Plastic Polishing Services Including Vapor Polishing
Available from Connecticut Plastics Inc.
Flame polishing uses a hot flame to flow a plastic surface. Operator skill is critical with this method. When done properly, flame plastic polishing produces the clearest finish, especially when polishing acrylic. Flat external surfaces are the most applicable configuration for this method.
Vapor polishing utilizes a chemical vapor which attacks the surface of the plastic, causing it to flow. Acrylic unfortunately does not respond to this polishing process as well as polycarbonate, polysulfone, and ultem. This process requires specialized equipment and handling. Precise machining by a skilled plastic machinist, an optical quality component can be achieved.
Mechanical plastic polishing is the most common, easiest to do, and useful on any plastic. This method tends to leave very fine scratches on the surface and will usually look nice but is not acceptable for optical work.
Direct Machining is the most successful but technically difficult method to produce clear acrylic components. With this polishing approach, tooling and machine parameters are fine tuned to produce a polished acrylic part directly off the machine. Direct machining produces some of the clearest and most consistent acrylic components.
Buffing typically uses a cotton wheel with a cutting compound. Similar to flame polishing, it works well on large exterior surfaces. It has limited use in interior work and generally cannot produce a really consistent finish.