Mirror Polishing Stainless Steel Tubes with the Garboli LPC MIRROR Machines
How can you mirror polish bent and curved stainless steel tubes to give a mirror polished finish? Traditional polishing machines are expensive, dirty, take up a large amount of factory space and only work with straight tubes.
In the early 1970’s Garboli began to develop a revolutionary orbital tube sanding machine. Initially designed for sanding cane furniture, Garboli Orbital Sanding Machines very quickly began to establish their place in the metal as well as the woodworking market.
The principle of orbital sanding is simple. A pair of belts are mounted on a rotating disc. The belts and disc move independently of each other to give a consistent, high quality finish around the full circumference of the tube.
This neat and simple solution created the opportunity for the Garboli orbital polishing system to finish both bent and straight tubes just as easily. With more than 40 years of experience in wood and metal finishing Garboli are still creating new and innovative solutions for the metal finishing industry with the new LPC MIRROR machines.
Abrasive Belt Technology
In parallel with the development of the Garboli machines, in the past 40 years abrasive belt technology has also continue to develop. Compact grain products and 3D structured abrasive products such as the Trizact materials mean that high quality, finer, controllable finishes can be achieved consistently. Even up to a P2000 grit finish. P2000 grit gives a very fine high reflection finish but it is not a mirror polish.
With non-abrasive polishing belts becoming commonly available the option to mirror polish using the Garboli orbital process becomes a real option.
Finding a solution to mirror polishing has been a long held goal of Garboli. In 2016 they released their first test machines to the market which has now resulted in the new LPC MIRROR family of machines.
The dream was consistent, repeatable results on a range of metals. This Garboli have now achieved.
What Makes The LPC MIRROR Machines Special?
Many important lessons were learnt during the development phase. The importance of a consistent power feed and the torque required to polish consistently. Getting the surface preparation right before polishing meant using new abrasive products to provide consistent high quality pre-finishing and supplying a regular and controlled supply of polish to the workpiece ensured the high quality of finish demanded from Garboli customers.
All of these factors have come together in the new LPC MIRROR family of orbital mirror polishing machines.
LPC MIRROR machines look similar to traditional orbital sanding machines but the reality is that they are completely different:
– Higher torque belt drive and inverter motors.
– Manual polishing feed option on the machine head.
– Automatic pump and liquid polish dispenser feed with volume and flow rate control options.
– Modifications for easy machine access
– Re-designed disc head to protect from motor damage with ‘wet’ feed polishes
What Process Is Required To Achieve a Mirror Polish?
Tube stock comes in a wide range of finishes. From de-scaled through to semi-bright polish. The important thing to understand is what pre-processing has already been done on any tube stock as mirror polishing will show up any mistakes or deeper marks in the metal.
This is where the real advantage of the LPC machines kicks in where you can now grind and pre-polish on the same machine, or mount machines in sequence for higher volume production.
A traditional stainless steel ‘dairy pipe’ may require 5 pre-polish stages to ensure a consistent fine polish can be achieved whereas a high grade brass may be able to mirror polish in a single stage process.
Working Parameters for LPC MIRROR Machines
Full range of options available for automatic and semi-automatic feed as well as for bent, straight and tapered tube feed.