Fast, Efficient and Repeatable Sample Preparation and Analysis of Ferrous Materials

Many years ago, ferrous materials were rare, and were found only as debris of meteorites. Iron and its alloys were used only for accessories, such as cultural items or jewelry. With the beginning of metallurgical processes, initially for processing bronze, iron and its alloys gained importance and began to be used for various applications, such as agricultural machinery.

The industrial revolution witnessed a rapid growth in technical skills, and knowledge about a material’s chemical and physical properties. Blast furnace technology enabled the advancement of various metallurgical processes and ferrous materials, and is now applied to many defined chemical compositions consisting of alloying additions, such as oxygen or carbon. Today’s ferrous materials consist of hundreds of alloys and their corresponding applications.

The manufacturer and user have to depend on the materials properties and their use, e.g. as a part of a complex multiple-part construction. To control the chemical composition and mechanical properties sample preparation and analysis, as a methodology, was established at the beginning of production of ferrous materials.

This article discusses how to perform sample preparation and analysis on several of today’s commonly used ferrous materials, and makes a comparison of its approaches with the advanced preparatory methods, which use the latest consumables and equipment.

Background

Heat Treatment of Ferrous Materials

Sample preparation and analysis was created for use in process control, R&D and failure analysis. Highly stressed materials require suitable mechanical properties to ensure reliability, elasticity, flexibility, or durability depending on the use.

Heat treated steels are commonly used for high friction applications, such as gear wheels, steering rods, and engine components. Heat treating involves controlled heating and cooling of metal or alloys in a solid state to obtain particular properties, this is done by locally modifying its microstructure. Typical heat treatment processes include; annealing, quenching, normalizing, tempering or stress relieving. For example, gear wheels should be hard, and should resist wear on their teeth surfaces, but need to be elastic at the core to compensate for irregularities or wear during the start-up process. A common heat treatment procedure is induction hardening, where the work pieces surface is heated by alternating a voltage-induced eddy current. Subsequent direct quenching results in maintaining a martensitic structure, which is considerably harder than the ferrite/perlite core material if carburized steel is used.

Heat treatment is important for many end-use sectors including automotive, house constructions, aeronautical, and for razor wheels and others. Steels can be strengthened by more than one type of heat treatment method. Non-ferrous alloys of Cu, Al, Ni, Ti or Mg can be strengthened too, but not to the same level and methods as steels.

Another technique to improve mechanical properties is chemical-thermal surface curing, such as carburizing or nitriding. In nitriding the work piece is kept in an atmosphere of ammonia and hydrogen. Defined partial pressures in the atmosphere results in a nitride formation within the surface layer, this leads to a change of hardness from the core to the material surface. To manage such hardness depths (nitride diffusion zones to be formed), optical measurements on cross-sections can be assessed. For both cases, the sample should be prepared properly to perform such examinations.

Efficient Sample Preparation Using Planarmet™ 300 for Iron and its Alloys

Sample Preparation Process

To sample a work piece with suitable dimensions, abrasive cutters can be used for sectioning. These cutters come in various sizes and wheel diameters, to cut varying sizes of work pieces. Correct selection of the cutter wheel is the initial step to start an efficient sample preparation. An abrasive cut-on wheel with appropriate abrasive bonding needs to be selected, depending on the material’s hardness. Usually bonding strength decreases with the increasing hardness of the material to be cut. Abrasive particles are released more frequently in a soft bonded wheel (for hard materials) than in hard bonded wheels.

The appropriate wheel selection is a question of cutting quality, money and time. The abrasive particle removal of a softer bonded wheel is higher than that of a hard bonded wheel. The time-per-cut process also depends on the abrasive bonding of the wheel. Choosing the appropriate wheel is usually a matter of time, quality and money. Table 1 displays the recommended abrasive wheels for various ferrous materials, and their related parameters for the AbrasiMatic™ 300 equipped with 12 in (305 mm) abrasive wheels.

Table 1. Recommended abrasive and parameters wheel, based on 12in (305 mm) AbrasiMatic™ 300 abrasive cutter.

