Running on vapours

2008 0

The video from which the above image comes from is possibly one of the most impressive things I’ve seen all week

It’s a rather dangerous process, using a boiling solvent called Weldon-4, which dates back to the Second World War and the need to make acrylic Spitfire cockpit canopies clear again after repairs.

We’re not ones to play off a news story with a vague connection to Remembrance Day [although, if it serves as a reminder then that’s OK], but this is a process that can help modern day designers when prototyping clear items such as automotive lenses.

Acrylic prototypes aren’t the strongest especially when compared to polycarbonates, but can be much easier to polish to a glossy transparent finish – A polycarbonate might need twice the effort and never has the same crystal clear look, unless of course, you’re willing to pay for it with a process such as vapour polishing.

Having seen the video you can’t help but be amazed at how a man, nervously holding a bit of hosepipe, can do such a magical job.


Star Prototype and its dedicated Chinese workforce uses a safety-controlled environment to carry out the polishing, meaning its one of the few bureaus to offer the service, and its location (China) helps to reduce costs.

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