S.I. Howard Glass Company provides high-quality flat glass components to customers across a range of industries. We maintain a broad variety of standard glass parts and products and an extensive selection of custom glass fabrication capabilities. One of our core service offerings is lapping and polishing, manufacturing processes we use to reduce the thickness and improve the surface of glass materials and components.


Overview of Double-Sided Lapping and Polishing

Glass materials may undergo various finishing operations to ensure the final components have the right shape, size, and texture. Lapping and polishing are techniques used to alter the surface of a glass piece using abrasives. In lapping, the abrasive sits between two surfaces that are rubbed together. In polishing, the abrasive is generally rubbed onto a single surface. The former produces a rough surface since it uses coarser abrasives, while the latter produces a mirror-like surface since it uses finer abrasives. That’s why they are often used together to shape and finish high-accuracy glass components. 

While lapping and polishing operations typically modify one side of a glass workpiece at a time, double-sided lapping and polishing setups enable both sides to be abraded simultaneously. The process uses a liquid filled with abrasive particles to shape and finish the surface. It puts very little stress on the component, allowing for minimal thermal distortion. Additionally, its planetary action, combined with the utilization of a top plate and a bottom plate, results in excellent transmitted wavefront error, parallelism, surface roughness, and surface quality.

Our Lapping and Polishing Services

Lapping and polishing find application in many glass component manufacturing projects. They enable manufacturers to achieve the thickness and surface quality specified by the customer. Additionally, they can be used on stock or specialized materials for standard or custom orders. 

Once our team has received the component drawings from the client and confirmed the project is within our capabilities, we use double and single sided Speedfam machines to perform the necessary lapping and polishing operations. The equipment enables us to accommodate glass substrates up to and exceeding .9 millimeters in thickness on average, square pieces up to 6 1/2 inches in size, and wafers up to 15 inches. 

Whether a customer is in the aerospace, medical, or another industry, by partnering with us for their lapping and polishing needs, they benefit from our: 

  • Extensive in-house capabilities. In addition to lapping and polishing, we offer many other glass fabrication services to meet the needs of our customers. 
  • Over $1 million glass material inventory. We maintain a vast selection of glass materials, which enables us to offer faster lead times for many projects. 
  • Experienced employees. Many of our employees have years’ worth of experience within the industry and the company. 
  • Commitment to quality. Our quality management system is ISO 9001:2015 certified, so customers can trust us to deliver quality flat glass parts and products. 
  • Fast decision-making capabilities. As a small business, we can make faster decisions and maintain better communication.

Choose Lapping and Polishing Services From S.I. Howard Glass Company

At S.I. Howard Glass Company, we specialize in custom glass fabrication. Our broad range of services, including lapping and polishing, enables us to accommodate a variety of customer projects.

To learn more about our lapping and polishing or other glass fabrication capabilities, contact us today. To get started on your solution, request a quote.