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Right now, this is a very rough list. I will be updating it as much as possible with as many words as I can find that are detailing related.
If you want me to add anything or think something should be changed, please let me know.
A
Abrasive - Natural or synthetic particles ( grit or media ) compounds which cut the paint surface to remove imperfections.

Adhesion- How well a product bonds to the surface to which it is applied.

Acid - A substance below 7 on the pH scale. Cleaning products must be used with care on certain surfaces and in some cases should not be used at all.

Acid Rain - Rain contaminated with acid compounds from industrial pollution. May cause damage to automotive finishes and glass.

Alkaline - Alkalis - substances about 7 on a pH scale

APC – abbreviation for “all purpose cleaner.” These types of cleaner are typically dilutable to achieve different levels of cleaning power and are safe for use on multiple surfaces materials.
Appearance Reconditioning - The cosmetic restoration of a vehicle to a like new condition.

B
Backing Plate – the piece which mates the buffer to the buffing pad. Typically, backing plates are made of flexible plastic and are available in multiple sizes. One side will have a threaded post which attaches to the machine and the other side has Velcro which attaches to the polishing pad.
Base Coat - the foundation layer in the basecoat/clearcoat automotive finishes comprised of dense pigment applied over primer coat.

Biodegradable - Capable of being broken down into safe stable compounds by natural forces.

Blushing - Paint finish turns milky or cloudy shortly after polishing new paint. Solvents have not finished evaporating from the paint. Wait 30 days to rebuff.

Bodyshop Safe - A generic term used to refer to products which contain no silicone or components that interfere with the painting system.

Buffer - A piece of equipment used by skilled technicians to apply products to a vehicle. Reduces the time spent, inproves the quaility of work performed. Acheives a much higher gloss and removes imperfections in the paint.

Buffer Marks - Circular marks which remain in the paint when abrasive cleaners or compounds are used. Comprised of unevenly distributed oils and or scratches also called swirls and wheel marks.
Buffing Compound - A strong cleaning substance which may contain grit designed to remove severe oxidation or other major finish imperfections from painted surfaces. Not all buffing compounds are compatible with all paint finishes (such as clearcoats) and must be used carefully or not at all.

Burn - Damage to a surface by fire (Interiors). Damage to paint surfaces by a Buffer (Polisher), i.e. to unintentionally scar or remove paint from a vehicle.

Burnish - Polishing with a tool to make the surface smooth or glossy by friction; increases distinctness of image by smoothing paint.
C
Chemicals - A Term to catagorize a group of products i.e. chemical Cleaners, Cleaning Compounds.

Citrus - A cleaning agent of similar chemical composition to orange or lemons (d-Limonene). Also a fragrance added to cleaners or air freshners.

Cleaner/Glaze - Aproduct which removes some minor finish imperfections and especially gives a protective gloss or shine to the paint surface.

Cleaner/Polish - A product which removes some minor finish imperfections especially those caused by compounding. Contains or no wax sealers.

Cleaner/Wax - A product which removes light to medium oxidation and scratches from the paint surface. Leaves a protective shine.

Clear Coat - A thin transparent layer of paint ( may be enamel or laquer based) applied over a pigmented layer of paint (basecoat) to provide a deep, rich, shiny finish. Highly abrasive waxes, polishes, and compounds are not compatible with clear coats.

Compound Scratches/Swirls - Small visible scratches left after compounding an automotive finish. May be removed with a cleaner/polish.

Concentrate - A product that requires thinning with an appropriate reducer water, solvent, thinner, etc.

Conventional Paint - More traditional ways of finishing automotive surfaces. Generally recognized as laquered, acrylic, enamel and acrylic enamel paint finishes.

Co-Polymer - A chemical compound of 2 polymers which are compatible and stable when joined.

Cosmoline - A heavy grade petroleum by-product or paraffin applied to automobile exteriors as a protective coating during transit. Requires special chemicals and procedures to be removed.
Checking, Cracking, Crazing - Paint looks like shattered glass. Paint dries and looses it's elasticity. Repeated extreme tempertures cause the paint to expand and contract and pulls the paint apart.

Cutting Pad - Most often a natural wool pad with fiber strands that resemble shag carpet. May also be coarse foam pads.

D
D.A. Polisher/Sander - Dual action rotates with a double elliptical movement.

D.O.T. - Department of Transportation is a goverment agency one duty of which is to regulate the transport of chemicaal and chemical products.

Degradable - Capable of being broken down natural forces. Resulting product may not necessarily be stable.

Detailing - To clean item by item each minor part of a vehicle to the completeness of the work.

Detergents - Cleaning products for auto interiors and exteriors with different chemical formulations as the active cleaning agent. Differentiated by thickness and cleaning ability.

Dilute - To reduce by thinning with appropriate reducers; water, solvent, thinner, etc. in accordance with directions on label.

Dressed/Dressing - The application of a coating applied to vinyl, leather, plastic and rubber to protect or make shine.

Durability - The power of long term resistance to decay or change.

