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Vapor Polishing

We return machined polycarbonate and acrylic plastics to high optical clarity with chemical vapor treatment.

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The Clear Solution for Optical Clarity

We individually train our technicians in the science and skilled art of vapor polishing to ensure the highest quality results on Lexan®, Makrolon®, Plexiglas®, Lucite®, Ultem®, and other polycarbonate or acrylic plastics.

Benefits of Vapor Polishing

  • Improves optical clarity and gloss to matte or opaque plastics
  • Improves fluid flow, especially for medical equipment
  • Enabling viewing of the inside of the manifold for liquid presence
  • Creates passage of unobstructed light in electrical components
  • Produces high clarity and shine for displays or art
  • Smooths 3D printed and fused deposition parts
Vapor polishing


Crazing is a network of fine cracks under the surface of the material, also called hairline craze.

Different conditions and effects occur on different types of plastics.

In our experience we see it most commonly on materials such as ABS, Acrylic, Polycarbonate and Polystyrene.

Plastics are more susceptible to cracking and crazing when exposed to liquid chemicals and solvents.

This condition can occur months after processing.

To help prevent cracking and crazing, annealing works by reducing internal stresses and increasing the strengths of the joints and the system as a whole.

Vapor polishing pieces

Annealing to Prevent Crazing

We use precision heating and cooling to remove the stress introduced in plastic after vapor polishing, preventing crazing or micro-cracks on acrylic materials.

Mechanical benefits of plastic annealing

Other Services


Vapor polishing is a finishing service to produce high optical clarity, transparency, and shine. This service is great for polishing acrylic and polishing polycarbonate.

The process uses a heated solvent that reacts at the microscopic level of the surface of certain plastic substrates. Utilizing a chemical vapor and specialized equipment, the vapor polishing process changes the surface of the plastic part; creating a smooth, optically clear and bright surface.

Is sanding required? Some components may require sanding prior to vapor polish to achieve the best surface finish. Vapor polishing enhances the surface profile and may highlight imperfections. If machine lines are unacceptable, additional sanding prior to vapor polish may be necessary.

The benefits of vapor polishing acrylic and polycarbonate include:

  • Improving the aesthetics of a finished part by imparting a glossy, professionally-polished look
  • Smoothing out surface irregularities and gate areas on medical instruments and devices, ensuring that debris does not adhere to the surface of the instruments during medical procedures
  • Clarifying the finish on a part, resulting in an optically or ‘water clear’ finish
  • Creating components that light needs to pass through freely, in manifold and light-emitting applications of acrylic or polycarbonate products

Because the vapor polishing process requires exceptional skill with chemical applications and specialized vapor polishing equipment, Arrow Cryogenics ensures that their vapor polishing technicians are individually trained to exacting standards. This guarantees parts polished to perfection, in a strictly controlled and regulated environment.

Annealing prevents crazing or micro-cracks on acrylic.

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