Air Profiler vs. Ultrasonic Polisher


When Should I Use an Air Profiler vs. an Ultrasonic Polisher?

Air profilers and ultrasonic polishers bring speed and efficiency to mold and die polishing in different ways.


Air Profilers for Medium to Large Surfaces

Air profilers are the most common and most economical type of mechanical polisher on the market, and can be used on a variety of shapes and sizes of molds and dies. They are the best choice for medium to large surfaces, 3/8” square or larger — essentially the everyday mold and die polishing most shops do. Air profilers also can be used with a variety of polishing accessories and most conventional moldstones. They are available with different RPM and stroke length options to meet the needs of most applications.


Ultrasonic Polishers for Small and Intricate Surfaces

Ultrasonic polishers are phenomenal tools for use on small molds with difficult areas and details such as sharp corners and ribs. They are limited in terms of the moldstones and polishing accessories that can be used, but can prove to be a worthy investment for shops whose workload consists of a great deal of intricate, detail polishing, especially on hard/dense surfaces, including heat-treated molds and dies, carbide dies, and narrow slots molded by EDM.

As molds and dies get smaller and more complex, such as the ones common in the automotive and medical industries, purchasing an ultrasonic polisher will offer ROI by vastly reducing finishing time. In the hands of an experienced polisher, an ultrasonic system may cut finishing time by 40-65%. In fact, you may break even on the cost of an ultrasonic system after just three or four multiple cavity/core molds are polished — it’s that much more efficient.


Comparing Stroke Speed and Stroke Length

At 20,000 to 25,000 strokes per second and a stroke length of .00004 to .000012 inches, an ultrasonic polisher offers complete fingertip control. Our standard air profilers offer speeds of 10,000 to 52,000 strokes per minute and an effective stroke range anywhere from .011 to .06 inches depending on the model. By comparison, the speed and stroke length between the two types of equipment are vastly different. Ultrasonic polishers are superior in terms of speed, precise control, and uniform polishing.

In summary, both equipment types reduce finishing time and provide a tremendous amount of value, but making the investment in an ultrasonic polisher can pay dividends when the surface/job calls for detailed work.