Lapping and polishing are processes designed to remove material from a work piece to achieve a desirable surface finish, dimension, shape or combination of these characteristics. The similarities between lapping and polishing are in the fact that they both use an abrasive in an oil or water based carrier, a vehicle to carry the compound to the work piece and the removal of material from the work piece to achieve the desired finish. The main difference between lapping and polishing is the amount of material being removed and the final appearance of the work piece. Lapping can remove much more material and leaves a dull matte finish, while polishing removes a small amount of material and leaves a bright, reflective finish.
Lapping is a machining technique that is used to produce precision finishes on machined parts. Lapping can be used to produce a very flat surface, flat lapping, or to produce good fitment between two mating components, i.e. gear teeth, shaft and bushing, shaft and bearing, piston and cylinder, etc.. Timesaver Lapping Compounds are typically used in precision fitment between mating components as it breaks down too quickly to be an effective medium in flat lapping procedures. The abrasives in Timesaver Lapping Compounds are designed to produce a precision finish and fitment between two components without charging into the metal or continuing to cut.