Polishing is the process of creating a smooth and shiny surface by rubbing it or using a chemical action, leaving a surface with a significant specular reflection (still limited by the index of refraction of the material according to the Fresnel equations.) In some materials (such as metals, glasses, black or transparent stones) polishing is also able to reduce diffuse reflection to minimal values. When an unpolished surface is magnified thousands of times, it usually looks like mountains and valleys. By repeated abrasion, those "mountains" are worn down until they are flat or just small "hills." The process of polishing with abrasives starts with coarse ones and graduates to fine ones.
Polishing and buffing are finishing processes for smoothing a workpiece's surface using an abrasive and a work wheel or a leather strop. Technically polishing refers to processes that use an abrasive that is glued to the work wheel, while buffing uses a loose abrasive applied to the work wheel. Polishing is a more aggressive process while buffing is less harsh, which leads to a smoother, brighter finish. A common misconception is that a polished surface has a mirror bright finish, however most mirror bright finishes are actually buffed.
Polishing is often used to enhance the appearance of an item, prevent contamination of instruments, remove oxidation, create a reflective surface, or prevent corrosion in pipes. In metallography and metallurgy, polishing is used to create a flat, defect-free surface for examination of a metal's microstructure under a microscope. Silicon-based polishing pads or a diamond solution can be used in the polishing process. Polishing stainless steel can also increase the sanitary benefits of stainless steel.
The removal of oxidization (tarnish) from metal objects is accomplished using a metal polish or tarnish remover; this is also called polishing. To prevent further unwanted oxidization, polished metal surfaces may be coated with wax, oil, or lacquer. This is of particular concern for copper alloy products such as brass and bronze.
The Collaborative International Dictionary
Polish \Pol"ish\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Polished; p. pr. & vb. n. Polishing.] [F. polir, L. polire. Cf. Polite, -ish]
To make smooth and glossy, usually by friction; to burnish; to overspread with luster; as, to polish glass, marble, metals, etc.
Hence, to refine; to wear off the rudeness, coarseness, or rusticity of; to make elegant and polite; as, to polish life or manners.
To polish off, to finish completely, as an adversary. [Slang]
--W. H. Russell.
Polishing \Pol"ish*ing\, a. & n. from Polish. Polishing iron, an iron burnisher; esp., a small smoothing iron used in laundries. Polishing slate.
A gray or yellow slate, found in Bohemia and Auvergne, and used for polishing glass, marble, and metals.
A kind of hone or whetstone; hone slate.
Polishing snake, a tool used in cleaning lithographic stones.
Polishing wheel, a wheel or disk coated with, or composed of, abrading material, for polishing a surface.
1 That makes shiny or smooth. 2 That refines. n. 1 The action of the verb '''to polish'''. 2 (context mostly plural English) An extract of partially milled rice. v
(present participle of polish English)
n. the work of making something shine by polishing it; "the shining of shoes provided a meager living" [syn: shining]
Usage examples of "polishing".
What with all the hammering, sharpening, burnishing and polishing, we might have been such a city of smiths as Bran the Blessed encountered in one of his fabled journeys.
Wyman lifted his monocle and examined it, exhaled on the lens, used his silk pocket square as a polishing cloth, then let the instrument fall back onto his lapelled vest.
To give him time to master his temper, he plucked his monocle from his eye and began polishing the lens with a silk handkerchief.
The Moties probably did the polishing, they must be all through those rocks, the neutrino emissions are fantastic.
During her possession of it, she had carefully cleaned it of all rust, removed the rotted thongs from around its iron haft and replaced them with fresh ones, then set to polishing the steel quatrefoil head until it now shone like silver.
I cleaned, setting the jewelry box back carefully, relining the pearls, replacing the letter, polishing and replacing the inkwell.
The bartender, an elderly woman, was at the far end, assiduously polishing, inspecting, and repolishing cheap glassware, as if the Queen of England and her entourage were due by any moment for a round of brews.
A Sarakkon sat against the open hatch of the aft companionway polishing his high shagreen boots with wax derived from the distilled oil of onaga, a deep-water snapper.
My tools were the toothbrush, its reaming pick on the other end, a file, an adhesive neutralizer, a polishing gel, a shammy cloth, and creeping mental paralysis.
Soldiers sat around them sharpening swords, polishing helmets, and repairing harness.
On flute now, the soloist sang, hummed and grunted as he blew, spurring himself along with intermittent shouts and hollers which raised the temperature of the playing to the point that one or two of the audience began drumming on their tabletops and the barmaid set aside her crossword puzzle in favour of polishing glasses.
He looked them all over stolidly, polishing the speckless bar with the immemorial soiled towel.
Cray suddenly felt dirty in his shirt and trews, his worn boots, and he wondered at the enormous effort of scrubbing and polishing that must be expended in the keeping of Ringforge.
The next afternoon Ravenel, while polishing a ragged line of a new sonnet, reclined by the window overlooking the besieged garden of the unmercenary baron.
Niello, after a few seasons polishing up fire irons and blackleading grates had driven me demented with boredom.