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#121 Surface Adjustments - Buff Polishing - 2

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April13, 2012

The base surface to be buffed needs to be processed with paper buffs such as emery cloth with abrasives, and oil based polishing agents are used with loose buffs and sisal buffs for the finishing and gloss finishing. The oil based polishing agents are comprised of minute abrasive particles dispersed in greases such as stearic acid. The stearic acid which is in solid form at room temperature melts with heat generated by pressing it against buffs and the abrasives adhere to the buffs. The stearic acid also reduces the friction when polishing and lowers the heat. Oil based polishing agents are shown in [Table 1].

[Table 1] Types of oil based polishing agents
Name Color Composition Mohs hardness Application
Emery paste Gray Emery (AL2O3) + Fe3O4 7~9 Steel /
Stainless steel
Tripoli Reddish brown Silica /
quartz sand (SiO2)
7 Steel / aluminum / brass
Gloss Dark black Iron oxide (Fe2O3) 6 Copper / brass
Matchless White Calcium oxide (CaO) 2 Copper / brass / aluminum
Lime White Magnesium oxide (MgO) 2 Same as above
Blue stick Green Chromium oxide (Cr2O3) 6 Cr / stainless steel / AL
Red stick Red Iron oxide (Fe2O3) 6 Gold / silver / platinum
White stick White Aluminum oxide (AL2O3) 9 AL / stainless steel / Cr
Green lime Green Cr2O3 + AL2O3 Ni / Cr / stainless steel
Black stick Black SiO2 + AL2O3 Plastic / rubber
Matchless for copper White Aluminum oxide (AL2O3) Copper plating
Grease stick Light yellow Grease only Paper buff lubrication
Matte polish compound Light yellow Two types For matte finish

Buff polishing can be processed with simple machinery and tools but also is highly dependent on human hand processes and induces high costs. Therefore, automating of buff polishing is performed. For the automated buffing processes, water or oil based liquid polishing agents are used since the solid oil based polishing compounds do not yield high efficiency. The liquid agents can be sprayed onto the surfaces to be buffed to supply proper amounts.

An example of an automated buffing machine is shown in [Fig.1]

[Fig.1] Automated buffing machine for long objects