Dwell Time - A time period in which a product is encouraged in an active state during application. During cleaning, a product may be required to sit or dwell for several minutes before being rinsed, brushed or washed off.
E
EPA - Environmental Protection Agency. Governent agency which helps regulate the environment. Has jurisdiction over the manufacturer through the end user of the product.

Emolient - A substance designed to add moisture or increase softness found in hand cleaners or leather and vinyl conditioners.

Emulsion - The suspension of a solid or liquid within another solution preventing it from settling to the surface.

Enamel Paint - Type of O.E.M. paint used for many years. (Acrylic Enamel)

Extractor - A machine used to clean carpet or cloth seats. Applies cleaning solution under pressure in a fan spray and removes moisture and dirt with vacumm action simultaneously.

F
Fabric Protector - A product applied to fabric or cloth seats and carpets. Repels moisture and food soils. Allows textiles to be cleaned easier. There are resin and silicone types.

Fall-Out - Contamination which settles out of the air onto automotive finishes and imbeds itself in the paint. Such as industrial stack fall out. Aircraft fuel and volcanic ash to name a few.

Finishing Pad - A combed wool pad normally yellow in color. Also soft foam pad white or black in color.

Fish Eye - Complications which occur during repainting where paint is repelled form a spot becuase grease, oil, or silicone is present on the paint surface.

Flash Off - Dwell time for solvent to evaporate form the paint surface.

Flash Point - The temperature at which a product when heated will release a combustible vapor.

Foam Pad - A round disk made of various designs and textures for polishing vehicles.
G
Glaze – also known as a “pure polish” a glaze contains no cleaners and no abrasives. Instead a glaze contains fillers and oils which help to brighten and deepen the shine of paint. Glazes are a temporary fix to many problems and will typically wash away with the first car wash or rain fall.
H
Hazardous Chemicals - Products or chemical components that may pose a health risk to the user if used improperly or if proper safety equipment is not used.. Read MSDS for each product you use. Warnings are normally written as if product were at 100% solution.

Haze - State where product is dry on the surface and appears dull or milky. A dull film of imbedded dirt or oxidation on the paint surface.

Hi-Tech Paints - Clearcoat and urethane paint finishes.
H.M.I.S. Hazardous Material Identification System. A system of numbers, symbols, and letters which gives information about health, flammability, reactivity andn personal protection for chemicals and products.
I
Industrial Fallout - Airborne pollutants from industry and railroads settle onto automotive surfaces and become embedded in the finish. Gradually the particles oxidize and appear as dark specks in the paint. Also will feel rough to the touch. Requires special products and procedures to be removed.

J
K
Knap – the soft or fuzzy surface of a carpet or towel.
L
Laquer Thinner - A solvent combination used to thin laquer or Acrylic paints.

M
Marring – fine scratching.
Metallic - A type of automotive finish which produces a glittery or metal looking appearance.

Metering System - A system which mixes chemical with water as it uses them. e.g. automatic or coin operated carwashes.

Microfiber – type of fabric. The term itself actually describes the construction of the fabric and not the material the fabric is made from. Microfiber towels can be made from any mix of cotton, polyester, or nylon.
Mottling - Paint color appears streaked, with light and dark areas, cause heavier film thickness in some areas than others. Excessive wetting of some ares when painted. Uneven disbursement of metallics in paint.

MSDS- Material Ssfety Data Sheet. Standardized sheet which systematically describes a product and it's chemical components. Distributors are to provide customers with a MSDS sheet for every product they buy. Distributors should also have a full set of MSDS sheets on there trucks.
Multiple Step Process - when three or more polishing steps are required to properly process the painted surfaces of a vehicle. Example, overspray or paint may require sanding compounding, polishing and sealing.

N
O
O.E.M. - Original Equipment Manufacturer.

Oil - Viscous liquids of natural plant and animal oil which are mixtures of terpenes and simple esters or mineral oils which are mixtures of hydrocarbons used in paint and auto polishes.

One Step - Polishing a vehicle with one product that both cleans and seals at the same time. Sometimes used as a shortcut to speed production.

Orange Peel - The nubbly rough appearance of paint; looks much like the texture of an orange skin; lacks clarity of reflected image. Caused by paint being applied to dry, resulting in poor flowout.
Orbital Buffer - A mechanical Buffer with a pad that travels ellipses instead of rotating on a fixed axis. Used when waxing to simulate the movement of the human hand.

Original Finish - The paint finish applied by the manufacturer.

OSHA - Occupational Safety and Health Administation. Goverment Agency which set standards for workers safety.

Overspray - Substance such as paint mist that settles out of the air onto automobile surface appearing as tiny speckles.

Oxidation - Chemical substances within an automotive finish that collect and bond with oxygen molecules causing paint to become dry. Condition may be remedied by using suitable polishing materials.
P
PDA - Professional Detailing Association formed for the betterment of the Detailing Industry.

Pad Washer - A mechanical device used to remove accumulations of compounds and cleaners from buffing pads. Uses water spray and spur action on the buffer.

Paint Film Thickness - The amount of paint film on the vehicle. Measured in millimeters.

