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Neodymium Specimen Preparation

Metallographic etchant database

Neodymium is a rare earth metal which has some very interesting properties. The applications for neodymium include magnets (strongest permanent magnets known), colorant for welder’s glasses, cyrocoolers (high specific heat capacity), light filters, fertilizers, and for lasers.

Neodymium is both a soft and ductile material. It is most often alloyed with other elements, which gives it a wider range of properties. Preparation concerns include avoiding embedded abrasives by using alumina lapping films.

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

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




Force/ sample



P220 grit ALO paper
P500 grit ALO paper
P1200 grit ALO paper


5-10 lbs

100/100 rpm

Until plane
1 minute
1 minute

1 micron DIAMAT diamond on ATLANTIS polishing pad

DIALUBE Purple Extender

5-10 lbs

100/100 rpm

1 minute

0.05 um acidic Nanometer acid alumina on a BLACKCHEM 2 pad

Polishing with 10% diluted etchant, alternate between polishing and etching

5-10 lbs

100/100 rpm

1 minute

Metallographic micrograph of neodymium rare earth alloy

Neodymium-Aluminum-Titanium casting, (polarized light).

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