The science of scratches—Polishing and buffing mechanical surface preparation

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The process of mechanical finishing consisting of physical processes of polishing and buffing, plays a significant role in the development of a better quality product by altering the surface of a substrate. The process of polishing is performed by an abrasive belt, grinding wheel, setup wheel, and other abrasive media, to enhance surface properties through metal removal. The process of buffing involves treating a metal surface, giving it a specified, or desired finish, including semibright, mirror bright, or higher better quality surface finishes. The process of polishing involves an abrading operation that follows grinding and precedes buffing. The process of polishing is used to remove considerable amounts of metal, or nonmetallic materials, providing a better surface finish for a specific surface. The process is followed by buffing, which helps in refining a metallic or nonmetallic surface.

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... In the manufacturing industry, mechanical finishing plays a vital role in the development of product surface quality and final geometry [1]. Mechanical finishing typically includes deburring, grinding, polishing, buffing, and final visual inspection of a workpiece. ...
... One of the main reasons for polishing is to improve surface finish by removing minimal amounts of material and to smooth a particular surface until obtaining the desired surface finish (i.e. roughness or aesthetic aspect) without affecting the geometry of the workpiece [1][2][3]. ...
... Extensive work has already been carried out on various technologies used in modern industry and ongoing research (from basic concept to design of a new automated system). For example, Dickman [1] details the basic concepts and approaches for surface finishing and preparation. Moreover, Keyton [9] developed a classification of usage of mechanical finishing systems in industry and speculates on the future of automated mechanical polishing. ...
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Advancements in robotic and automation industries have influenced many manual manufacturing operations. With a great level of success, robots have taken over from man in many processes such as part manufacturing, transfer and assembly. However, in other traditionally manual operations such as polishing, automation has only partially been successful, typically limited to parts with simple geometry and low accuracy. Automated polishing systems using robots have been attempted already by a number of industrial and research groups; however, there are few examples of deploying such a system as a part of a routine production process in high-technology industries, such as aerospace. This is due to limitations in flexibility, speed of operation, and inspection processes, when compared with manual polishing processes. The need for automated polishing processes is discussed in this article and the problem with the existing system was explained to be a lack of understanding and the disconnect from manual operations. In collaboration with industrial partners, a mechatronic based data capturing device was developed to accurately capture and analyze operational variables such as force, torque, vibration, polishing pattern, and feed rates. Also reported in this article is a set of experiments carried out to identify the polishing parameters that a manual operator controls through tactile and visual sensing. The captured data is interpreted to the operators’ preferences and polishing methods and should then be included in the design of an automated polishing system. The research results reported in this article are fed back to an ongoing research project on developing an integrated robotic polishing system. Full text available at
... The purpose of buffing is to improve the surface appearance of a metal and produce a smooth tight surface [10]. The present study has investigated the effect of surface buffing on SCC susceptibility of 304L austenitic SS. ...
Conference Paper
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The study focuses on the impact of buffing operation on the stress corrosion cracking (SCC) susceptibility of 304L austenitic stainless steel (SS). The SCC susceptibility of the buffed surfaces were determined by testing in boiling magnesium chloride (MgCl2) environment as per ASTM G 36. Test was conducted for 3hr, 9hr and 72hr to study the SCC susceptibility. Buffed surfaces were resistant to SCC even after 72hr of exposure to boiling MgCl2. The surface and cross section of the samples were examined for both before and after exposure to boiling MgCl2 and was characterized using optical microscopy. The study revealed that buffing operation induces compressive residual stresses on the surface, which helps in protecting the surface from SCC.
... Aluminium buff is one of the massive by-products generated in aluminium part manufacturer during buffing process. Buffing is the processing of a metal surface to give a desired finish [7]. This process generates buffing residue that collected by wet dust collection system. ...
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The aim of this work is to propose the utilization of aluminium buff from aluminium part manufacturer as a raw material for cordierite batch composition. The powder mixtures were compacted by uniaxial pressing. The green compacts were sintered at temperature in the range 1300-1400°C for 2 hours in air. The physical properties were characterized by Archimedes method, Brazilian test and dilatometry. Phase and microstructural analysis were done by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The XRD analysis showed the major phase was cordierite along with sapphirine as a secondary phase. The fired properties of materials were demonstrated that the optimal properties was achieved from the specimen sintered at 1375 °C.
Magnesium and its alloys have been found to have a variety of industrial applications owning to their high strength-to-weight ratio. The strength of magnesium alloys is comparable with that of aluminum alloys or steels; however, their corrosion resistance when exposed to severe conditions is relatively weak. Surface treatments are applied to magnesium and magnesium alloy articles to enhance their corrosion resistance and appearance. This chapter covers two classes of treatment for magnesium alloy surfaces for moderate to severely corrosive environments: (1) chemical treatments and (2) anodic treatments, followed by sealing and organic coatings. Necessary cleaning procedures, including mechanical cleaning, chemical cleaning, pickling, and fluoride anodizing, are described.
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