Vapor Polishing of Polycarbonate
What Star Prototype does for its customers:
- Production of premium quality vapour polished parts at low cost
- Strict scheduling for on time delivery
- Professional customer support in multiple languages
At Star Prototype we can CNC machine and sand Polycarbonate and then use Weldon 4 gas to instantly turn PC clear. This is one of the most amazing of all model-making techniques. You’ll need to watch this video a few times to truly appreciate what you are seeing.
Vapor Polishing is a very old technique which allows technicians to repair damage to Polycarbonate very quickly. The solvent melts the PC on the surface at the molecular level turning it clear. What is interesting about vapor polish is that it does not actually change the general surface finish. If the material had milling marks before vapor polish; they will still be evident afterwards – but the material will be clearer. You can even turn a hacksaw finish clear with Weldon 4 gas.
The solvent gas is only in contact with the surface for 1 or 2 seconds and the effect is instantaneous. Weldon 4 gas is extremely toxic and Vapor Polishing must be done in a strictly controlled environment. Active carbon masks are essential. When carried out at Star Prototype there are 4 people involved. One person manages the Weldon kettle, one does the painting, one is inspecting, and another is outside the room, also wearing a mask, watching in case of an accident. The room will fill from the floor up with Weldon gas. After vapor polishing the room is ventilated with extraction fans scrubbing the gas through active carbon filters.
Although Weldon 4 is actually a PMMA Acrylic solvent, used widely for bonding/melting pieces of PMMA together; it is not recommended to use Wedon 4 to vapor polish PMMA as it may craze the surface.
DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS TECHNIQUE UNLESS YOU HAVE TAKEN ALL SAFETY PRECAUTIONS