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Polishing Acrylic/Polycarbonate??


ScottyBoy
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We have a pretty big aquarium at work and the glass (its really 3 inch thick polycarbonate) is getting a good bit of scuffs, scratches, and swirls in it. We were told to polish it with the Novus Three Step Polishing System. I have tried it by hand, and it doesn't work worth a crap. I'm wondering if I should try this stuff with a DA machine polisher or should I just try the 2 step Adams paint correction and finishing polishes. Any suggestions?

Edited by Mook@Adams
I don't think Hyperlinking that is a good idea.
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Having a little experience with Polycarb tells me that you need to be really careful if you choose to use a machine on it.  It Will burn.  I would test a small spot, with something like a Cyclo or PC with a White Pad and Finishing Polish to start.

 

Heck a step even less aggressive than that with Adam's line is doing the Revive Hand Polish with a Blue Hex.  I know you mentioned the Novus system.  I don't have any experience with it. 

Edited by Mook@Adams
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Mook is spot on here, those kind of materials are not typically as "machine friendly" as clear coat on a vehicle. 

 

Since you've already tried working by hand without results, then the next logical step is to jump to a machine, as you mentioned.  What kind of machine do you have at your disposal?

 

Start gentle, with Paint Finishing Polish and work up from there as needed.  Just beware that if you do indeed generate too much heat and burn it, it will be opaque/haze and will be nearly impossible to fix.

 

I'd tread lightly, and work in the same manner as you would if using 4" Focus Pads on a drill.  Keep the pad moving and don't spend too much time in one spot, checking the temperature of the surface often with your hand.

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Only machines I have at my disposal are the garbage Walmart single speed random orbit polisher with the foam pad built on, so you can't swap pads. The guys in the service dept have a DeWalt rotary with wool pads that I can probably borrow, but I'm too scared to use it. Then I have my own machine, which is the Harbor Freight variable speed DA polisher with a 6 inch backing plate to use 6 or 7 inch pads. So far, I have only tried that Novus crap and no other products. I tried it both by hand and with the garbage Walmart polisher, which gave slightly better results than by hand but not by much.

And I have 4 panels to polish, two are about 6 foot high by 12-14 feet long, and two are 6 feet high by about 5 feet wide. Its a pretty big aquarium, 13,000 gallons to be exact. I'm thinking about bring my HF polisher to work and maybe trying the Adams PFP first with a white pad on a small area first, if that doesn't do the job, then try the PCP with an orange pad, then go back with the PFP. If I have to pish this whole dam thing by hand, it will take me a week! Lol

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Only machines I have at my disposal are the garbage Walmart single speed random orbit polisher with the foam pad built on, so you can't swap pads. The guys in the service dept have a DeWalt rotary with wool pads that I can probably borrow, but I'm too scared to use it. Then I have my own machine, which is the Harbor Freight variable speed DA polisher with a 6 inch backing plate to use 6 or 7 inch pads. So far, I have only tried that Novus crap and no other products. I tried it both by hand and with the garbage Walmart polisher, which gave slightly better results than by hand but not by much.

And I have 4 panels to polish, two are about 6 foot high by 12-14 feet long, and two are 6 feet high by about 5 feet wide. Its a pretty big aquarium, 13,000 gallons to be exact. I'm thinking about bring my HF polisher to work and maybe trying the Adams PFP first with a white pad on a small area first, if that doesn't do the job, then try the PCP with an orange pad, then go back with the PFP. If I have to pish this whole dam thing by hand, it will take me a week! Lol

 

 

DO NOT use the DeWalt on that!  Too much heat...ALL heat!  Try your HF polisher around speed 4 with the White Foam Pad and PFP.

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Oh, and I'll have to be sure to tape the edges up REALLY good since they are bordered in concrete. I know that will tear up my pad for sure if my pad hooks onto the rough edge of that concrete while moving.

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Don't know if this will help or not but I used Paint Finishing Polish and a white pad on the 44 year old plexiglas rear window in my hardtop.  I was a little nervous but as swirled up as the window was I really couldn't hurt it.  Forgot - used a PC7424 polisher.

 

Before

post-1821-0-12611900-1393970850_thumb.jpg

 

After

 

post-1821-0-07465800-1393970954_thumb.jpg

 

post-1821-0-97183600-1393971025_thumb.jpg

 

 

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