Paint Cleaner - Product used to remove oxidation and surface imperfections from paint surface.

Paint Sealer - A product applied to clean surface to protect the paints durability and the degree of gloss achieved will vary.

Paint Burn - To unintentionally scar or remove paint from a vehicle with a polisher.

pH Scale - A scale used to determine the nature of water soluble chemicals.

Petroleum Distillates - compounds that are derived from cude oil through the refining process.

Petroleum Solvents - Liquids derived from crude oil through the refining process.

Polish/Polishing - A product normally applied by machine polisher to produce a smooth, bright and glossy paint surface. May remove minor surface imperfections and light to medium oxidation. Normally contains no durable coating material. Term is often used to desscribe the action of using a machine to buff or wheel a car.

Polisher - A piece of equipment used by a skilled technicians to apply products to painted surface of a vehicle. Typically turn at 1000-3000 RPM.

Polishing Pad - A wool or foam covered disk that attaches to a machine polisher or buffer, for application and removal of cleaner, sealers and polishes on painted surfaces.
Polymer - A naturally occuring or synthetic substance consisting of large molecules formed by smaller molecules of the same substance with a definite arrangement. Used in the production of durable waxes and polishes.

Poly Urethane - A catalyst type of paint known for exceptional durability.

Pressure Washer - A mechanical device that steps up city water pressure (50-65 p.s.i.) to over 500 to 5000 p.s.i. A system used to clean surfaces with cleaning solutions under pressure.

Professional - A person fully educated, trained and skilled in all aspects of there profession.

Pre-Wash - First step in preparing a vehicle for detailing.

Procedure/Processing - To put through the steps of a prescribed method of application techniques.

Primer - Material applied to the surface to seal, fill scratches and improve adhesion of paint.

P.S.I. - Pounds Per Square Inch. A measure of air and water pressure.

Q
Quality - Degree of excellence or relative goodness of work performed.

R
RPM - Revolutions Per Minute, number of complete turns made in one minute.

Rail Dust - Small metallic particles attributed to railroads which settle onto automotive surfaces and become embedded in the finish. Gradually, the particles oxidize and appear as dark speckles in the paint. Requires special products and procedures to be removed. Also known as Industrial Fallout.

Resin - A synthetic or naturally occuring polymer.

Respirator Distress - A physical condition caused by inhaling toxic vapors characterized by shortness of breath, inability to breath, dizziness and sometimes unconciousness. this condition requires immediate medical attention.
S
Sealer/Sealant - a protective product applied by hand or machine to automotive paint finishes. Mormally contains silicone to maximize shine and durability.

Shine - to brighten or increase luster by polishing. Highly reflective gloss.

Silicate - Ahard glossy compound usually some form of the dioxide of silicone (Si 02) used in waxes, polishes and dressing.

Silicone - Any group of polymerized semi-inorganic compounds comprised of silicone items, oxygen and possibly organic compounds characterized by high resistance to heat and water. Silicone can create complications during repainting in body shops. Non-Slicone products are preferable for body shops.

Solvent - A substance, usually liquid that dissolves or can dissolve another substance.

Spur - A small, hand held tool with a spoked wheel used to clean a buffing pad of accumulation oc compound or polish.

Surfactant - A compound which help lift substances from a surface so they may be removed. Usually found in cleaners to improve rinsing.

Swirls - Circular scratch marks in the paint surface caused by abrasive buffing products, heavily contaminated polishing pad or poor buffing techniques.

T
Technical - A person skilled and knowledgeable of the duties he is to perform.

Teflon - Non Stick coating applied to cooking pans over 700 Degrees F. Teflon powder may be used in polishes, waxes, and sealers as a levelor to ease application nad removal of excess material.

Throw-Off - Product which is thrown from the surface or tool due to the centrifugal force. For buffing this appears as tiny speckles of product on the surfaces. Also used when discussing lubricants for spinning or turning machinery.
Transit Coating - A protective coating applied to auto exteriors prior to transportation to prevent damage to the exterior surfaces. Requires special removal procedures.

Two Step - A term to describe the process of cleaning or polishing the painted surface followed by a separate finishing application of a sealer.

U
Ultra Violet Ray - A compound of ordinary light which cannot be seen by the human eye. Deteriorates automobile surfaces by causing fading ,cracking, peeling and discoloration. Some products contain ingredients that guard against U.V. damage.

Urethane Paint - A catalyst activated paint known for exceptional durability.

V
W
Wash Mitt - A large, soft pouch worn on the hand used to wash automobile surfaces.

Water Based - A compound whose primary liquid ingredient is water.

Water Soluble - Characterized by the ability to mix completely with water.

Wax - A natural or synthetic that contains little or no silicone. May be in paste or liquid form for application by hand or polisher.

Weathering - The change or failure in paint caused by exposure to weather.

Wet Sanding - A procedure of simultaneously sanding and rising an automotive finish to remove imperfections. Regarded as complicated and should only be attempted by professionals.

Wheel Marks - Circular scratch marks in the paint surface. Also called buffer marks or swirls.
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