Thread: Clay Bar
View Single Post
Old 11-09-2005, 10:00 PM   #4
Registered User
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
Posts: 3,308

Traditionally, Clay Bars are made from a mixture of a clay base (polybutene) and various abrasives.

The primary detailing clay patent (U.S. Patent No. 5,727,993) identifies three unique elements (claim 57) used in concert:

ďA method of polishing a protrusion or stain from a surface comprising;

applying a plastic flexible tool to the surface, the plastic flexible tool comprising a plastic flexible material (Detail Clay) having mixed therewith an abrasive comprising grains from about 3 to 50 m in diameter and;

applying a force to the plastic flexible tool such that a polishing force per area is applied by the plastic flexible tool to a protrusion or stain on the surface, and such that the amount of force per area applied to the surface is less than the amount of force per area applied to the protrusion or stain.Ē

Typical composition of Detailing Clay will be:

20% - 40%

Calcium Carbonate
(in the form of Diatomaceous Earth - Fossilized Diatoms)
40% - 60%

10% - 30%

Pigments/Soluble materials (Trade Secrets)
< 5%

One way to think about Detailing Clay is : Detailing Clay is a Selective Polish with a built-in Applicator. Its job is to polish away Dirt and Surface Contamination from Paint, Glass, Chrome and Plastic without polishing the surface itself. Detailing Clay technology has been around for many years, with roots dating back to the 1930ís. Thatís when the idea of combining Polybutene (a soft plastic resin material) with Abrasives was first conceived.

So, you see, Detailing Clay is an Abrasive system. If not used properly, detailing clay can cause light surface marring. Thereís no need to fear if you use proper lubrication.

Although most of the clay made today comes out of a single factory in Japan, the formulas can be significantly different, including:

- Clay resin density (firmness)
- Abrasive particle size
- Type of abrasive
- Abrasive density (ratio of abrasive to clay)
- Color

Detailing Clay formulation determines the optimal function of the Clay as well as its potential to do damage when used improperly.

As an example, Professional Grade Clay thatís designed to remove paint overspray is very firm and contains abrasives equivalent to Heavy Rubbing Compound. Used properly it will remove heavy overspray without damaging the paint. Used improperly, it can leave some pretty significant surface marring. Thatís why itís a Professional Product.

Most Consumer grade Detailing Clays are designed to be used as an Annual Paint Maintenance Tool prior to polishing and waxing. At this frequency, these Detailing Clay products work great. Simply use the Clay as part of your Annual Major Detailing Regimen. One problem is that many Car Enthusiasts Clay their vehicles with greater frequency; as often as monthly. At this rate of use, Consumer grade Detailing Clay can begin to dull clear coat finishes. After all, it is an abrasive!

I use the Mother's System for years and have good results. The key is to use lots of lubrication. Don't use the Detailing Spray often recommended, use a Spray Bottle with either a Capful of Carwash Soap or a Capful of Glycerin (available from a Pharmacy) added to Distilled Water, these will provide much better lubrication and reduce your chances of marring the paint when used LIBERALLY. Despite Claims, only use a CLay Bar once and then throw it away. $15 for a new Clay Bar is considerably more advantageous than $8000 for a new Paint Job... Hope this helps...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99

Last edited by MNBoxster; 11-09-2005 at 10:50 PM.
MNBoxster is offline   Reply With Quote