Metallography and Hardness Testing in Additive Manufacturing

Using the example of a laser-printed component, the individual process steps of a metallographic sample preparation and the subsequent analysis are explained. In this way, the webinar provides basic information about devices and consumables for materialographic sample preparation.



  • Metallographic cutting or sectioning usually marks the first step of the metallographic sample preparation process. Depending on part geometries and material hardness as well as employed analytical methods, different cutting techniques and consumables are used.


  • In metallography, mounting is typically the second process step after sectioning. Mounting encapsulates the sampled material with a plastic shell and prepares the sample for the following metallographic grinding and polishing step.

Grinding & polishing 

  • Metallographic grinding is one of the process steps in mechanical sample preparation for subsequent microscopic examination.  The principle is based on the fact that abrasive particles in successively finer grain sizes are used to remove material from the surface until the desired result is obtained.The purpose of metallographic polishing is to rectify the deformations caused by previous work steps (during sectioning and cutting).

Hardness Testing

  • Hardness testing in powder metallurgy requires completely different parameters and procedures compared to classic hardness testing applications. Samples have to be prepared well to enable the hardness test. Powder has to be embedded in resin, e. g. with a hot mounting press, and afterwards the materialographic specimen has to be polished to obtain a clean surface for hardness testing.


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