Wheel Type Material Avg. Feedrate Max. Feedrate
Soft ferrous metals 50-350 HV (5-35 HRC) 1.25 in [3 mm] Soft steel 20 HRC 0.019 in [0.5 mm]/sec 0.031 in [0.8 mm]/sec
Medium soft ferrous metals 350-500 HV (35-50 HRC) 1.25 in [3 mm] Medium hard steel 30 HRC 0.019 in [0.5 mm]/sec 0.047 in [1.2 mm]/sec
Medium hard ferrous metals 500-700 HV (50-60 HRC) 1.25 in [3 mm] hard steel 50 HRC 0.019 in [0.5 mm]/sec 0.031 in [0.8 mm]/sec
Hard ferrous metals 600-700 HV (55-60 HRC) 1.25 in [3 mm] Very hard steel 60 HRC 0.015 in [0.4 mm]/sec 0.023 in [0.6 mm]/sec
Soft ferrous metals 50-350 HV (5-35 HRC) 1.25 in [3 mm] Stainless Steel 0.019 in [0.5 mm]/sec 0.031 in [0.8 mm]/sec
Medium soft ferrous metals 350-500 HV (350-500 HRC) 1.25 in [3 mm] Cast iron 0.011 in [0.3 mm]/sec 0.023 in [0.6 mm]/sec

When employing a semi-automatic grinder and polisher, the load applied per sample and the head and base speed are adjustable. Generally 300 rpm for the grinding stage and 150 rpm for the polishing stage are appropriate for the base speed.

For preliminary coarse grinding, CarbiMet™ SiC grinding paper is used to remove most deformation zones created during the cutting process. Users can also achieve best edge retention for further preparation steps, ensuring grinding and polishing media is evenly distributed and homogenous all over the sample surface during the coarse-fine polishing stages. Usually one SiC paper lasts for about two minutes (depending on the sample material). Sometimes multiple papers may be required to prepare the sample for the subsequent steps. In soft materials loose SiC particles get embedded on the surface, and pressure and grinding times need to be adjusted when handling soft ferritic materials.

Adjustment can be made of the relative rotation of specimen to base plate. Usually contra mode is aggressive rather than complementary, and leads to a higher rate of material removal. The polishing stages can minimize the deformation zone, and after the last polishing step the sample surface is shiny and ready for examination or etching.

Improved Method for Regular and Heat-Treated Steels in Production Environments

The method discussed above illustrates the principle of preparation for most metals and alloys. In steel producing plants and hardening shops, where a high sample throughput needs to be achieved, Buehler has enhanced the preparation considerably by utilizing the latest consumables and equipment. The process cycle time has improved by increased material removal rate after the initial grinding step.

The PlanarMet™ 300 is used for the first, and only grinding stage (Figure 1), with an alumina stone acting as the base plate, and with a grit size of 120 to easily achieve removal rates of 400 µm/minute.

PlanarMet™ 300 stone grinder

Figure 1. PlanarMet™ 300 stone grinder

After cutting the samples are set on a force sample holder, and based on the sample size they can be utilized in unmounted and mounted forms. This sample holder can be used for all preparation steps, reducing the time, and avoiding taking the samples in and out of the holder between steps. The important task is to clean the samples properly after the grinding and polishing steps, to ensure that no abrasive particles from earlier steps contaminate the subsequent steps. Ethanol and water are usually used as purifier.

Table 2. shows the preparation methods for grinding and polishing consumables and parameters for various metals and alloys. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Table 2. Generic contemporary preparation method for many metals and alloys.

Surface Abrasive/ Size Load lb. (N)/Specimen Base Speed (RPM) Relative Rotation* Time (min:s)
CarbiMet 120 [P120] 240 [P280] grit SiC water cooled 6 (27) 300 >> Until plane
UltraPad 9 µm MetaDi Supreme Diamond* 6 (27) 150 >< 05:00
TriDent 3 µm MetaDi Supreme Diamond* 6 (27) 150 >> 04:00
ChemoMet 0.02-0.06 µm MasterMet colloidal Silica MasterMet colloidal Silica 150 >< 02:00

Note: *Plus MetaDi Fluid as desired
>> = Complimentary (platen and specimen holder rotate in the same direction)
>< = Contra (platen and specimen holder rotate in opposite directions)

The preparation method for soft/medium and medium/hard iron and its alloys, and a method for unmounted samples are shown in Tables 3–5.

Table 3. Improved Preparation Method for Soft/Medium (735 HRC) Ferrous Materials Using PlanarMet 300.

