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One of the most fascinating processes we employ is vapor polishing of polycarbonate. For this process we use Weldon 4 gas to instantly turn polycarbonate clear. This time tested method allows technicians to make ground parts clear or to very quickly repair damage to polycarbonate. The plastic polishing solvent works by melting the surface of the polycarbonate and turning it clear. However, because it works on the molecular level, vapor polishing does not actually change the general surface finish of the piece. If the material had milling marks before vapor polish, they will still be evident afterwards – but the material will be clearer. Weldon 4 gas is even capable of turning a hacksaw finish clear.
Vapor Polishing Process
Vapor polishing of polycarbonate is a quick process that must be completed in a strictly controlled environment. Active carbon masks are essential for all personnel involved. The extremely toxic solvent gas is only in contact with the surface of the polycarbonate for one to two seconds, and the effect is instantaneous. At Star Prototype, there are three people involved in every vapor polishing procedure:
– Weldon kettle manager
– Painter – Part Handling
– Safety inspector, observing from outside the room
During the plastic polishing process, the specially equipped room will fill from the floor up with Weldon gas. After vapor polishing is complete, the room is purged of all solvent using high power extraction fans.