Buffing and metal polishing are similar finishing processes for roughening the surface of a work piece with an abrasive. However, technically polishing refers to polishing processes which employ an abrasive onto a leather strop, while buffing merely uses a loose abrasive applied onto the work piece without an additional tool. In a sense therefore, buffing and polishing are simply variations of each other; but, the processes themselves are very different. Below, you will see an example showing the difference between buffing and polishing in terms of appearance.
When the surface of a material is scratched, it can take on many appearances depending on its properties, the condition, and the overall composition. For instance, dents left from a baseball can become cracks, dings, or gouges. Even highly seasoned mechanics can have those small dings leave their mark. Metal polishes resolve these issues by using chemicals that coat the surface of the metal. Once the metal polish has dried, the metal becomes smooth again.
Polishes come in various types including synthetic oil-based, and liquid-based, among others. The most commonly used polishes, however, tend to be synthetic because they can be used for a wide variety of metals. Synthetic oil-based polishes are generally meant for stainless steel, copper, brass, and bronze. Liquid-based ones, on the other hand, can be used on different metals including stainless steel, brass, aluminum, and other metallic substances. Both synthetic and liquid polish are primarily used to bring out the luster and the metallic properties of the metals.
One way to prevent corrosion is to protect metal surfaces during the polishing process. Most metal polishes contain some amount of an anti-corrosion compound that prevents corrosion. This compound is usually applied on the bare metal surface while the buffing process is taking place. It is usually made of some metal compounds that decrease or eliminate the effect of friction and heat. In order to prevent corrosion, the surface of the metal must be thoroughly wet during the polishing process.
Before applying the polish metal, it is important that you take off all clothing, tools, and equipment that might be in contact with the polished metal. You also need to make sure that you have taken off all jewelry, as well as clean any cleaning solutions. If all of these safety precautions are observed, then the polishing process should go smoothly.
Among the various kinds of polishes, the most commonly used one is the SDS type. This specific type of polish is made up of the monomer sodium dichromate and the sodium silicate. The most common types of materials that are commonly used in the preparation of SDS include brass, aluminum, copper, tin, and steel. The other substances that are commonly used in the preparation of this particular polish are zinc, neon, purple, brown, gray, and yellow.
The SDS type is used for different purposes. You can use it to remove stains and tarnish on metal surfaces, like the ones that you find on brass and aluminum cookware. This kind of polishing is also useful for removing the dullness and rust on surfaces like stainless steel. When you apply this polish to these surfaces, they will become shiny and regain their former appearance.
Some people are using the SDS polishing compound for applying polish on metals that are too scratched or damaged. This method is more advantageous than the buffing process. This is mainly because you can simply buff the surface instead of cleaning the damaged area. In case of metal jewelry that has been severely dented, you can use this polishing compound to restore the metal back to its original shape. However, it is essential that you purchase the appropriate cleaning materials from a store.