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Metallographic Procedures for CLASS 5 Materials


Examples include stainless steel, soft and medium hard steels.

Class 5 steels are ferrous alloys of iron containing relatively low concentrations of carbon (<2%). Steels also have a wide range of properties due to their ability to be heat treated and annealed. Depending upon the carbon concentration and other alloying elements, the microstructure of steel can be modified by heating, quenching and stress relief (annealing). Common microstructures include pearlite and ferrite for slow cooled low carbon steels and martensite for fast cooled high carbon steels. Pearlite and ferrite are relatively soft and ductile, whereas martensite is hard and brittle.

Preparation Challenge:
Metallographic specimen preparation is relatively straight forward.

Metallographic Preparation for Stainless Steels   Metallographic Preparation for Soft Steel  



300 series cast stainless steel microstructure
Metallographic micrograph of ferrite and pearlite
Metallographic micrograph of 431 Stainless Steel
Metallographic micrograph of Steel Bainite structure
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