Vapor Polishing for PC Material—Rapid Prototyping Technique at Jevny Technology

PC Vapor Polishing is a very old technique which allows technicians to repair damage to Polycarbonate very quickly. The solvent melts the PC on the surface at the molecular level turning it clear. What is interesting about vapor polish is that it does not actually change the general surface finish. If the material had milling marks before vapor polish; they will still be evident afterwards – but the material will be clearer. You can even turn a hacksaw finish clear with Weldon 4 gas.

The solvent gas is only in contact with the surface for 1 or 2 seconds and the effect is instantaneous. Weldon 4 gas is extremely toxic and Vapor Polishing must be done in a strictly controlled environment. Active carbon masks are essential. When carried out there are 4 people involved. One person manages the Weldon kettle, one does the painting, one is inspecting, and another is outside the room, also wearing a mask, watching in case of an accident. The room will fill from the floor up with Weldon gas. After vapor polishing the room is ventilated with extraction fans scrubbing the gas through active carbon filters.

Although Weldon 4 is actually a PMMA Acrylic solvent, used widely for bonding/melting pieces of PMMA together; it is not recommended to use Wedon 4 to vapor polish PMMA as it may craze the surface.

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