
    Posts
    50,921
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: The difference between Rotary Buffer Swirls, Cobweb Swirls and Micro-Marring

    Quote Originally Posted by JonFD View Post
    I was trying to explain this to a client the other day... printed this out! Thanks Mike!
    No problemo...

    All these defects and all these definitions, sometimes it can get confusing. Good quality pictures and descriptive text can go a long way to educate your customer and also show them you know what you're talking about.

    This can separate you from your competitor.


    Like I always say, detailers that hang out on forums like this know more than detailers that don't.



  5. #4
    Newbie Member Spade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    12
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: The difference between Rotary Buffer Swirls, Cobweb Swirls, Micro-Marring, DA Haze & Tick Marks

    Thanks for this write up. I've been trying to find out what the marks on my car are called and your discription nailed it. I have a fair amount of micro-marring on both my white and black vehicles and I've yet to repair it. Do you have any suggestions on how to do so? Also would PoorBoys Black Hole help with my black car?

    BTW, I was using a porter cable with Pinnacle XMT fine swirl and glaze.

    Thanks for your direction!!

    Spade

  6. #5
    Newbie Member Spade's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    12
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: The difference between Rotary Buffer Swirls, Cobweb Swirls, Micro-Marring, DA Haze & Tick Marks

    One more, what can I do to prevent marring in the furture?

  7. #6
    Super Member ARizzle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    362
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: The difference between Rotary Buffer Swirls, Cobweb Swirls, Micro-Marring, DA Haze & Tick Marks

    Amazing write-up Mike!
    "Hard work always beats talent, if talent don't work hard."

  8. #7
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    487
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: The difference between Rotary Buffer Swirls, Cobweb Swirls, Micro-Marring, DA Haze & Tick Marks

    Quote Originally Posted by Spade View Post
    One more, what can I do to prevent marring in the furture?
    Marring most commonly comes from bad washing techniques. Things such as using the two bucket method, using quality soaps, quality wash media, quality towels rinsing your wash media in the rinse bucket often and drying the car gently will help reduce future marring. Any more questions don't hesitate to ask.

  9. #8
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Stuart, Florida
    Posts
    50,921
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: The difference between Rotary Buffer Swirls, Cobweb Swirls, Micro-Marring, DA Haze & Tick Marks

    Quote Originally Posted by Spade View Post

    Thanks for this write up. I've been trying to find out what the marks on my car are called and your description nailed it. I have a fair amount of micro-marring on both my white and black vehicles and I've yet to repair it. Do you have any suggestions on how to do so? Also would PoorBoys Black Hole help with my black car?

    BTW, I was using a porter cable with Pinnacle XMT fine swirl and glaze.

    Thanks for your direction!!

    Spade

    Where you at with this Spade?



    Quote Originally Posted by Bert31 View Post

    Marring most commonly comes from bad washing techniques.
    Washing induced marring is a type of marring or shallow scratches. I think the member was talking about machine induced marring which is a different type of scratch pattern than washing and wiping marring or scratches.

    But I agree when it comes to keeping a car finish in show car or like-new condition, it's all about how you "touch" the paint. And this includes washing, wiping and any other way in which a person "touches" the paint.



Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 7
    Last Post: 08-13-2019, 02:17 PM
  2. Micro-marring spider web swirls?
    By IAJack in forum Auto Detailing 101
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 03-09-2018, 10:30 PM
  3. Replies: 13
    Last Post: 10-29-2014, 06:21 AM
  4. Cobweb Swirls Spiderweb Swirls and Scratches
    By Mike Phillips in forum Ask Mike Phillips your detailing questions!
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 10-24-2014, 05:13 PM
  5. Coweb Swirls or Tick Marks?
    By bigbean17 in forum Auto Detailing 101
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 03-17-2014, 05:44 PM

Members who have read this thread: 4

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

» October 2021

S M T W T F S
2627282930 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31 123456