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PACE Technologies Metallographic Preparation CLASS Chart icon

Specimen Preparation (Class 11 Procedures)
Metallographic Class 11 sample preparation  

Specimen preparation of friable and brittle materials such as graphite present a microstructural preparation challenge. Proper microstructural preparation of these materials must maintain the structure of the graphite structure. This is accomplished by first mounting the graphite in a castable mounting compound such as epoxy. Initial grinding with a 320 grit or finer SiC paper is required to prevent pulling out the graphite particles, especially the smaller particles. Rough polishing is accomplished on low napped polishing cloths using diamond, with final polishing for a very short time on a high napped cloth using an alumina suspension.

Diamond Wafering blade - fine grit / low concentration

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

Abrasive/surface Lubricant Force/ sample Speed
Time Individual
Force mode
Central Force
240 grit SiC paper*
Water 5-10 lbs 200/200 rpm Planar
  Metallographic central polishing force
60 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
SIAMAT colloidal
5-10 lbs 200/200 rpm 2 min Metallographic individual polishing force Metallographic central polishing force
0.05 um Nanometer alumina
on NAPPAD polishing pad
5-10 lbs 100/100 rpm 30 sec 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 graphite
Graphite, magnification 1000 (B.F.), as polished


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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