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PACE Technologies Metallographic Preparation CLASS Chart icon

Carbon-Carbon Composite
Specimen Preparation (Class 1 Procedures)
Metallographic Class 1 sample preparation

Proper preparation of carbon composites is required because the properties of the matrix material and the carbon fibers vary significantly in both hardness and fracture toughness. As a general rule, the most difficult components to prepare in composites are the most brittle components (e.g. carbon fibers). To properly prepare carbon-carbon composites, initial sectioning must minimize damage. Proceeding preparation steps must not result in additional damage.

SECTIONING
Diamond Wafering blade - medium grit / low concentration

MOUNTING
Castable Mounting with Epoxy or Acrylic resins

POLISHING
Abrasive/surface Lubricant Force/ sample Speed
(Head/base)
Time Individual
Force mode
Central Force
mode
240 grit SiC paper* Water
5-10 lbs 200/200 rpm Planar
  Metallographic central polishing force
360 grit SiC paper
600 grit SiC paper
800 grit SiC paper
1200 grit SiC paper
Water
5-10 lbs 200/200 rpm 1 min
1 min
1 min
1 min
Metallographic individual polishing force Metallographic central polishing force
1 um DIAMAT diamond
on ATLANTIS polishing pad
DIALUBE Purple
Extender
5-10 lbs 200/200 rpm 2 min Metallographic individual polishing force Metallographic central polishing force
CMP polish on
BLACKCHEM polishing pad
  10 lbs 200/200 rpm 2 min Metallographic individual polishing force Metallographic central polishing force

*Required for central polishing force. Click here for more information on central vs. individual polishing force polishing.

Metallographic micrograph of carbon composites
Carbon-Carbon Composite
Carbon-carbon composite microsctructure
Carbon fibers in polymer matrix, 100X, as polished.)

ETCHING

Common Etchants
PACE Technologies Recommended Etchants

PACE Technologies Etchant Database

CAUTION:Safety is very important when etching. Be sure to wear the appropriate protective clothing and observe all WARNINGS on chemical manufacuters SDS (Safety Data Sheets). Also review the COMMENTS and CONDITIONS Section for each etchant.


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