How Polishing Pads Work

How Polishing Pads Work


Polishing pads are simply carriers for your cerium oxide slurry. They provide a substrate to hold the cerium and provide friction between your glass and the cerium slurry. We offer two main types of polishing pads; a perforated synthetic felt material and an extruded urethane material.


Our synthetic felt pads are an optical felt material with small, uniform perforations in the surface of the material. The synthetic felt fibers help to hold the cerium particles and the natural weave of the material allows water to flush through the material while holding the cerium particles. The perforations provide a break in the surface tension of the material and help to prevent suction on the surface of the pad. They also assist in providing friction between the cerium and your glass for optimal polishing.


The LP66 extruded urethane pad is formulated for optical precision polishing of glass surfaces. The pad is a denser material than the synthetic felt and will keep a flat surface longer. The naturally hydrophobic nature of the material allows water to freely flow across the surface while holding cerium particles for quick and efficient polishing. The LP66 material has less friction grab than the synthetic felt and can be easier to use for long term polishing. You can use more water with this pad in order to stay working longer without additional heat buildup on the surface of your glass.


Polishing pads by themselves will not polish your glass. They are just carriers for the cerium oxide element. You will need to charge your pad before use and during use to adequately and efficiently polish your glass. We recommend making a thin mud consistency of a small amount of cerium and spreading that over the surface of your polishing pad when you first receive it. Allow that to dry overnight and then use your pad with water the next day.

Mix 2 parts water with 1 part of cerium in a small squirt bottle and squirt small amounts in the center of your polishing pad as you work to achieve your polish. Use just enough water to keep your pad moist as you work so you don’t burn the cerium onto your glass. Don’t overuse cerium, as too much cerium will act as a lubricant instead of a polish.

Cerium slurry can build up over time on a polishing pad and glaze over the surface preventing an efficient polish on your glass. You can break up the surface of a Synthetic Felt Pad with the tines of a fork while the pad is moving on the grinder and the LP66 pad can be surface dressed with a diamond dresser while the pad is running on the grinder. Occasional dressing of polishing pads will help you to polish your pieces more efficiently with less cerium usage. It can often be confusing why your polishing pad is suddenly not polishing and cerium glazing is almost always the culprit.