Vibratory polishers have been in use in the Metallography Department of the Metallurgy Division of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) for approximately four years. During this period, vibratory polishing changed from a complementary tool for standard metallographic techniques to the prime method of specimen preparation. An estimated 90 per cent of all specimens are now prepared through vibratory polishing in this department.
With the advent of the new hot-cell facility to be constructed at ORNL, this department was requested to plan to equip the metallography cells. Plans were made for adaptation to remote operation, based on past experience with the vibratory polishers in the “cold” laboratory and several features unique to the polishers. Several necessary design changes were made which in turn had to be compensated for in the vibratory system to maintain proper polishing action. To complement the remoted polishers a new specimen holder was designed which allows easy insertion and removal of the specimens using Master Slave type manipulators.