Cerium Oxide for buffing glass scratches

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by lindsayanng, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. lindsayanng macrumors 68000

    lindsayanng

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    May 4, 2008
    Location:
    East Haven, CT
    #1
    I'm just curious about the idea of actually buffing out glass scratches on an iphone. I have soem SMALL scratches, and found this organic compound to be the best thing for buffing out medium to small scratches on glass surfaces.

    I am just wondering i were to tape any/all openings to the inside of the phone closed, and just buffed away at the scratches, would it harm anything?

    I have NO IDEA how thick the actual glass is, and what this might do to the touch sensitivity, so thats why i'm asking.

    Heres a link
     
  2. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

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    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #2
    I believe that the iPhone is optical grade tempered glass. If so it would have a coating that should not be removed.
     
  3. lindsayanng thread starter macrumors 68000

    lindsayanng

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    May 4, 2008
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    East Haven, CT
    #3
    i have been doing some research and i have found NO statements about any type of coating on the optical quality glass. if that is the case, then that stuff definitely would work on the iphone's screen, and that would ROCK!

    we have people who provide our touch screens for the machines that we make, i am going to talk tothem, as they probably have a bunch of info for me as well.. But if it is just plain, optical quality glass, then removing (small) scratches would not be that difficult. That stuff i linked to is very safe and will not make the screen "coarse" or gritty feeling after you are done.
     
  4. lindsayanng thread starter macrumors 68000

    lindsayanng

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    #4
    i will post back with any info we get from our vendors, but if anyone has any first hand knowledge.. PLEASE share
     
  5. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #5
    I'm not saying it doesn't have a coating (although it doesn't seem to to me), but neither being optical grade nor being tempered imply that glass has a coating, in general. Optical grade is defined by the purity and tempering obviously is a heat treatment (as in a treatment that changes the internal structure of the glass but doesn't involve coating the material or adding any substances to the glass).

    But speaking of this, I need to get some of that stuff as my dinner and coffee table incurred some minor scratches on my move to Chicago.... What trade names does it go by in the US, and is it available at standard hardware stores?

    Also per something like this... http://www.facetingmachines.com/polishing_glass.shtml ... the fact that the glass is tempered may impact what grade of the polishing compound you get. It mentions that the higher purity polishing compound works much better on tempered glass.

    Also this: http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/First-Look/iPhone3G might help you understand how the glass fits into the rest of the assembly....
     
  6. lindsayanng thread starter macrumors 68000

    lindsayanng

    Joined:
    May 4, 2008
    Location:
    East Haven, CT
    #6
    thanks for that link to the assembly of the iphone. I am really curious to know how THICK the glass is. That would have a lot to do with how much you can buff off before you start to mess with the touch sensibility.

    The stuff i linked to is supposed to be the #1 scratch removing material, and it is all natural so it wont eat away at anything... That stuff is SOO fine that it can actually make plastic shine! Which is really hard to do, since plastic usually just scuffs. It is like a plaster consistency, which is also nice and easy to work with.

    If i dont get any straight answers, i will just try it on a small corner of my phone.
     
  7. ntrigue macrumors 68040

    ntrigue

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2007
    #7
    Just to put it out there...

    You could buy the replacement panel on eBay and test it out.
     
  8. chinl macrumors member

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    Jul 20, 2008
    #8
    I find it disturbing when people claim that because something is "all natural" it is perfectly safe. There are lots of plants and animals that will kill you if you eat them. There are natural gases and minerals that will dissolve you and your iPhone. "All Natural" is more of a claim to marketing than any assurance something is good or safe.
     
  9. Saladinos macrumors 68000

    Saladinos

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    Feb 26, 2008
    #9
    Organic in a chemical sense doesn't mean the same as in a food sense. Most of the chemicals the natural world uses are inorganic. Organics are mostly to do with Hydrocarbons (crude oil, alcohol, plastics, stuff like that).

    The touchscreen is capacitive. A capacitor is basically two conducting plates (on either side of the glass), with an insulator inside (SiO2, or glass, in this case). The separation of charges by an insulator creates something called capacitance (an ability to store energy in the electric field between the two plates).

    The screen has millions of transparent little capacitors, and when you touch the screen, you put pressure on some of them. That changes the distance between the plates, and hence their electronic properties. This is monitored and processed, and it determines where you touched.

