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Over the last several months (in particular the beginning of Spring when cars are getting prepped for show season) I've read several threads arguing "Beading vs Sheeting".

To me, it's a pointless argument since in fact they both are what you want your car's finish to do when it interacts with water.

Thought I'd put together this simple little video showing what Beading and Sheeting look like, on the same patch of hood.

 

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That's awesome. I have all but stopped reading any detailing threads because there are so many ridiculous statements made. There seems to be a whole lot of lack of comments sense in detailing these days.

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From a professional point of view I do not believe this is a pointless argument. I don't believe its actually an argument at all, since science can clearly demonstrate and explain the difference between 'beading' and 'sheeting.'

Beading is a term, most likely developed by marketing people that morphed into a 'sexy' marketing term that infers the level of protection a particular wax or sealant had versus another.

This is completely false because there are many factors to topical protection, so how 'tight' the beads are has nothing really to do with overall protection level the product contains. The concept of "tight beading" was skewed over the years into this perverted idea of protection level.

In terms of protection from water interaction with a surface .... Sheeting is the goal. Why? . . . . Higher Surface Tension.

When a liquid sheets off a surface there is nothing left on top of the surface. This is important because most water contains minerals. This is natural because all water derives its mineral content from touching the earth and, depending on the type and concentration of mineral levels of particular soil area, the more or less these will be picked up by water.

When water is left on the surface and it evaporates, the minerals are left behind and leave water spots. The severity of these spots has to do with the types and quantity of minerals within that particular water.

So when a surface has a high surface tension, the water completely falls of (SHEETS) and therefore no possible damage is able to occur from stagnant water. This is more important in regions that have actual weather throughout fall and winter. Sheeting during these times helps to keep the vehicle cleaner longer, especially from nasty things like heavy salt or Magnesium Chloride which is used in road de-icing solutions.

OCDCarCare Los Angeles published ad in-depth article in Jan 2017 explaining Surface tension and how it benefits vehicle surfaces here, for more info:

Surface Tension: A Discussion of How Wax & Automotive Ceramic Nano Coatings Function in Auto Detailing
 
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