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EUROPEAN FOAMS VS. AMERICAN FOAMS
Last Updated: 06/22/2010
What is the difference between American Foams and European foams, used in buffing pads?

EUROPEAN FOAMS VS. AMERICAN FOAMS

 

Q. Whatís the difference between American Foams and European Foams?

A. The main difference between American made foam pads and European foam pads was the size, density and firmness of the foams. Euro foams are generally smaller, approximately 6Ē diameter on average. In Europe, detail shops are a rare find; most buffing is done on small panel repair at the body shop level. However, this is changing with the rising popularity of independent service stations offering detailing. Furthermore, European paint has traditionally been high solid low solvent compositions; their foam pads worked well under their physically restrictive conditions. The transition to conform to the new and ever changing environmental laws here was difficult at first, but technology caught up and eventually the impact on us was the discovery our wool pads worked wonderfully on the new paint, better than European foams, especially with the initial cut.


Q. Iíve heard of the European foam, what is it?


A. There are differences between our foam and European foam. Detailing is quite popular here; we need bigger pads to cover bigger jobs. Detailing is a smaller yet growing industry in Europe where buffing is mostly confined to body shops. Europeans generally work on small panels and smaller cars; their work requires smaller pads. Their cutting foams can be aggressive enough to pull color sanding scratches, working well when paint is fresh, but cured paint can be another matter. In short, small European foams are generally more expensive and not very flexible over large areas.

Q. Which pads does Chemical Guys sell that are European Foams?

A. All the pads that Chemical Guys offers that are White and Orange are European Foams.

Q. What is the white foam for?

A. Generally for polishing or a light finishing polish, it is firm to the touch, firmer than American foams.

Q. What is the orange foam for?

A. Generally for cutting

Q. Can I cut with a foam pad?

A. Yes, not as aggressive as wool but in many cases better since foam leaves minimal swirl.

Q. Why the different foam colors?

A. Each color designates a different grade, from course to fine. Grades are measured by pores per inch (PPI). Higher PPI pads are considered finishing pads, while lower PPI pads are more aggressive. See our application chart for more details.

Q. When do I use foam?

A. Generally on any paint when aggressive buffing is not required. On fresh or cured paint when finishing a job or doing a one step process on good clear coat.

Q. Can you use foam pads on fiberglass ?

A. You can, but fiberglass generally requires a more aggressive pad, like wool. Some of our blended finishing wools work excellent on fiberglass.

Q. What RPM do I use?

A. Slower when finishing with foam, down to 1200 RPMs. The range is between 1200-1750RPM.

Q. How do I wash a foam pad?

A .Immerse the foam pad in a bucket of warm water and Chemical Guys Pad Cleaner. Work the pad by gently wringing it, then rinse it with clean water. Allow to air dry.

 

 

 

 



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