PIKAL Paste Metal Polish for UHV Applications
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Pikal® paste is not just another metal polish: It is a superb metal polish. It has been formulated with an abrasive system that will not scratch highly polished surfaces being exposed to conditions of UHV and it contains a carrier (e. g. the suspending liquid) that quickly evaporates leaving a surface that, when reinserted into the UHV environment, will quickly pump down and not present problems with long time off-gassing.
150 gram squeeze tubes
If you don't need this kind of performance in a metal polish, and there are many who do not, then we would suggest you consider the lower cost Wenol® metal polishes, also available from SPI Supplies.
Pikal paste has found a number of other applications where it has become the preferred polishing aid when a high luster on a surface is needed. It is used on metal door knobs, metal tableware including both silver and silver plate, musical instruments, and other products made of nickel, chrome, and aluminum.
Not for plastic surfaces!
The unique combination of abrasive particles that makes PIKAL paste so effective on metal surfaces represents a hardness that is greater than any plastic material. Therefore, use on a plastic will surely start to abrade if not also scratch a shinny reflective surface. Of course, some plastics are filled with hard inert fillers and might not be adversely impacted by the use of the paste. But we urge caution on the use of PIKAL paste on plastics and if you should contemplate such use, then be certain you do an appropriate level of testing since only you can determine if PIKAL paste can be used in that application.
Pikal Paste is available in both an oval tin (250g) and a tube labeled as Pikal Care (150 g). The percent solids of Pikal Paste is slightly higher and is formulated to be used dry. Pikal Care has a slightly lower viscosity so that it can be more conveniently expelled from a tube. For some, there is a preference for a smaller container and being able to dispense the product from a tube. So although the two products are not exactly the same, they are for all practical purposes, nearly the same.
In our own laboratory, we like to use Pikal paste with a SPI-Wipes™ lint-free cotton wiper. We literally wrap some around the fore-finger, taking up some of the paste, and then apply the paste to the surface to be cleaned and polished. The unique combination of abrasive particles and organic extenders cause what seem to be the most stubborn deposits for other polishing compounds, to literally just "wipe way" with one or two "passes" of the finger with the wiper and polish. A second lint free wiper dipped in Asahiklin® AK225 Light Duty Degreaser (or acetone) removes almost all residues from the polish and then a final cleaning using an ultrasonic cleaner and Asahiklin® AK225 removes virtually all traces of the paste. If you don't have Asahiklin® AK225, you can use as a substitute, acetone, however exposure to acetone vapors is not desirable and should be avoided if at all possible.