Surface Abrasive/Size Load lb. [N]/Specimen Base Speed (RPM) Head Speed (RPM) Relative Rotation* Time (min.s)
Alumina Grinding Stone 120 [P120] grit 7 [30] fixed 120 >> 1:00
UltraPad 9 µm MetaDi Supreme Diamond* 7 [30] 150 60 >< 4:00
VerduTex 3 µm MetaDi Supreme Diamond* 7 [30] 150 60 >> 3:00
ChemoMet 0.05 µm MasterPrep Alumina 7 [30] 150 60 >< 1:30

Note:
*Plus MetaDi Fluid as desired
>> = Complimentary (platen and specimen holder rotate in the same direction)
>< = Contra (platen and specimen holder rotate in opposite directions)

Table 4. Improved Preparation Method for Medium/Hard (735 HRC) Ferrous Materials Using Planar Met300.

Surface Abrasive/Size Load lb. [N]/Specimen Base Speed (RPM) Head Speed (RPM) Relative Rotation* Time (min.s)
Alumina Grinding Stone 120 [P120] grit 7 [30] fixed 120 >> 1:00
UltraPad 9 µm MetaDi Supreme Diamond* 7 [30] 150 60 >< 4:00
VerduTex 3 µm MetaDi Supreme Diamond* 7 [30] 150 60 >> 3:00

Note:
*Plus MetaDi Fluid as desired
>> = Complimentary (platen and specimen holder rotate in the same direction)
>< = Contra (platen and specimen holder rotate in opposite directions)

Table 5. Improved Preparation Method for Unmounted Medium/Hard (735 HRC) Ferrous Materials Using PlanarMet 300.

Surface Abrasive/Size Load lb. [N]/Specimen Base Speed (RPM) Head Speed (RPM) Relative Rotation* Time (min.s)
Alumina Grinding Stone 120 [P120] grit 7 [30] fixed 120 >> 01:00
UltraPad 9µm MetaDi Supreme Diamond* 7 [30] 150 60 >< 04:00
MicroFloc 3µm MetaDi Supreme Diamond* 7 [30] 150 60 >> 04:00

Note:
*Plus MetaDi Fluid as desired
>> = Complimentary (platen and specimen holder rotate in the same direction)
>< = Contra (platen and specimen holder rotate in opposite directions)

For the preparation methods, the first step after sectioning is grinding the samples for one minute on the PlanarMet™ 300. The alumina wheel, with a grit size of 120 [P120] (Figure 2), and adjusted parameters such as 30 N per sample, head speed (base speed at 1500 rpm), and the relative rotation of head and base, dressing depth and dressing cycle, ensure continuous and steady material removal by saving on consumable costs. Based on the material hardness, the MRR is in the 250-800 µm/minute range, with an even scratch pattern.

Highly durable grinding wheel for initial grinding (alumina).

Figure 2. Highly durable grinding wheel for initial grinding (alumina).

The preparation method for soft/medium ferrous materials is shown in Table 3. The initial step involves grinding for one minute on the PlanarMet™ 300. After grinding, the samples are even and the core part of the deformation zone stimulated by cutting is removed. The scratch pattern is refined and the deformation zone is reduced to a limit usomg a 9 µm polishing step on the UltraPad™ polishing cloth. The durable VerduTex™ silk cloth employed with 3 µm diamond suspension removes the deformation created in the previous polishing step, and the final polishing step on ChemoMet™ with MasterPrep™ polishing media provides a mirror-like, deformation-free sample surface. Until this stage the samples were clamped in the sample holder. The preparation of the sample is completed, and it can be further examined by microscopy. The samples are ready for hardness testing (above 500 g load) after the 3 µm polishing step.

The preparation method, for medium to hard ferrous materials, e.g. heat-treated steels, as shown in Table 4, consists of three steps. After the initial grinding, utilizing the PlanarMet 300, a 9 µm coarse polishing is carried out using the Apex™ Hercules S rigid grinding disc. The Apex Hercules S disc is suitable for steels, and is often used to polish with 6 or 9 µm for hard steels. After a 4 minute pause, the scratch pattern and deformation from the earlier grinding step are removed, and final polishing is carried out. A 3 µm polishing step on VerduTex or MicroFloc cloths is used for the final stage of sample preparation, because of a higher hardness and resistance of the material to external impurities.

