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The primary purpose of metallographic polishing is to produce an optically flat surface suitably free of polishing defects for subsequent microscopic examination. How this suitable surface is obtained is of secondary importance.
With such modern aids as automatic polishing machines and electropolishers, a technician with only a small amount of training can generally prepare satisfactory specimens in a relatively short time. However, this type of advanced equipment is not essential except in special cases. Examples are shown of the type of work that experienced metallographers can accomplish with polishing wheels that are much the same as those used since the earliest days of metallography.
Link, Harold S
Research Engineer, Applied Research Laboratory, U. S. Steel Corp., Monroeville, Pa.