Kayson Green Talks: Polishing, Micro Finishing & Lapping Film
Lapping refers to the process of rubbing two surfaces together with an abrasive material held between them. This can either involve grinding a brittle material like glass against another similar material, or using a softer material such as ceramic charged with an abrasive and used against a workpiece. Lapping film is a sheet of polyester coated with precisely graded minerals such as aluminium oxide and diamond. Lapping paper is the perfect abrasive tool for smoothing and polishing surfaces as well as sharpening bladed edges. The following is a guide on lapping film and how industries use it.
Types of Lapping Film
The two main types of lapping paper available are diamond and aluminium oxide. Diamond films are generally tougher, work faster and last longer. Keep in mind that how long your film lasts depends on how much pressure you use: less pressure means longer use. For 1000 Grit diamond stones use film with 9 Microns, while film with 5 or 6 microns should be used for diamond or ceramic stones between 1500 and 2200 Grit. For 3000 Grit diamond and micro fine ceramic stones use film with 3 microns.
Industries That Use Lapping Film
- Aerospace – Used for achieving precise finishes for hydraulic parts, landing gear, engine parts and more.
- Food Processing – Used to recondition mechanical seals in sugar refineries as well as finishing and polishing canning dies in the canning industry.
- Roll manufacturers – For print and other applications.
- Jewellery – Used to smooth and polish silver, gold and other rich materials to create jewellery and ornaments.
- Electronics – Used to polish computer drive heads, recording heads, ferrites, transducers, and other components used in a range of industries.
- Medicine – Used to smooth orthopaedic implants as well as parts used in devices such as breathing apparatus.
- Oil & Gas – Used to recondition mechanical seals used in pumps as well as larger valves used on offshore oil rigs.
- Automotive and Aerospace – To polish many different types of workpieces e.g. landing gears, crank shafts, cam shafts etc.
How to Store and Care For Lapping Paper
- Keep lapping film in plastic bags and seal them tight to prevent contamination.
- Once you start using a film strip make sure it remains on the plastic core.
- Keep a matching set of cores for each grit size of film you have.
- If you notice bald spots appearing on the film, that will indicate that it is worn out and needs to be replaced.
Here at Kayson Green we have a wide range of film supplies, including diamond, silicon carbide, and aluminium oxide. We offer both slurry and electrostatic coatings with a Grit range of 0.5 μm to 100 μm. To find out more about our polishing film range we invite you to get in touch with us today.