Acrylic Polishing, Polycarbonate Polishing

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Plastic polishing is a finishing process that enhances the aesthetics and durability of polycarbonate sheets or Plexiglas acrylic sheets edges, providing a smooth and polished surface.

What Is Polishing?

Polishing is the edge treatment work of making polycarbonate sheets, PMMA, acrylic surface smooth and shiny by rubbing it or applying a chemical treatment.
The polycarbonate sheet unpolished side seems rough and uneven. When observed and magnified the surface, it likes a succession of uneven small hills. Polishing is the process of rubbing hills until they are smooth and flat. This procedure improves the sheet’s surface brightness. Polishing can minimize the amount of diffuse reflection.

The strength of polished products can be higher than their unpolished counterparts owing to the removal of stress concentrations present in the rough surface during the polishing process. These concentrations take the form of corners and other defects, which magnify the local stress beyond the inherent strength of the material.

Types Of Plastic Polishing

  • Sanding: brings a dull edge back to a smooth matte finish.
  • Flame Polishing: a quick and cost effective way to polish acrylic with a torch. Can be used on a routed or sanded edge? Bear in mind that a routed edge that is flame polished will still have small striations from the router bit.
  • Buff Polishing: a great method for polishing a sanded acrylic edge using a buffing wheel and rouge polish. More time consuming than flame polishing but is recommended on thicker gauges of acrylic and for furniture applications.
  • Machine Polishing: for multi-unit projects, machine polishers (also known as ‘edge finishers’) can be employed to polish multiple edges at once. This is a cost effective and flawless way to achieve flat, glossy edges.
Buff polishing

Polishing Polycarbonate VS. Polishing Acrylic

Flame polishing is effective for materials like acrylic. It is not suitable for polycarbonate due to the unique properties of polycarbonate.

Polycarbonate has a higher melting point compared to acrylic, and it is more prone to thermal degradation. When exposed to an open flame for flame polishing, polycarbonate can start to break down. The heat from the flame can cause the polycarbonate to discolor, develop bubbles, or even crack.

Additionally, polycarbonate is known for its excellent impact resistance and optical clarity. Flame polishing may compromise these properties increasing internal stresses or altering the molecular structure of the material.


Effective Polishing Methods fo Plastics

If a smooth and polished finish is desired for polycarbonate, other methods such as mechanical polishing, chemical polishing, or using specialized polishing compounds are more suitable. These methods can help achieve the desired surface finish without the risk of damaging the material through heat-induced degradation.

Polishing is a finishing technique used on polycarbonate and other transparent plastics to improve their surface optical appeal.

Polished Plastic Advantages

1. Enhanced Aesthetics: Polished plastic surfaces have a glossy and smooth finish that enhances the visual appeal of the product. It gives a glossy look, making the plastic appear more visually appealing.
2. Improved Durability: The polishing process can strengthen the surface of the plastic, making it more resistant to scratches, abrasions, and general wear and tear.
3. Ease of Cleaning: Polished plastic surfaces are easier to clean and maintain compared to rough or textured surfaces. The smooth finish allows for quick and efficient cleaning, saving time and effort in maintenance.
4. Enhanced Light Transmission: Polished plastic surfaces can improve light transmission, making them ideal for applications where clarity and visibility are important, such as in optical devices, light fixtures, or display cases.
5. Customization Options: Polished plastic can be easily customized in terms of shape, and finish, providing flexibility in design and aesthetics for various applications.

polishing acrylic

Why Work With Us

With over 15 years of polycarbonate fabrication and machining experience, Excelite specializes in the fabrication of polycarbonate and acrylic sheet products, ensuring top-notch quality and precision. We are committed to providing the best manufacturing solutions tailored to your unique requirements. 

Whether you have a detailed drawing or just an idea, our team of professionals is ready to turn your vision into reality. Enjoy the benefits of our services, including:

  • In-house Design & Tooling
  • Exceptional Accuracy (+/- 0.005″ Tolerances)
  • Comprehensive OEM & ODM Services
  • ISO 9001:2008 Certification
  • Direct Manufacturer Advantage

We invite you to partner with us and experience a seamless, efficient, and quality-driven production process.

Polish Finish for Acrylic

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