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Difference between polishing and buffing as surface preparation for chrome plating
(-----) February 21, 2008
PLease explain the difference between polishing and buffing surfaces in preparation for decorative chrome finish. We are polishing aluminum base metal and have been directed to buff the copper plating before nickel plating.Rick Stidwill
Buyer - Troy, MI, United States
February 21, 2008
The difference is largely semantic, but buffing is usually considered a process that is used after polishing to impart a finer, fully reflective surface. Look at the compounds that you are using and see if they are labeled 'buffing compound' or 'polishing compound'.
It is widely (and probably correctly) believed that a buffed copper underlayer will improve the reflectivity of the final chrome plating. But moreover, when plating on aluminum with the sometimes troublesome zincate layer perhaps not giving full adhesion, buffing the copper may locate those trouble spots or trouble parts before more money is wasted nickel and chrome plating them.
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey