Polishing

From Academic Kids

Polishing is the act of giving something polish, typically through rubbing. Polishing results in a smoother surface with higher shine. Polish can also refer to a compound used in the polishing process.

There are two types of polishing: Adding a polish to the surface to fill in pits, or removing tarnish and abrasions. Both are a way to provide care for an object to extend its life and improve its performance.

The first type of polishing typically uses a compound containing wax. This polishing compound is rubbed into the surface until it is built up to a smooth level. This is the typical way to polish cars, surfboards, shoes, furniture and floors. This removes friction as well as adding a shine.

The second type of polishing involves a slight abrasive, sometimes in combination with a wax or other filler. This is most often used on metal objects like silverware, cookware or automobiles. Typically this just results in increased shine.

In certain applications, this second type of polishing has been developed to an extreme degree, with an intricate procedure to apply even pressure and a strictly controlled array of abrasives with progressively less grit. Similar techniques have been developed to prepare metallurgical samples for microscopy and to polish swords. In the case of the katana, this practice is a visual art form as well as a means to produce a finer edge. Techniques such as chemical mechanical polishing are also crucial to semiconductor device fabrication, since microscopic devices can be spoiled even by extremely tiny surface imperfections.

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