Manmade or engineered stones (ES) have become quite popular in this day and age. They are used to manufacture many products that are beneficial to mankind. But the trouble starts when it comes to stone polishing. There are subtle differences between the many ES materials – which make stone polishing easier for some materials as well as cumbersome for some materials. It is important that you have an idea about what materials are easier when it comes to stone polishing and what are difficult to polish.
Here are some factors that will help facilitate the learning curve when it comes to stone polishing.
Know The Materials
Stone polishing becomes much easier with lighter color materials. On the other hand, dark color stone materials are more difficult to polish. But there are a few exceptions to this rule. For example, absolute white stone materials contain a small content of quartz aggregate and a large content of the resin. Hence, the polishing pad will be more in contact with the resin content than with the quartz aggregate. In fact, the high resin content can easily lead to burning of the surface if the right stone polishing technique isn’t used. There are some dark colors such as Absolute Black and Dark Maroon that exhibit a similar composition. In order to guarantee the best possible results in stone polishing, you should treat all engineered stones with caution when polishing them.
Selecting The Right Stone Polishing Pads
Many individuals don’t understand the importance of selecting the right pad when polishing engineered stones (ES). They think that all pads are the same and that they could use any type of pad for stone polishing. But this is not true. Many people opt for colored pads on the market thinking that they will give an excellent finish. However, colored pads need more water, time, and may transfer the color onto the engineered stone during the polishing job. Hence, you shouldn’t take the risk. It is much better to use a white resin pad. These are important things to consider when choosing the right pad for polishing engineered stones.
Beneficial Stone Polishing Techniques
There are many polishing techniques to improve the quality of the polishing of ES. Here are some of the most beneficial stone polishing techniques to get the best results:
Using A Rigid Backer – A flexible backer may work well for concave profile edges such as ogees. But you don’t need to use a flexible backer on most of the other profiles out there. For example, automated line profiling machines use rigid tools and backers for polishing. But they produce a much better edge compared to manual polishing techniques. If flexible backers were so important, you would definitely see them being used on almost all auto-edge machines.
Stop Using The Middle Of The Pad
There are two common issues that may arise from using the middle of the polishing pad.
. When you use a lot of water while applying pressure to the center of the pad, water becomes trapped between the stone and pad. This will result in a hydroplaning effect. In fact, there will be so much water that could escape and spread outward at any moment. Also, the pad will have difficulty in touching the surface of the material. It will not polish certain spots effectively as a result.
. On the other hand, fabricators that use a minimal amount of water tend to see the pads flexing and cupping outward around the middle. This will result in the edges of the pad touching the stone and not the middle. Many people think that applying more pressure will fix the problem. But it is not so. The solution is to use the edges of the pad as you alternate from the top half to the bottom half of the ES. When doing so, you may feel the pad “bite” – which will allow you to use little pressure.
You should be mindful of the polisher RPM when polishing engineered stones. A too high RPM can create excessive heat which may result in white resin pads smearing on the stone. It could even burn the stone itself. Fortunately, the white resin can be easily removed using acetone.
The aforementioned article provides stone polishing tips to facilitate your engineered stone polishing efforts.