Nuvite Application Guide
Use sparingly for best results. Tiny dabs are all that are required, whether you are using the the compounding polisher or the Cyclo polisher.
If too much polish is used, the polish acts as a lubricant and prevents the cutting/polishing action from being effective. The cutting/polishing action is most effective in those last moments when the polish is disappearing.
Be careful when polishing near painted surfaces, decals or plastic trim. The coarser grades of Nuvite will remove or damage paint. The S grade seems to be safe to apply over good paint.
Check the Application Guide section of the web site for detailed procedures for polishing with the compounding polisher and Cyclo polisher.
Nuvite G6, Coarse grade. Nuvite describes this grade as a "smart abrasive" that provides a quick initial cut and then breaks down into a fine cut. It is used on pitted, chipped or scratched surfaces.
Nuvite F9, Very coarse grade. This grade has large sharp particles that remain sharp and do not break down during the polishing. It is used on severely corroded finishes or on new aluminum that has a rough mill finish. Nuvite describes it as a "very heavy cut, for heavy corrosion." For most applications, use the F7 rather than the F9.
Nuvite F7, Medium-coarse grade. This grade has sharp particles that stay sharp but they are much smaller than those in the F9. It is used on corroded, chipped or scratched surfaces. Nuvite describes it as a "heavy cut, for heavy corrosion."
Nuvite C, Medium-fine grade. This grade has softer, more rounded particles. It is used on surfaces that are in relatively good condition with only moderate corrosion.
Nuvite S, Finish polish. This is used after the surfaces have been brought into good condition with the other grades of Nuvite. It brings out the mirror finish with great depth of image.
There is no one right answer. Every piece of aluminum is different. Different degrees of corrosion or damage. Different alloys. Different mill finishes. Some have Alclad coating and some do not. Because everyone's technique is a little different, some experimentation is required. But here are some general guidelines.
The term "compounding' below refers to a using a rotary-type polisher called a compounding buffer or polisher in the auto detailing trade. It puts the most horsepower into the polishing action and is used to quickly remove corrosion and smooth out chips and scratches. However it produces swirl marks that must be removed with the Cyclo polisher.
The term "Cyclo" below refers to using the Cyclo polisher, which is a two-head, random orbit polisher. This type of polisher is used to remove the swirl marks left by the compounding polisher and do the finish polishing. However it is not very effective on corroded or damages surfaces.
Both polishers are described in detail on the Polishers section of the web site.
The term "filiform" corrosion mentioned below is the corrosion seen in a failing paint job over aluminum. Moisture gets into the cracks in the paint and causes little white "worm trails" of corrosion to form as the oxidation works its way under the paint. It is very common on Airstream trailers with old clear coats. To see a picture of filiform corrosion on an Airstream, click here.
Compounding with G6: G6 is a good grade for compounding pitted surfaces. The large particles get in and clean out the pits much better than the small particles found in the F7. It removes most forms of corrosion including filiform corrosion. It will round out scratches and chips.
Many users prefer the quick cut of the G6. Try them both. The two grades are very similar in performance except the F7 will "hang in there" a little longer because the particles do not break down as with the G6. However the G6 will generally perform better on pitted surfaces than the F7 . Users restoring vintage Airstream trailers often like the G6 better than the F7 because often much of the surface is rough and pitted.
Cyclo with G6: Removes swirls left by the compounding polisher. Removes light surface corrosion. This might be a good starting point if the surface has been polished before and has some light corrosion. Its performance in this application is similar to the F7 and which you use will largely depend on personal preferences.
You can usually move directly from "Cyclo with G6" to the finish grade "S". This is probably because the G6 starts out coarse but breaks down to a mid-grade C during the polishing action. It may be like doing two steps at once. I've used this sequence extensively on my airplane with good results. But it should be tried with some caution because some users have noted the tendency of G6 to occasionally leave deep scratches.
Compounding with F9: This is a very aggressive cutting grade. It has hard, sharp particles that are much larger than those in the F7. Compounding with this grade will cut through corrosion much faster than with the F7. It may also be the best polish for seriously pitted aluminum. But the F9 will leave deep swirls that will take some effort to remove.
There are two ways to remove the swirls left by the F9. One is to compound the area again with a less aggressive polish such as the F7 or C grades before moving on to the Cyclo polisher. The second is to fit a pair of 4" wool pads (Part No. 56-430) to the Cyclo polisher in lieu of the black foam pads and cotton fleece. The pads are used directly on the aluminum with the F7 polish. This provides a very aggressive polishing medium that will remove the F9 swirls. (The 4" pads can be found on the Compounding Polisher page, near the bottom with the other small compounding pads.)
This grade works well on the 6061T6 non-Alclad alloy used on several kit-built aircraft. This alloy is very hard compared to other aircraft aluminum and has a pronounced mill finish that takes quite a bit of effort to remove.
For most applications we recommend using the F7 rather than the F9.
Cyclo with F9: We haven't tried this. F9 is relatively new to us and we are still accumulating operating experience.
Compounding with F7: This is the standard compounding grade for surfaces that are in poor condition. It will remove corrosion including filiform corrosion. It will completely remove minor cratches and round out deep scratches. It leaves swirl marks but these are easily removed by using the Cyclo polisher and F7.
Cyclo with F7: This is the typical next step after compounding with F7, G6 or C because it removes the swirls left by compounding with those products. This is also a good place to start if the surface has been polished before but has become dull and oxidized. You can generally move straight to the finish grade S after this step.
Compounding with C: This is a good place to start if the surface is in fairly good condition. Compounding with C will remove corrosion and round out scratches but the process takes a little longer than it would if a more aggressive grade were used. It will leave swirls that must be removed with the Cyclo polisher, but there is no tendency to scratch. It leaves a surface that is smooth and easily polished.
After compounding with C it is often possible to move directly to "Cyclo with S", skipping the "Cyclo with F7" step. The swirls left by compounding with C are much "softer" than the sharp-edged swirls left by the F7 and the "Cyclo with S" can sometimes remove them. It depends on how aggressively the surface was compounded with C.
We've had good results compounding with both C and F7. It's best to give them both a try and see which fits your situation and style.
Cyclo with C: Removes swirls left by G6, F7 or C, but it does leave a network of very fine scratches that the S finish polish has difficulty removing. In practice, the F7 seems to produce a finer finish than the C, although Nuvite rates the polishes the other way around. We see very little reason to Cyclo with C.
Cyclo with S: Brings up the mirror finish with great clarity and depth of image.
1. Compound with C, F7 or G6
2. Cyclo with F7
3. Cyclo with S