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  1. #11
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    Re: Wax is gone ! How can I prove this out?

    If it still sheets water there's protection

  2. #12
    Senior Member zmcgovern45's Avatar
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    Re: Wax is gone ! How can I prove this out?

    Perhaps defining what we mean by "protection" is a good place to start.... the whole idea of "if it beads... if it sheets... there is protection" may or may not be true depending on what qualifies as protection.

    Clear coat provides protection to the base coat, I think we can all agree on that (maybe?), but most everyone believes that if clear coat does not bead water there is "no protection on it". A bare clear bra provides protection to the clear coat, but a clear bra does not necessarily repel water (though many do). Therefore, why is beading associated with "protection". Protection is quite a broad term when you start to think about it. I believe it is simply because for as long as we can remember, applying wax has created nice water beads. Once the beads are gone, we apply more wax and it beads again, thus providing the illusion that the presence of hydrophobic properties mean a wax (or sealant or coating) is still there.

    My questions is this: is water beading all that defines whether or not a wax (or sealant or coating) is still present? Does it even play a factor in whether or not a product is still there? or have we all been brainwashed after so many years?

    I honestly do not know the answer because I do not have the ability to perform the necessary tests to determine if a substance so incredibly thin has fully been removed from a surface.




    It has been my belief that the phenomenon of water beading/sheeting is simply a product of high surface tension.









    Surface tension can be altered by a variety of cleaners (surfactants)... in fact that is, by definition, the purpose of a surfactant.







    A soap (or degreaser, etc.) cannot work well if it simply beads up and is not able to cling to the surface, therefore many (most? all?) cleaning products contain surfactants to help reduce surface tension and allow the cleaner to properly wet the surface which it has been applied to in order for it to do its job of cleaning said surface. I am no chemist, not by a long shot, but it does not seem like a far stretch to assume that harsh cleaners, or even repetitive use of gentle cleaners, can have a permanent effect on the surface tension of whatever surface they are cleaning (ie your waxed, sealed, or coated vehicle). Likewise, I don't feel like it is hard to believe that substances that get on your vehicle while driving will have an effect on surface tension (especially the crud they put all over the roads during the winter months). This is pretty evident when, at least on my vehicles, the areas that get covered most heavily by road grime, salt, etc. are the first areas to stop beading.



    Now, a lot of people believe that when a vehicle or a specific area on a vehicle stops beading the "protection" has been removed. I'm not fully on board with this train of thought. In my head, now I am specifically thinking about a coated vehicle at this point which I know is not the topic of this particular thread, if a coating were to be removed entirely, there must be some sort of abrasive present. If there was some sort of abrasive present, a car that is not properly waxed, sealed, or coated would eventually have clear coat failure in these areas. I have not personally seen a vehicle with failing clear coat on the lower door panels... from what I have seen, most clear coat damage is found on the horizontal panels (hood, roof, trunk).

    These reasons alone are enough to make me skeptical that water beading is that closely related to the presence of a wax, sealant, or nanocoating.



    Are hydrophobic properties important/beneficial? Absolutely! No doubt about it... but I don't think it is the only sign that a wax, sealant, or coating is or is not present.

    ..... am I off base here? or does someone else out there follow me?

    Retired Professional Detailer

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  4. #13
    Senior Member JKDesign's Avatar
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    Re: Wax is gone ! How can I prove this out?

    Quote Originally Posted by zmcgovern45 View Post
    ..... am I off base here? or does someone else out there follow me?
    You are not alone in this thought. Especially considering, that a poor polishing job with rotary holograms and nothing added on top will still bead water. And this is something that I observed for years.

    Many years ago while in my early 20's I had a 92 Celica that I kept protected with Mother's California Gold 3 step system. After a thorough Northeast's winter beating and many swirl-o-matic washes the paint would look hazy and dull (for my personal standards) and rough (and now I am reminded of Mike's article on Road Film)- but through it all the protection was still there!

  5. #14
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    Re: Wax is gone ! How can I prove this out?

    I agree also. I guess its just that the reduction in beading is the first sign that the wax/sealant is starting wearing off. When the road film starts to really stick and a little elbow grease is needed to get it off when it has been effortless for the past several months. That is when call it 'done'.

  6. #15
    Senior Member zmcgovern45's Avatar
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    Re: Wax is gone ! How can I prove this out?

    Quote Originally Posted by DBAILEY View Post
    I agree also. I guess its just that the reduction in beading is the first sign that the wax/sealant is starting wearing off. When the road film starts to really stick and a little elbow grease is needed to get it off when it has been effortless for the past several months. That is when call it 'done'.
    Imagine this....

    You apply a fresh layer of wax, then you put plastic wrap over it. In this experiment, you discover the water does not bead on the plastic wrap, so is the wax gone?

    In my head, that is sort of how I imagine road film and chemicals effecting various paint protection products. Are we covering up the original product and therefore hiding the properties of it, or is it actually degrading? I don't know if anyone can answer that, which is what keeps me skeptical of the correlation between water beading and the presence of paint protection products.

    Retired Professional Detailer

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