Q. Will vapor polishing remove all tool marks from my parts?
A. No. Deep tool marks will be made less apparent but will not be removed entirely. Only the surface is polished, so “steps” and excess materials are not removed.
Q. Why won’t vapor polishing work on all types of materials?
A. Vapor polishing will only work on materials which can be readily dissolved in a low-boiling solvent that can “kiss” the surface and then evaporate rapidly. Insoluble polymers, high molecular weight grades of polymers, thermosetting resins, and cross-linked polymers (such as most engineering grade acrylics) may not be suitable for vapor polishing.
Q. If the part is going to be polished, why do I have to clean it first?
A. Vapor polishing does not clean the surface and does not remove anything from the surface. In fact, any fingerprints on your part will show prominently in the final surface. Vapor polishing can only smooth the surface. Dirt, debris, and residue on the surface of the part become much more noticeable after polishing. Hence, parts must be thoroughly cleaned before being polished. Aspire has extensive experience cleaning plastic parts, and we would be happy to help develop a cleaning protocol, or even perform the pre-polish cleaning for you as we have done for other customers.
Q. I’ve heard that solvent vapors can be toxic. Is there a chance that my parts could be toxic when they return?
A. The solvents we use for vapor polishing are carefully selected to evaporate rapidly. A drying cycle further ensures that there are no detectable residues.
Q. Will polishing change the dimensions of my part or the accuracy of the machining?
A. Because vapor polishing works only on the very surface layer of your part and does not add or remove material, it cannot significantly change the dimensions. Because we effectively smooth the peaks into the valleys, a very slight apparent dimensional shrinkage may occur, but this has never been an issue to any of our customers. We have experience polishing parts with very fine features and extremely tight dimension tolerances with no apparent loss of functionality.