Precautions To Consider With Metallographic Sample Preparation

Determining microstructure details of a material is made possible through metallographic testing. Sample preparation must take place first before this testing can begin though. If you exercise these precautions, this process will go smoothly and subsequently leave you with refined samples to test for as long as you like. 

Define What an Ideal Sample Looks Like 

So that your sample preparation methods remain organized and efficient, it's a good idea to come up with some goals for creating the perfect sample. Then you can work backward when thinking about the steps it will take to get samples to have certain characteristics. 

Typically, samples being studied through metallographic testing are better off when they don't have surface deformations and imperfections. The right size of the sample also matters for how it's studied using this special type of analysis. Look at your sample preparations carefully to make sure they can ultimately bring about the perfect sample that's deemed fitting for microstructure analysis.

Find Out What Type of Cutting Must Take Place

In order to get samples down to the right size and expose the right attributes, cutting has to take place. You just need to make sure you perform strategic cutting as to not damage your samples before they're fully analyzed.

For instance, if your samples can't be exposed to heat throughout this stage of sample preparation, then you need to find a specialty saw that offers cold cuts. Or maybe you need to be extra careful with the cuts you make and thus need a saw that's extremely precise. Assessing these things before cutting takes place will help you protect any samples worked on.

Make Sure Tooling Marks Aren't Left Over After Grinding

One of the more important stages of metallographic sample preparation — regardless of materials — is grinding. It is through this step that you can remove a lot of surface imperfections. You just need to make sure there aren't any tooling marks left over after you get finished using a wet or dry grinding machine.

These marks would negatively impact the results you're able to achieve through metallographic analysis. You might have to make multiple passes across a sample's surface to deal with all tool marks or use a special type of grit with the grinding machine being used.

If you want to study materials in an in-depth way, metallographic analysis can take place. Just make sure you have sample preparation down perfectly so that you truly make the most out of this type of testing for various materials. 

For more information on metallographic sample preparation, contact a professional near you.