A Novel Mechanical Polishing Technique by Using Shear Thickening Fluid

Ref: 13836
The novel mechanical polishing technique can be used to polish specimens with a complex structure, including the inner side of hollow components, which cannot be done by using any existing polishing technique.

Key advantages
  • Flexibility for polishing complex structures, including the inner side of hollow components
  • Easy and fast process for polishing multiple surfaces of the specimen at different heights and angles;
  • No need to use a polishing pad and therefore less cost for the maintenance.


The existing mechanical polishing technique requires the use of a polishing pad and the polishing slurry. During the polishing process, the specimen is pressed on the polishing pad and only the lowest part of the specimen can be polished. Hence, the existing polishing machine cannot be used to polish a specimen having surfaces at different heights. Besides, everything has to be done by a trained technician or a customized machine and causes considerable economic and/or labour cost. Another problem for the existing polishing machine is the wear of the polishing pad, which requires a routinely examination and replacement of the pad, resulting in extra maintenance cost.

The invention

Our novel polishing technique uses a shear thickening fluid (STF), which can transfer from a liquid phase to a solid phase depending on the shearing conditions. Under the static condition, the specimen can be fully dipped into the STF, added with additional abrasive particles, e.g. SiC. When the rotation speed of the specimen reaches the critical value, the surrounding STF becomes solidified, which then firmly holds the abrasive particles to polish all the surfaces of the specimen at different heights and angles. By using our novel polishing technique, complex structures, including the inner surfaces of hollow components, can be easily polished. Besides, there is no need to use a polishing pad.

Proposed polishing system

Proposed polishing system


Surface polishing, especially for complex structure components

Principal inventors

Dr. Li Chang, Prof. Klaus Friedrich, Prof. Lin Ye

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