How does metal polish give metal mirror finish?

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How does metal polish give metal mirror finish?

In: Engineering

Non-smooth things tend to scatter light reflections whereas smooth things tend to reflect back a coherent image (provided it’s also made of some material that doesn’t absorb a bunch of light).

So, how do we smooth things? We take something abrasive, like a file or sandpaper, and rub it on the rough thing. Eventually the rough thing gets about as smooth as the sandpaper.

Using finer and finer sandpaper, you can start to get a smoother surface. Polish is really just super fine sandpaper as a paste. The metal will get smoother and smoother until it’s so smooth the light doesn’t scatter anymore.