Metallographic Sample Preparation (Major Steps)
Metallographic Sample Preparation (Major Steps)

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“Quality control for metals & alloys are critical to ensure structure integrity and reliability for the manufacturing use and consumer application…”


 Benefits of Metallographic Sample Preparation:  

  • Analysing the microstructure of the physical structure and components material (with microscopy).
  • Determine if the material has been made / processed correctly
  • Discovering why a material’s quality passed or failed during application & conditions
  • Quality Control on product reliability & integrity

  Major Steps:  

Sectioning and Cutting

Whatever the material is, samples need to be cut accordingly to the area of interest and for handling convenience. Some of cutting methods used are: Abrasive cutting, Diamond wafer cutting, Electric discharge machining (EDM), Fracturing, Thin microtome sectioning, Sawing, Shearing, Water jet cutting, etc.

Note: It is important to reduce chances of microstructure damage to avoid producing false metallographic characterization analysis later.


After cutting into a small work pieces, it will be compressed in mounting moulds with thermoplastics – acrylics, ambient castable resins or thermoplastic glues. Which: 

  • Protects the material’s surface and edges.
  • Fills spots that has pores on the material.
  • Handles irregular-shaped samples, conveniently.

Grinding & Polishing

Grinding helps to prepare the cut surface or mount for metallographic examination by:

  • Reduce the damage created by sectioning
  • Creating a flat, reflective, smooth and scratch free surface
  • Handles irregular-shaped samples, conveniently.

After the grinding process, polishing is done to create a clearer view of the surface on the object while removing minor scratches.


Metallographic etching is a chemical technique used to highlight features of metals at microscopic levels. the specimen is covered or dipped into a protective layer of etching liquid (this varies from electrochemical, chemical, physical or cathodic vacuum).

  • Helps to reveal tiny cracks, pores, or inclusions within the metal samples.
  • Metallurgists can discover why certain metal qualities pass or fail according to application.

Need advice on Metallographic Sample Preparation?

Mr. Samson Chong, Product Specialist (+6012-223 2576 - WhatsApp

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Published : 26-Aug-2019

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