    Now, if Apple mounted this under a protective layer of glass (which is possible, if the screen is sensitive enough), then you should be fine. If not, they probably put some chemical protective coating over the exposed capacitor plates to protect them, which you don't want to remove. I think they went for the former (protective layer of glass over touchscreen), but that's a guess.
     
  10. bmwpowere36m3 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
    #10
    I've used the stuff to remove scratches and swirling from car windows/windshields... however I don't think I'd use it on the phone. It's fairly abrasive stuff and the iPhone's screen seems delicate. I guess the worst would be a screen/LCD replacement if it screws it up... an awfully expensive test. I would just live with them, unless their really bad in which case you don’t have much to lose.
     
  11. lindsayanng thread starter macrumors 68000

    lindsayanng

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    #11
    saladinos, thanks for all that info. That is what i really wanted to know. Where the capacitors reside so that i know if i buff down the glass .001mm, will i ruin anything? Or is the glass a protecrtive covering for all that.

    I know that all natural doesnt mean that its perfect and will not harm anything. What i was saying is that the particular material is less harmful than the chemical compounds used for touching up glass scratches.

    Also, that stuff comes in different sized grit, so its not ALL course and abbrasive - like the stuff you used on your windsheild.

    Honeslty, the scratches dont bother me TOO Much, but if i CAN buff them out, when not?

    I am at work not, so i will contact the touch screen people and see if they know anything. I know all engineering nerds are interested in the iphones touch screen.
     
  12. sk8mash macrumors 6502a

    sk8mash

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    England
    #12
    If its an iPhone were talking about here, then you can't replace just the glass.
     
  13. FearlessFreep macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 15, 2008
    Location:
    Northern Virginia, USA
    #13
    Actually in the 3G the glass and digitizer are separate, unlike the original iPhone. So In theory you can just replace the glass.
     
  14. lindsayanng thread starter macrumors 68000

    lindsayanng

    Joined:
    May 4, 2008
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    East Haven, CT
    #14
    hmm.. i didnt know the screens were different between the 3G and the original.

    I have the original, so if i do find that this works successfully, then i will MAKE SURE to tell people it was only tested on the 2G original iphone.

    Still no word from the touch providers.
     
  15. sk8mash macrumors 6502a

    sk8mash

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    Dec 1, 2007
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    England
    #15
    If this was referring to me, I said iPhone, not iPhone 3G.
     
  16. lindsayanng thread starter macrumors 68000

    lindsayanng

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    #16
    well, i did get some confirmation that this stuff will work on the iphone. Basically the capcitors sit under the glass and the electricity from the capacitor jumps through the glass screen onto your finger (or other conductive material). This basically pulls more powere to those particular capacitors which is how the phone knows which area of the screen you are touching. it does not in any way have anything to do with pressure. You cant BEND that glass. it works like static electricity, the capacitors are charged, and when a conductor gets close enough to pull the electricity from it, it will jump to the conductive material (your finger)

    the reason it doesnt work if you hover over it is because the glass creates just enough resistence that it wont jump THAT easily, and that is why you have some issues with having to tap a few times vs. buttons being tapped without even touching.


    So with this knowledge, i really think it would be entirely safe to use the cerium oxide to buff out small scratches - nothing you could fit your fingernail in though.

    i would just LOVE to have a little more information on the thickness of the actual glass. i can not seem to find that ANYWHERE!! hasnt anyone take one of these apart and measures that?!
     
  17. lindsayanng thread starter macrumors 68000

    lindsayanng

    Joined:
    May 4, 2008
    Location:
    East Haven, CT
    #17
    I just wanted to bring this back to the top to see if anyone had an info on the thickness of the glass on the iphone 2G

    I did purchase the stuff, and will be trying it out when it comes, so long as the thickness is correct.
     
  18. Eallan macrumors 6502

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    Sep 12, 2007
  19. mbopy22 macrumors 6502

    mbopy22

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2005
    #20
    Hello??

    Any update??

    I want to polish my 3G's screen, I bought it yesterday and I don't know what the heck the previous owner did, but the full screen has severa annoying scratches that brigt while the screen is projecting something white or clear - like using sms -

    I got a good deal, I trade in my 2G (with an almost dead bat life ) and only 40$ extra.

    Any help??
     

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