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Metallographic preparation of a material involves the elimination of artifacts or scratches from fine polishing and may be achieved by methods such as attack polishing, vibratory polishing, chemical polishing, electrolytic polishing, and electromechanical polishing. This article discusses the mechanism, operating procedure, advantages, and limitations of chemical and electrolytic polishing of samples for metallographic preparation. It provides information on the specimen preparation, apparatus used, and safety precautions to be followed during the polishing process. The various groups of electrolytes used in electropolishing of several metals and alloys are reviewed. The article concludes with a discussion on local electropolishing.

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