Flame Polishing

Flame polishing is a method of polishing a material, usually thermoplastics or glass, by exposing it to a flame or heat. By melting the surface of the material, surface tension smooths the surface out. Operator skill is critical with this method. When done properly, flame plastic polishing produces the clearest finish, especially when polishing acrylic. This method is most applicable to flat external surfaces. Flame polishing is frequently used in acrylic plastic fabrication because of its high speed when compared to abrasive methods. In this application, a torch burning hydrogen and oxygen is typically used, one reason being that the flame chemistry is unlikely to contaminate the plastic.

Flame polishing is essential to creation of the glass pipettes used for the patch clamp technique of voltage clamping.

Glass forming techniques
Commercial techniques
  • Float glass process
  • Blowing and pressing (containers)
  • Extrusion / Drawing (fibers, glasswool)
  • Drawing (optical fibers)
  • Precision glass moulding
  • Overflow downdraw method
  • Pressing
  • Casting
  • Cutting
  • Flame polishing
  • Chemical polishing
  • Diamond turning
  • Rolling
Artistic and historic techniques
  • Beadmaking
  • Blowing
  • Blown plate
  • Broad sheet
  • Caneworking
  • Crown glass
  • Cylinder blown sheet
  • Engraving
  • Etching
  • Fourcault process
  • Fusing
  • Lampworking
  • Machine drawn cylinder sheet
  • Millefiori
  • Polished plate
  • Slumping
  • Stained glass fusing
  • Stained glass production
Natural processes
  • Radiative processes
  • Opal formation
  • Sea glass
  • Shock metamorphic glasses/Impactite
  • Vitrified sand
  • Volcanic glasses
See also
  • Glossary of glass art terms
  • Glass recycling


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Famous quotes containing the words polishing and/or flame:

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    The divinity in man is the true vestal fire of the temple which is never permitted to go out, but burns as steadily and with as pure a flame on the obscure provincial altar as in Numa’s temple at Rome.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)