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Alumino-silicate Glass Ceramic Specimen Preparation

Metallographic etchant database

Glass ceramics are unique materials that have very samll crystalline structures. The primary advantage of glass ceramics is that they produce very interesting thermochemical properties because they are impervious to thermal shock.

Proper microstructural preparation of these materials requires minimizing damage during cutting or sectioning. Therefore, the most important step in the preparation of glass ceramics is sectioning. If the glass ceramic is chipped or excessively cracked during sectioning, it may be impossible to remove this damage. Wafer sectioning with a fine grit diamond wafering blade is essential.

Planar grinding is accomplished with diamond on a metal mesh cloth to minimize cracking and subsurface damage. For rough polishing, the use of a low-napped polishing pad with polycrystalline diamond and colloidal silica eliminates most of the surface and subsurface damage. Final polishing is accomplished with a resilient porous urethane polishing pad such as BLACKCHEM 2 using SIAMAT colloidal silica.

Diamond Wafering blade - fine grit / low concentration

Castable Mounting with Epoxy or Acrylic resins




Force/ sample



30 um DIAMAT diamond suspension on CERMESH Metal Mesh cloth   5-10 lbs

200/200 rpm

Until plane
6 um DIAMAT diamond on TEXPAN polishing pad SIAMAT colloidal silica 10 lbs

200/200 rpm

5 minutes

1 um DIAMAT diamond on GOLDPAD polishing pad

SIAMAT colloidal silica

10 lbs

200/200 rpm

5 minutes

SIAMAT Colloidal silca on TEXPAN polishing pad


10 lbs

100/100 rpm

5 minutes

Metallographic cutting with fine grit diamond wafering blade   Metallographic diamond cutting with incorrect wafering blade

Figure 1. Fine grit diamond cut of glass

  Figure 2. Medium grit diamond cut of glass

Metallographic micrograph of alumino-silicate glass ceramic

Alumino-silicate glass ceramic, 400X (Polarized light) as polished

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