Water Beading and Sheeting... as a Measure of Durability
Almost all polishes, waxes, etc. bead water initially. As they are removed,
breakdown or dissipated by washing, exposure to sunlight and heat, expansion and
contraction, abrasion, abrasion from pollen and other pollutants, the water
beading is diminished. This is due to the reduction in surface tension of the
polish or wax once it is removed or breaks down.
If the surface has any protection when there is no water beading is the subject
of much controversy. Especially when the polish or wax exhibits good water
beading immediately after the initial application. If there is any protection
left, how would one know? There are no scientific tests to my knowledge that can
determine this. Most consumers and especially wax/polish manufacturers use the
reduction in the height, contact angle and diameter of water beading as a gauge
to know when to re-apply polish/wax for continued protection.
If a polish/wax gives water beading initially but then stops beading after
washing, part of the polish formula has been removed. If this happens, is there
any protection left???? Was the chemical or film that caused the water beading
also the protection????
If a manufacturer claims that their polish/wax will bead water initially and
then magically change to sheeting... I say impossible!!!! Let them prove that
the polish/wax film protection initially applied is still there...
Until a specific test is developed and not some fake, razzle-dazzle test, these
questions will remain unanswered and I will continue to use water beading,
(height, contact angle and diameter) as a major factor in gauging a polish/wax
P.S. Please remember that healthy paint will bead water without any polish/wax
applied. This confuses many people to believe a polish/wax is lasting longer
than they think.
To test your polish/wax, you must measure the water beading of
your paint (height, contact angle and diameter) without any polish/wax applied.
Next, measure the water beading of your paint (height, contact angle and diameter) within 24 hours after initially applying your polish/wax. This is your
starting point. This will also be the gauge for determining the water beading
(longevity, duration and changes) for that specific product. As the water beads
start to diminish (get wider and shallower and loses contact angle), the
polish/wax and its film protection factor is going away. When the water beading
is the same as before you apply your product, the polish/wax and its protection
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