The samples can be used for microstructural examination or hardness testing. When the samples show sharp edges and are unmounted, the MicroFloc polishing cloth is ideal for the final polishing step for hard steels (Table 5). The polishing cloth has a soft, long napped surface that covers the entire contact area of the sample, including the edges, and results in a shiny surface finish.

Experimental

Material Selection

Table 6 lists the new sample preparation methods that were applied on the ferrous materials.

Table 6. Material selection and correspondent chemical composition evaluated by cast analysis.

Abbreviation Material No. ASTM C [wt.%] Si [wt.%] Mn [wt.%] P [wt.%] S [wt.%] Cr [wt.%] Mo [wt.%] Ni [wt.%] Al [wt.%] Cr+Mo+Ni [wt.%] Cu [wt.%] other
100Cr6 1.3505 6440 K (AMS) 0.93–1.05 0.15- 0.35 0.25-0.45 ≤ 0.025 = 0.015 1.35-1.60 ≤ 0.10   ≤ 0.050   ≤ 0.30 O≤ 0.0015
M2 1.1003 Soft-iron ≤ 0.030 traces ≤ 0.030 ≤ 0.010 ≤ 0.025 ≤ 0.035     traces      
C35 1.0501 1040 (SAE) 0.32-0.39 ≤ 0.40 0.50-0.80 ≤ 0.045 ≤ 0.045 ≤ 0.40 ≤ 0.10 ≤ 0.40   ≤ 0.63    
C45 1.0503 1043 (SAE) 0.42-0.50 ≤ 0.40 0.50-0.80 ≤ 0.045 ≤ 0.045 ≤ 0.40 ≤ 0.10 ≤ 0.40   ≤ 0.63    
9SMn28K 1.0715 1213 (SAE) ≤ 0.14 ≤ 0.05 0.9-1.3 ≤ 0.11 0.27-0.33              
42CrMo4 1.7225 A 372 0.30-0.45 ≤ 0.40 0.60-0.90 ≤ 0.025 < 0.035 0.90-1.20 0.15-0.30          
C100S 1.1274 1095 (AISI) 0.95-1.05 0.15-0.35 0.30-0.60 ≤ 0.025 ≤ 0.025 ≤ 0.04 ≤ 0.10 ≤ 0.40        
X5CrNi1810 1.4301 304 (SAE) ≤ 0.07 ≤ 1.0 ≤ 2.0 ≤ 0.045 ≤ 0.015 17.0-19.5   8.0-10.5       N≤ 0.11
25CrMo4 1.7218 4130 (SAE) 0.22-0.29 ≤ 0.40 0.60-0.90 ≤ 0.025 ≤ 0.035 0.90-1.20 0.15-0.30         (Pb)

Sampling and Preparation Procedure

As stated before, a clean and smooth cut surface is obtained by the appropriate wheel selection. For the ferrous materials discussed above, three abrasive wheels were investigated to gain the best cut surface.

After sectioning out representative pieces, a medium coarse SiC paper, like 280 [P320] grit, is used to remove sharp edges and burr that may be a result of sectioning.

Unmounted samples can be positioned and fixed directly in the sample holder. A compression-mounting compound, such as EpoMet™, is used when samples need to be mounted, as the mounting compound is ideal due to its better edge retention. Prior to mounting, the parts are degreased with ethanol, to ensure good contact between the sample surfaces and mounting compound, and to avoid gaps or cracks between the sample and resin. It is better to choose a mounting compound with a similar removal rate as the sample. After mounting, the sample specimens are fastened in a central force specimen holder as shown in Figure 3.

Samples are clamped and aligned in a central force specimen holder.

Figure 3. Samples are clamped and aligned in a central force specimen holder.

 

Image Analysis Methods

Contrasting of the Microstructure

Common sample preparation methods consist of several steps. The last step is largely a polishing step, with finely dispersed abrasive particles in the submicron area. After the polishing step the surface of metallic materials is often shiny and mirror-like. Preliminary examination involves analyzing the sample surface in the as-polished state in bright field, for cracks, pores, inclusions etc. Microstructure details are normally not examined in the polished state. For further examination, metallographic etching is performed to reveal the grain boundaries, banding or segregation, alloy constituents, and alloy deformation.

Etching is classified into two categories: electrochemical or physical etching, which change the sample surface; and etchings that do not affect the sample surface. Petzow published a well-known guide for metallographic etching, which is a good source of reference. “Optical” etching can be used for some materials by adjusting the reflected light beam and illumination. Optical manipulation offers different illumination methods that influence contrast, and the level of detail achieved from the surface.

