What is Polishing?

  • A process to generate a reflective surface
  • Normally, the polish is generated by using a fine-micron or sub-micron abrasive particle in combination with a liquid. Polishing is a “wet” process.
  • Often the polishing process uses a pad to contain the abrasive, so polishing may not be a “loose abrasive process.” The pad is softer than the part.
  • Very little material is removed during the polishing process, normally measured in microns
  • The surface finish of the work-piece to be polished must be of a high quality prior to the polishing process taking place, so the pre-polishing process is often a “lapped” surface.


Polished Surface Functions

  • Enables sealing of high pressure gases and liquids
  • Cosmetic purposes
  • Enables the use of optical flatness measurement instruments
  • Reduces the amount of surface and sub-surface damage
  • Provides better uniformity of surfaces requiring epitaxial processes or deposited materials
  • Generates sharper edges on cutting tools


Types of Polishing

  • Soft or hard pads using a conventional or special purpose abrasive slurry
  • Soft or hard pads using a diamond abrasive slurry which may be water-base or oil-base
  • Hard pads using a diamond compound and lubricant
  • Diamond slurry polishing using a composite plate
  • Diamond slurry polishing using a metal plate
  • Fixed-abrasive films (captured abrasive) and lube


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