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A Beginners Guide To Polish Aluminum

A Beginners Guide To Polish Aluminum

All metal products' lifespan and luster can be enhanced by proper maintenance and care.

Among all metals, Aluminum is a charming metal, but its finishing and polishing can fade over time. Aluminum is naturally subject to corrosion, which results in a poor surface finishing as an aluminum oxide layer forms to protect the metal. Even though aluminum is a rust-resistant metal, it is likely to pre-rust if it has ever been exposed to a carbon-based abrasive.

Proper metal polishing maintains aluminum luster, finishing, and also protects from rust. But, how to polish aluminum?

Below you will find a step-by-step guide for how to polish aluminum in the right manner.

Step-by-Step Guide to Polish Aluminum

Step-by-Step Guide to Polish Aluminum

You can polish aluminum in three easy steps for better finishing and shining.

Step 1- Cleaning/preparing the aluminum

Step 2- Sanding the aluminum

Step 3- Cutting or Polishing the aluminum

Step 1 - Cleaning/Preparing the Aluminum

How to Clean Your Aluminum

Use a moist cloth or wet sponge and cleaning solution to clean the overall aluminum surface. Make sure to remove all dirt and dust from the surface. If you are working on small projects, you can use normal dish soap or a solution of water and vinegar to clean the aluminum surface.

If you're having trouble removing stubborn filth, try using a screwdriver or a wire brush. Always remember to use a stainless steel wire brush, not carbon steel as it can produce rust after some time. After scrubbing with a wire brush, rinse it off with clean water and wipe with a soft cloth.

Step 2 - Sanding the Aluminum

How to Sand Aluminum

Sanding aluminum is most important to obtain a solid finish. Most of the polishing process requires sanding the metal surface for optimal results.

To start with sanding firstly choose coarse grit sandpaper and then move down to a finer grit. Many experts recommend moving from 320 grit to 400 grit and then to 600 grit.

Small aluminum objects can be easily sanded by hand tool using sandpaper and elbow grease, but industrial projects require an abrasive wheel and a power tool. An orbital sander with PSA discs or an angle grinder with an aluminum grinding flap disc is the finest option for speeding up the sanding process.

Why is sanding so important?

Sanding is a crucial step in the metal polishing process because it can remove scratches or cuts that have built up over time. The sanding method evens out the metal, removing small defects while also not interfering with the refinishing process.

To produce a glossy finish or to achieve extra shine, an irregular surface must be removed and flattened out.

Step 3 - Buffing/Polishing the Aluminum

It's time to get the actual shine of aluminum. After the cleaning and sanding process, we will work on the final step called buffing and polishing of aluminum.

For Small/Home Metal Polishing

Here in this step, you will need high-quality aluminum polish and a clean cloth.

Start applying polishing on the aluminum surface. Spread the polish on the surface in a circular motion. Now, wipe away all polish from the surface with a fresh cloth. If you are polishing an aluminum pan that will you use for cooking food then do not use a chemical compound, use a non-chemical homemade and eco-friendly polishing compound.

For Industrial Metal Polishing

For large-scale or industrial aluminum polishing, an angle grinder with a buffing wheel is the easiest and efficient tool.

Apply polishing compound to the buffing wheel (fitted into an angle grinder). Now start machining, the spinning wheel generates heat and melts the wax of the polishing compound on the buffing wheel.

Gently bring the buffing wheel closer to your workpiece, apply moderate pressure and polish the surface. To get a precise finish and shine remove all dents and scratches if present. In case the wheel gets dry apply more buffing compound (during the procedure).

Once polishing has been done completely, remove the polishing wheel and clean your workpiece with a clean cloth.

Now finally you have an extra shine and finished aluminum workpiece.

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