SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1958

Vibratory Polishing of Metallographic Specimens for Optical and Electron Microscopy


In principle, the art of preparing metallographic specimens with abrasives has not altered for more than 50 years. In 1956, vibratory polishing was introduced to the field of metallography. At that time the technique was used only on aluminum alloys. Since that time, much effort has been expended by the Metallography Department of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory toward the development of this new mode of polishing. The technique was used on ferrous alloys and non-ferrous alloys other than aluminum. Preliminary experiments with small-diameter polishing bowls showed promise. Later experiments with larger (12-in. diameter) bowls were more successful from the standpoint of polishing speed and capacity of the polishing bowl. Details of the equipment and the technique are given, together with results and illustrative micrographs obtained on plain carbon steel, nickel-molybdenum alloy, and the interface of a europium oxide particle surrounded by stainless steel.

After a 14-month test period many advantages are apparent when compared with conventional hand-polishing techniques and many automatic polishing machines: Other work can be done while the polishing operation is going on; over-polishing is less likely to occur; less time is required to train personnel; and finishes obtained are comparable if not superior to those obtained by hand polishing.

Author Information

Long, EL
Union Carbide Corp., for the U. S. Atomic Energy Commission, Oak Ridge, Tenn.
Gray, RJ
Union Carbide Corp., for the U. S. Atomic Energy Commission, Oak Ridge, Tenn.
Price: $25.00
Contact Sales
Reprints and Permissions
Reprints and copyright permissions can be requested through the
Copyright Clearance Center
Developed by Committee: E04
Pages: 24–24
DOI: 10.1520/STP39529S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5652-4
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-5651-7