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To shorten the long polishing time of vibration polishing of metallographic specimens, an electrochemical effect was added. Therefore, a stainless steel plate was welded into the PVC inlet of a vibration apparatus as cathode. The specimen (anode) was connected with a sliding contact to a copper grid supplied by an ac-dc power control unit. In order to prevent analytic reactions, the 800-g lead weight was coated by poly(vinyl chloride) (PVC). To give a successful combination, the important factors of both the mechanical vibration polishing and the electrolytic polishing must harmonize. The mechanical abrasion must be kept strong to control the electrolytic attack, while the electropolishing conditions are determined by plotting a current density-voltage curve. The method has been applied successfully to pure metals as well as to homogeneous alloys. Owing to the appreciable shortening of polishing time and the high surface quality of even very soft materials, it is a valuable addition to vibration polishing.
metallography, polishing, electropolishing, mechanical, polishing, specimens
Dr. rer. nat. Diplom-Ingenieur, Max Planck Institut für Metallforschung, Stuttgart
Metallographer, Max Planck Institut für Metallforschung, Stuttgart