These techniques include:

  • Dark-field microscopy: helpful in detecting reflected light of uneven surfaces (e.g. cracks, half-opaque phases).
  • Phase contrast microscopy: largely used for transmitted light microscopy (e.g. determination of differences of refractivity and density).
  • Differential interference contrast (DIC) microscopy: image can be plastically mapped (e.g. minute height differences).
  • Polarized light microscopy: used to determine anisotropic phases.

When “optical” etched the sample surface is not chemically treated, quantitative investigation of ferrous materials’ microstructure - area fractions of different phases and grain size determination -  can be realized by employing chemical etching on the surface with various etchants.

Physical etching is another possible method. Cathodic or reactive sputtering are two types of physical etching, and can be useful for weak reflecting samples, e.g. some types of ceramics. For proper etching in these methods, special chambers and defined vacuum are essential. Thermal etching is another type of physical etching, and is frequently used for titanium or ceramics. In this case, diffusion processes are triggered to realize an equilibrium state between interface energy and the surface, to make the microstructure visible.

In this work, electrochemical etching methods are used for microstructure analysis.

Iron exhibits a large variety of alloys. Every ferrous alloy has distinct properties and characteristics. In production environments and in R&D, quality and microstructural analysis should be accessible, e.g. contrasting microstructural details could be interest. Due to this, etchants are available to ensure microstructure contrast and coloring of different crystallographic grain orientations. Table 7 provides a list of the etchants used for material selection.

Table 7. Common etchants for ferrous materials.

Material Etchant Application
Low alloyed steels, cast iron, welds, diffusionzones Nital (1-10% nitric acid, ethanol) Seconds to minutes, wet etching mostly used
High alloyed steels, austenitic castings, ferrite V2A etchant (15-20% hydrochloric acid, 1-5% nitric acid) Seconds to minutes, can be heated up to 70°C max., wet etching
Stainless steel, austenitic CrNi steels Beraha II (32% hydrochloric acid, ammonium biflouride, potassium metabisulfite) Coloring, wet etching
Cementite, diffusionzones Klemm I (sodium thiosulfate, potassium metabisulfite) 1-2 minutes, wet etching, coloring

The micrographs shown in Figures 4–18 display the results of applying the modern sample preparation method on different ferrous materials.

Martensitic Steel with retained austenite (white) etched with Klemm I. Magnification 200x.

Figure 4. Martensitic Steel with retained austenite (white) etched with Klemm I. Magnification 200x.

Soft iron, Ferrite grain boundaries with some nodular carbides. Etched with 3% Nital. Magnification 200x.

Figure 5. Soft iron, Ferrite grain boundaries with some nodular carbides. Etched with 3% Nital. Magnification 200x.

Soft iron, ferrite grains colored with Klemm I etchant. Magnification 200x

Figure 6. Soft iron, ferrite grains colored with Klemm I etchant. Magnification 200x

Normalized steel C35/1035, lamellar Perlite with Ferrite. Etched with 3% Nital. Magnification 500x.

Figure 7. Normalized steel C35/1035, lamellar Perlite with Ferrite. Etched with 3% Nital. Magnification 500x.

Normalized steel C35/1035, lamellar Perlite with Ferrite. Etched with Klemm I. Magnification 500x.

Figure 8. Normalized steel C35/1035, lamellar Perlite with Ferrite. Etched with Klemm I. Magnification 500x.

Heat-treated steel C45, hardened, surface decarburization. Etched with 3% Nital. Magnification 200x.

Figure 9. Heat-treated steel C45, hardened, surface decarburization. Etched with 3% Nital. Magnification 200x.

Spheroidised steel C45/1045, Ferrite grains and nodular Cementite. Etched with 3% Nital. Magnification 500x.

Figure 10. Spheroidised steel C45/1045, Ferrite grains and nodular Cementite. Etched with 3% Nital. Magnification 500x.

Machining steel 9SMn28K. MnS particles grey. Etched with 3% Nital. Magnification 200x.

Figure 11. Machining steel 9SMn28K. MnS particles grey. Etched with 3% Nital. Magnification 200x.

Nitrided layer, plated with aluminum foil. The porous layer inside the compound layer is well visible. Magnification 200x.

Figure 12. Nitrided layer, plated with aluminum foil. The porous layer inside the compound layer is well visible. Magnification 200x.

