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What is a Press Polish?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 17 August 2016
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    Conjecture Corporation
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A press polish is a type of sheen or finish that is created by bringing a material into contact with some type of smooth metal, using heat and pressure to create the shiny appearance. A press polish approach can be used to create a smooth and shiny finish on different types of plastic sheeting and similar products that are then used to manufacture various plastic goods. The term is also used in connection with different types of fabric blends, in which heat and pressure are used to provide a sheen to the finished material.

The key to creating a press polish sheen is the proper application of pressure and heat to the surface of the material that is undergoing the treatment. In the case of plastics, this usually means bringing the product into contact with some type of metal sheeting or roller that is warmed to a specified temperature. The metal device is applied to the plastic, sometimes either with a direct press or by rolling the metal over the surface of the plastic. In both approaches, the pressure and the heat are carefully monitored so the proper level of shine or sheen is achieved.

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A similar approach is taken when producing the press polish on fabric. Typically, this type of finishing process is applied to fabric before it is cut into any type of sections, making it possible to achieve a uniform sheen for the entire batch or lot of the material. The heat setting must be sufficient to work with the pressure applied to achieve the desired effect, but no so hot as to damage the fibers in the material. The end result is material that is sturdy and has a slight sheen that is considered attractive.

Once a press polish is achieved, the material may be further treated to seal the sheen, although this is not necessary with all products. Typically, creating the polish does not impact the integrity or the sturdiness of the finished product. This means that it is possible to create press polish sheet stock that meets all quality standards set for that type of product, with the added bonus of the attractive luster to the surface.

There are a number of companies around the world that specialize in the production of press polish products, including plastic sheeting and various types of lightweight and heavier weighted fabrics. In recent decades, advances in technology have made it possible to more accurately control the degree of heat and pressure used in the process, usually by utilizing computer technology to monitor the process in real time and make immediate adjustments in the pressure and heat as a means of conforming to the standards set for that particular project.

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