Browse Prior Art Database

Polishing of Surfaces Using Electrical Discharges

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000093459D
Original Publication Date: 1967-Sep-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-06
Document File: 1 page(s) / 11K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Hayes, JL: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Very smooth polished surfaces are obtained by arranging a surface to be polished with a very small gap, e.g., about 5-10 microns, between it and a highly polished electrode. The latter acts as a master surface, electrically charging the surface of the material to be polished or the master electrode itself in a pulsed fashion by either DC or RF and allowing discharges to take place over the small gap. The discharges take place preferentially at protruding areas or points and flatten or polish these uneven areas by localized heating or melting.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 100% of the total text.

Page 1 of 1

Polishing of Surfaces Using Electrical Discharges

Very smooth polished surfaces are obtained by arranging a surface to be polished with a very small gap, e.g., about 5-10 microns, between it and a highly polished electrode. The latter acts as a master surface, electrically charging the surface of the material to be polished or the master electrode itself in a pulsed fashion by either DC or RF and allowing discharges to take place over the small gap. The discharges take place preferentially at protruding areas or points and flatten or polish these uneven areas by localized heating or melting.

Mechanical polishing techniques utilizing abrasive materials tend to cause surface scratching. Either electropolishing or chemical polishing or both often emphasize the grain structure of the material being polished. This process can therefore be used as a second step after mechanical polishing or electrochemical polishing where an especially smooth surface is desired.

The process is particularly useful to prepare substrate surfaces for the subsequent deposition of magnetic thin films. The smoother substrate surface results in a more uniform film, thus reducing bit failure. To prevent oxidation or the formation of unwanted compounds on the smooth surfaces, the process is preferably performed in an inert gas or liquid. Whether DC or RF is employed depends on the type of material to be polished. For example, pulsed DC used to polish metals. RF is employed for insulating materia...