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PACE Technologies Metallographic Preparation CLASS Chart icon

Gold, Silver, Platinum
Specimen Preparation (Class 2 Procedures)
Metallographic Class 2 sample preparation  

Precious metals are relatively soft metals and any loose or fracture abrasive particles can easily embed. This makes specimen preparation very difficult because it gums up diamond grinding disks or specimen becomes embedded with fractured SiC particles when ground with SiC papers. The key to preparation of these materials is to use the 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 preparation step as contamination.

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

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

Abrasive/surface Lubricant Force/ sample Speed
Time Individual
Force mode
Central Force
P120 grit ALO paper*
P220 grit ALO paper*
Water 5-10 lbs 100/100 rpm Planar
1 min
  Metallographic central polishing force
P500 grit ALO paper
P1200 grit ALO paper
Water 5-10 lbs 100/100 rpm 1 min
1 min
Metallographic individual polishing force Metallographic central polishing force
1 um DIAMAT diamond
on ATLANTIS polishing pad
Water 5-10 lbs 100/100 rpm 2 min Metallographic individual polishing force Metallographic central polishing force
0.05 um Nanometer alumina
on MICROPAD polishing pad
  5-10 lbs 100/100 rpm 1 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.

PACE Technologies metallographic specimen preparation of silver and silver alloys
99.9% Silver, etched with ammonia peroxide, 200X B.F


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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