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Kevin Brown Method: Priming your pad depending on the goal

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According to Kevin Brown there are different kind of ways to prime your pad. For defect removal we use a different approach in priming the pad than for final polishing.

Pad priming for defect removal

A pad should best be manually primed, because we don’t know in which way the strands are bending or twist. While priming, the hole face of the pad has to be covered with buffing liquid without any accumulations present. For defect removal, pad priming will give the following benefits:

  • It increases the useable surface area of the pad. When filling the pores with liquid, this creates more surface area to put buffing liquid on. Which increases the effective surface area of the pad.
  • It mass-loads the face of the pad. Keeping the pad free of saturation allows the pad to compress and rebound as it was intended.
  • It stiffens the face of the pad. By priming the face of the pad we make the walls more stiffer, but they will deflect in some way. This may come in handy if you work on a complex shaped panel.

Defect removal is probably not the only purpose of your polishing session. Besides priming your pad for defect removal, there is also a different approach which is a priming a pad for final polishing. The priming for final polishing is a bit different.

Pad priming for final polishing

For final polishing, thorough priming of the pad is useful, but excessive amounts of polish should be removed before buffing. This is done by blowing the pad clean using compressed air. Or by placing the pad on a microfiber towel and turn the machine on for 3-7 seconds. It seems wasteful, but consistency in coverage of the pad is necessary. We want the hole surface area that is available, to do its work with the same amount of liquid. Moreover the abrasive grains in liquid nowadays would probably fail to disperse in an even manner. At some point in the polishing session most of the abrasive grains become trapped in the pore structure of the pad, attach to the paint surface or float away from the polishing area.

The abrasive grains will move across the paint by the pad in the followings possible ways:

  • Through encapsulating the liquid within the pore structure. We assume that no grains are in contact with the wall-tops.
  • By shifting and tumbling the abrasive grains that are between the paint surface and the pad. The wall-tops move the grains over imperfections in the paint surface.
  • The grains are attached to the wall-tops. In this case levelling ability increases, because the grains and the pad are moving in the same way.

The polishing result will be negatively be influenced, if there are no free-rolling grains present on the paint surface. The abrasive grains must be forced into the defects via downward pressure.

Misconceptions

There are some misconceptions on abrasive particles; the opinion is that when they attach to the face of the pad, the polish breaks down quickly and the lubrication evaporates fast. But working at a high speed causes a lot of paint to be removed, so it is not that odd that the grains can’t do their job after a short period of time, because the liquid is covered with paint residue accumulations.

Priming your pad with the Kevin Brown Method

In the Kevin Brown Method a microfiber pad is primed with defect removal as goal. In this procedure the pad is primed with a massive amount of finishing polish. You have to massage the liquid into the pad so that it covers the whole face of the pad. String saturation has to be reached without accumulations. The Kevin Brown Method also “primes” the surface area of the paint. The result is an increase in the effective surface area of the pad that is in contact with the surface of the paint.

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