Things You Should Know About Vapor Polishing for Polycarbonate

Vapor polishing is a method implemented to polish plastics to reduce the roughness of a surface, and improve clarity. In this method, special chemical vapor is used that changes the surface of a plastic and causes it to flow, thus enhancing the surface finish. Polycarbonate is one of the transparent plastics that is universally polished to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the final product. As far as clarity is concerned, it is second only to acrylic. Polycarbonate is polished by vapor polishing, and is usually the method chosen for most applications.

What are the Benefits of Vapor Polishing?

As vapor polishing has a number of benefits, it is widely used in polishing polycarbonates. Let us have a look at some of the benefits:

  1. Vapor polishing transforms a matte or opaque finish into a high gloss, commonly referred to as an optically clear finish.
  2. In medical applications, it helps smoothen out tool marks and clear unwanted material in a blood pump, thus contributing to better functioning of the pump.
  3. It improves manifold applications of polycarbonate by allowing a better view of the manifold interior with liquid presence
  4. For components such as light emitting diodes, which need light to pass unobstructed, the vapor polishing technique is of great help.
  5. It gives a glossy and professional look to finished parts.

Vapor polishing involves skill and understanding of different techniques. For achieving the desired result, it is important to have a good amount of experience with the process of vapor polishing.

What Care should one take during Vapor Polishing?

One should take proper care while vapor polishing to avoid any accidents. Here are a few tips:

  • The process of vapor polishing should not be performed by a novice.
  • The chemical vapors are harmful, and one should not inhale them. One must use special equipment to prevent contact with the chemicals.
  • Different government agencies have stringent guidelines regarding the exposure limits of this chemical group.
  • Though polycarbonate has great impact resistance, it is a stress-sensitive material. Over-tightening of screws can cause stress cracking of the material.
  • Vapor polishing should always be followed by always an annealing cycle afterwards, otherwise there is a risk of stress cracking.

These guidelines should be adhered to when performing vapor polishing. Vapor polishing is a very effective way of making components optically clear, provided it is done with proper care and experience.