Okay boys and girls, listen up; this one's big. Seeing how CLASSIC TRUCKS is the conduit that many companies use to inform truck enthusiasts, we get inundated with all sorts of "revolutionary" or "the next big thing" products. Many times they're neat, but it's rare that the products live up to the title.
This, though, just might be one of those few times. It's a sealant Zoops Products calls Zoopseal. It's applied to aluminum after polishing, and like the article title states, it could eliminate weekend aluminum polishing as we know it. "We saw a need for this a long time ago," Zoops' Frank Zupan, Sr. said. "Guys would look at our stuff and say, 'hey, all this stuff is really great, but do you have anything that I can use on it so I won't have to polish it so much?'"
Zoops addressed the problem by teaming up with an organic chemist with an extensive background in paint and coatings. What they did was create an invisible micro-thin coating that literally seals aluminum pores, thereby preventing it from oxidizing-nearly indefinitely. That's quite a feat considering aluminum starts oxidizing the instant it's exposed to oxygen. As you can imagine, coming up with something that's absolutely undetectable when applied, yet keeps aluminum crisp and clean as the day it was polished, is just as hard as it sounds-even harder when it's got to be environmentally safe and user-friendly.
As for long-term protection, the proof's in the pudding. The Zupans coated every piece of
What Zoops struck upon was a protective barrier that applies like wax and seals pores much like wax seals paint's pores. Unlike wax, though, Zoopseal doesn't require constant polishing and reapplication. Zoopseal forms such a strong barrier because it's a catalyzed sealant much like the paint on your truck-and just like the paint on your truck, it gets stronger as it hardens. But unlike paint, it neither leaves a visible film on the parent material nor needs reapplication. The way Zoops describes it, it's more like a ceramic than anything else.
But don't get the idea that just because Zoopseal is a catalyzed coating that it's difficult to apply. "At first we did what we wanted to do with the coating, but it was an involved process," Zupan said. "Sure, you can design something for a chemist to use, but we needed to make this coating easy to apply; we needed it so anybody could do it."
To see if it really was as easy as claimed, we dropped by one afternoon and watched Tisa Weisz, Terry Zupan, Sr.'s daughter, apply Zoopseal to some polished aluminum. The kit includes four mixtures for the three-part process to treat roughly 60 sq-ft (about four road wheels and an engine). It also includes a spray bottle for the concentrated cleaning solvent, application and polishing cloths, and detailed instructions. Since the catalyzed mixture requires a 4-hour wait to kick, Weisz mixed the formula earlier that morning.
Like paint, Zoopseal's results are completely dependent on preparation; the surface you st
Aside from the wait, though, the procedure only took a few minutes (Incidentally, Zoopseal is a catalyzed mixture with a short shelf life once mixed; use the mixed solution within a day and it will work as intended.). It's one of those procedures that takes just a tad more time to execute after polishing aluminum, yet pays off in dividends down the road. When applied correctly, Zoopseal protects the polished surface so well that future cleaning requires only soft towels and window cleaner-the same things we all use on chrome and glass.
While we were at it, we tested some simple solvents and cleaners to the finished product, which brings us to three very important points. First, while Zoops stands behind Zoopseal to protect aluminum from age, sun exposure, and typical car care chemicals and solvents, don't take it as license to test Zoopseal's limits. We tested window cleaner, an aerosol degreaser, and even a mild bleach-based kitchen and bathroom spray without any adverse results.
However, Zoopseal does have an Achilles heel: high-pH solutions. Highly basic solutions, in the order of concentrated bleaches, oven cleaners, and liquid drain cleaners, will remove Zoopseal. lickety-split. Those solutions are on par with acids like hydrochloric and battery acid, and if you're subjecting your car to those solutions, you've got bigger problems than your Zoopseal deteriorating.
Weisz then rinsed the scrubbed piece with fresh water. Since tap water and ordinary bottle
Second, remember how we drew parallels between paint and Zoopseal? Well it's similar in another way: Zoopseal, like catalyzed paint, is still vulnerable until it freshly cures. Pour lacquer thinner on year-old paint and you'd strip some of the wax at best. Pour lacquer thinner on a car straight from the booth and you'd pull the paint off immediately. Zoopseal is very similar in that respect. Exposing Zoopseal to even mild basic chemicals directly after application will harm, if not strip, the protective finish. Zoops recommends a week for full cure. As Zoopseal ages, it gets even tougher. After application, play it safe with diluted window cleaners or, as Zoops recommends, the concentrated cleaner they supply with the kit. It's also available separately, and Zoops ranks it pretty high for spot-detail cleanups-even on cloth.
Third, while Zoopseal improves surface hardness, it won't change aluminum's strength characteristics. It's not going to protect a wheel from heavy blows, aggressive scouring pads, or sharp objects. Zoops assures us that light scuffing and re-polishing the treated surfaces won't remove Zoopseal, but we wouldn't advise pushing this one, either.
Withstanding the extremes, we'd say Zoopseal has the potential to make all our lives easier. Zoops has formulated something that could well give powdercoating, chroming, or even anodizing a run for its money-if not eliminate them for certain applications. "We wanted to come up with something that's easy to use and really works," Frank Zupan, Sr. said. "I think we more than met our goals." We think they did, too. Check it out.
Then she applied one thin coat in one direction. Check your "If some's good, more's better
The last step involves the final sealer. The sealer does two things: removes excess materi
Now, here's where the magic begins. Mix Zoopseal Part A with Part B and let it catalyze fo
Once fully polished, this is what our air cleaner top looked like. We started with a blemi
Weisz then lightly dabbed the solution on a supplied polishing towelette. For best results
Full application will yield a slightly streaked rainbow pattern when fully dry. Most of al
Weisz then applied a liberal dose of final sealant. Unlike the catalyzed solution, the fin
To illustrate how Zoopseal protects we performed our own water-sheeting test. A wholly unt
Weisz then poured water over a fully treated air filter. Now, consider this: moments befor