Topographic orientation on buffed polymeric substrates: The mechanism of wax buffing



This paper reports on the observation that buffed waxy polymers control the orientation of a vapor-deposited material subsequently deposited thereon. The insight into the mechanism of the buffing process of waxy polycrystalline polymers that these observations provide is presented. When a polycrystalline waxy polymer is buffed, grooves are formed. The dimensions of the grooves on the waxy polymer surface are substantially finer than the dimensions of the fibers of the buffing cloth. It is proposed that the buffing process stretches the polymer sufficiently to cause fibrillation, which results in the fine grooves observed. The fine grooves provide the topography necessary for orientation of the material deposited thereon.