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PACE Technologies Metallographic Preparation CLASS Chart icon

CLASS 2 - Very Soft, Low Ductility Materials
Examples include refractory metals (tungsten, rhenium, niobium, molybdenum), rare earths, precious metals (gold, silver, platinum).

Description: Class 2 materials include refractory metals such as rhenium, niobium and tungsten have very high melting temperatures; however, they are typically very soft and require the same specimen preparation considerations as other very soft metals.

Preparation Challenge: For very soft materials, any loose or fractured abrasive particles can easily become embedded. This makes specimen preparation very difficult because it gums up diamond grinding disks or the specimen can become embedded with fractured SiC particles when ground with SiC papers. The key to preparation of these materials is to use tougher alumina abrasives and to chemically etch the specimen in between each grinding step. The purpose of etching is to remove the embedded particles so as not to carry them over to the next grinding step as contamination.

CLASS 2 icon
CLASS 2 Very Soft, Low Ductility Materials
Precious Metals Refractory Metals
Silver, Gold, Platinum
Metallography microsctructure for Gold, Silver and Platinum
Rhenium
Metallography microsctructure for Rhenium

  Niobium
Microstructure for niobium

  Tungsten
Metallographic micrograph of tungsten refractory

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