Aluminum Polishing: A 3 Step Process

Metal is a primary component in the construction of many industrial machines and vehicles. Proper care and maintenance can help preserve the integrity of metal components and extend their lifespan significantly.

If you have industrial equipment with aluminum components, polishing is a vital part of caring for these machines. You must follow a three-step process in order to properly eliminate damage and restore the mirror finish to all aluminum components on your industrial machines.

1. Clean the Surface

A thorough cleaning of the entire surface of an aluminum component is the first step in the polishing process. It's vital that you eliminate any dirt or debris particles from the surface of the aluminum.

If these particles remain, the polishing process could end up damaging your aluminum components. The particles can create scratches or gouges in the surface of the aluminum during sanding.

Use an industrial degreaser to eliminate any oil or grease from your aluminum. Rinse the component with water to remove the degreaser, then wipe clean with a lint-free cloth to create a smooth and particle-free surface.

2. Sand the Surface

Once you are sure the aluminum surface you are polishing is clean, you can start sanding. Start with a coarse grit sandpaper to smooth out any deep gouges or scratches in the aluminum. Work your way down to a fine-grit sandpaper.

It's essential that you exercise patience throughout the sanding phase. Work slowly to cover the entire surface of the aluminum component as you graduate down to a fine-grit sandpaper.

Sanding can be physically taxing when done correctly. Many people find it helpful to utilize an orbital sander or angle grinder instead of manually sanding an aluminum surface.

3. Buff the Surface

The final step in the aluminum polishing process is buffing. You will use a polishing cream and a buffing wheel to go over the entire surface of the aluminum component being polished.

Polishing creams come in a wide range of grits. You should start with your coarsest polishing cream and work your way down to the finest grit cream in your facility. Be sure that you swap out the buffing wheel each time you apply a new polishing cream to avoid cross-contamination.

Once you have finished your final pass with the finest grit polishing cream available, wipe the surface clean with a lint-free cloth. 

Following this three-step approach when polishing your aluminum will produce a mirror finish every time. For more information about industrial aluminum polishing, contact a local professional.