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High Carbon Steel (pearlite and martensite) Specimen Preparation

Metallographic etchant database

Preparation of high carbon steels is fairly straight forward. Depending upon the heat treatment the grinding and polishing times may increase for the harder martensite structure.


MAXCUT Abrasive blade (Cat. No. MAX-D or MAX-I series)

MOUNTING Compression Mounting with Phenolic, Epoxy or Diallyl Phthalate compression mounting resins




Force/ sample



240 grit SiC paper
360 grit SiC paper
600 grit SiC paper
800 grit SiC paper
1200 grit SiC paper


5-10 lbs

200/200 rpm

Until plane
1 minute
1 minute
1 minute
1 minute

1 um DIAMAT diamond on GOLDPAD polishing pad

DIALUBE Purple Extender

5-10 lbs

200/200 rpm

2 minutes

0.05 um Nanometer alumina on TRICOTE polishing pad


5-10 lbs

100/100 rpm

1 minute


Metallographic micrograph of Steel Bainite structure

1018 Water Quenched steel, 400X (B.F.), etched with 2% nital
Structure is Bainite

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