Mechanical polishing involves the utilization of processes such as grinding and buffing in order to remove scratches, gouges, and other damage appearing on the surface of a material.

Mechanical polishing is done to improve the surface condition of a product for decorative or functional purposes — or both.

Understanding the Mechanical Polishing Process

Mechanical Process

There are typically three main steps in the mechanical polishing process: grinding, polishing, and buffing, done in that order. For stainless steel, in particular, there are five grades of mill plate and sheet metal finishes available; these finishes are produced mechanically using the abrasive media and buffing wheels. There is also a generic “non-directional No. 8” grade available.

During mechanical polishing, defects such as grinding lines, scratches, pits and surface flaws — damage that may affect a part’s appearance, as well as its functionality — are eliminated.

Mechanical polishing is a highly specialized process, and must be completed by a skilled technician with years of experience and thorough knowledge of the craft. Special mechanical polishing procedures may also need to be carried out for product that will eventually undergo electropolishing.

Common Mechanical Polishing Applications

Mechanical polishing is used in a range of different industries, including the food and beverage, dairy, chemical, pharmaceutical, and semiconductor sectors. Various parts may require polishing, such as tubing, elbows, fittings, and custom machined and fabricated assemblies. Polishing is critical especially for the pharmaceutical, but also for the dairy, food, confection, cosmetic and brewery industries who require sanitary applications, the process is inevitably more complicated.

The mechanical polishing process results in uniform surface conditioning that meets or exceeds ASME BPE and ASTM B912 standards.

Mechanical polishing offers numerous benefits, providing products with an improved surface finish, reduced product adhesion, better surface cleanability, and higher aesthetic appeal.

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Whether done to improve function or provide an enhanced decorative look, mechanical polishing plays a critical role in all types of applications.

At Highland Equipment Inc., we’re proud to specialize in sanitary mechanical polishing for stainless steel fabrications. We can have your product mechanically polished, ID and OD, to 3A or BPE (Biopharmaceutical) Standards or higher. To learn more and discuss how we can help with your unique application, request a quote today.