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PACE Technologies Metallographic Preparation CLASS Chart icon

Graphite Composite Specimen Preparation
(Class 1 Procedures)

Metallographic Class 1 sample preparation

Proper preparation of polymer / graphite composites is required because the properties of the matrix material and the graphite particles vary significantly in both hardness and fracture toughness. As a general rule, the most difficult component to prepare in composite materials are the most brittle component (e.g. graphite particles). To properly polymer-graphite composites, initial sectioning must minimize damage. This is generally accomplished with a fine grit diamond wafering blade. Proceeding preparation steps must not add additional damage, this is accomplished by a matching the proper abrasive to to the proper polishing surface.


Diamond Wafering blade - fine grit / low concentration


Castable Mounting with Epoxy or Acrylic resins




Force/ sample



Force mode

Central Force

240 grit SiC paper


5 lbs

200/200 rpm

Until plane


360 grit SiC paper
600 grit SiC paper


5-10 lbs

200/200 rpm

1 minute
1 minute

Metallographic individual polishing force

6 um DIAMAT diamond on TEXPAN polishing pad

DIALUBE Purple Extender

3-5 lbs

200/200 rpm

3 minutes

Metallographic individual polishing force

1 um DIAMAT diamond ATLANTIS polishing pad

DIALUBE Purple Extender

3-5 lbs

200/200 rpm

2 minutes

Metallographic individual polishing force

0.05 um NANOMETER Alumina on MICROPAD/ MICROPAD 2 polishing pad


3-5 lbs

100/100 rpm

45 seconds

Metallographic individual polishing force

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

Metallographic micrograph of graphite composite

Polymer / Graphite Composite, as polished, 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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