Nitrided layer after etching with 3% Nital. Magnification 200x

Figure 13. Nitrided layer after etching with 3% Nital. Magnification 200x.

Nitrided layer. Diffusion zone after etching with 3% Nital. Magnification 100x.

Figure 14. Nitrided layer. Diffusion zone after etching with 3% Nital. Magnification 100x.

High-grade steel C100. Etched with 3% Nital. Magnification 500x.

Figure 15. High-grade steel C100. Etched with 3% Nital. Magnification 500x.

Stainless steel X5CrNi18-10. Etched with V2A at 60°C. Magnification 200x.

Figure 16. Stainless steel X5CrNi18-10. Etched with V2A at 60°C. Magnification 200x.

Stainless steel X5CrNi18-10. Ti (C,N) particles (orange). Magnification 1000x.

Figure 17. Stainless steel X5CrNi18-10. Ti (C,N) particles (orange). Magnification 1000x.

Stainless steel X5CrNi18-10. Ti (C,N) particles (orange). Magnification 1000x.

Figure 18. Stainless steel X5CrNi18-10. Ti (C,N) particles (orange). Magnification 1000x.

Hardness Testing

Hardness testing is commonly used for process control of heat treatment. It is also used to evaluate surface hardness and to determine hardness depths of surface engineered materials, including nitrided steels. In nitrided or carbonitrided steels, the nitriding hardness depth (NHT, German for Nitrierhärtetiefe”, acc. to DIN 50190-3) is applied. Indents with defined spacing are placed in a row vertical to the sample surface to measure the hardness of the various formed zones, which then can be shown as a function of depth. The usual loads used for such testing are below 1 kg, mainly 500 g. The principle of NHT measurement is shown in Figure 19.

Principle of the NHT evaluation. Hardness is measured from surface to core, leading to a decrease in hardness for surface hardened materials.

Figure 19. Principle of the NHT evaluation. Hardness is measured from surface to core, leading to a decrease in hardness for surface hardened materials.

For NHT evaluation, the following parameters are adjusted:

  • Limit hardness: determined by technical drawings or measured as core hardness.
  • Limit hardness + 50 HV: hardness level that needs to be satisfied for interpolating the NHT value.
  • Indent spacing and edge distance: these values should be in accordance to the latest DIN EN ISO 6507- 1.

Two zones are largely visible in a nitrided surface layer: a compound layer and a precipitation zone. While the former is few microns in thickness and comprises chiefly iron nitrides (α-Nferrite, γ’-Fe4N, ε-Fe2N(1-x)), the latter show various precipitated nitrides subsequent to cooling, or special nitrides that are formed during the nitriding process. This zone, with its various nitrides, results in increased hardness caused by the induced stresses as a result of the lattice mismatch between host lattice and nitrides. Nitrided materials are utilized for heavy wear sensitive components, like engine gear wheels.

Current hardness evaluation methods, such as NHT or CHD, are automated on modern Vickers hardness testing machines. Autofocus and automeasure options (and even autoillumination) algorithms enable high consistency and reduced process times. Figure 20 shows a fully-automated Vickers hardness tester that was used for this work.

Wilson VH3300 automated Vickers hardness tester.

Figure 20. Wilson VH3300 automated Vickers hardness tester.

A micrograph of Micro Vickers indentations of a common NHT measurement is shown in Figure 21. The indents were effected with 300 g loads. Two rows were chosen to ensure that all indents are placed with respect to the indent distances in accordance to the ISO 6507-1. Increasing indent sizes correlate to the decrease in hardness.

Vickers indents of a NHT measurement. The hardness decrease can be correlated with increasing indent size. Magnification 200x.

Figure 21. Vickers indents of a NHT measurement. The hardness decrease can be correlated with increasing indent size. Magnification 200x.

Conclusion

In production environments sample preparation has to be reliable and consistent, and should be quick to perform. This is essential for high sample volumes, where sample preparation sequences can be enhanced when modifying specific preparation steps within the procedure. After sectioning samples for metallographic evaluation, flattening and reduction of the heat affected zone, resulting from sectioning, have to be carried out. Using the PlanarMet™ 300 stone grinder shortens cycle times, and maintains ideal surface qualities like flatness, homogenous material removal and scratch pattern.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Buehler.

For more information on this source, please visit Buehler.

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