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PACE Technologies Metallographic Preparation CLASS Chart icon

Niobium Alloy
Specimen Preparation (Class 2 Procedures)
Metallographic Class 2 sample preparation

Refractory metals such as Rhenium, Niobium, Tungsten and Molybdenum are a very soft, and any loose or fracture abrasive particles can easily embed. This makes specimen preparation very difficlut because it gums up diamond grinding disks or becomes embedded with fractured SiC particles when gound with SiC papers. The key to preparation of this material is to use the tougher alumina abrasive and to chemically etch the specimen between each grinding step. The purpose of etching is to remove the embedded particles and not carry them over as contamination.

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

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

POLISHING
Abrasive/surface Lubricant Force/ sample Speed
(Head/base)
Time Individual
Force mode
Central Force
mode
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 acidic Nanometer acid
alumina on a BLACKCHEM 2 pad

Polishing with 10%
Diluted etchant below:

Niobium - 30 ml HCl,
15 ml HNO3, 30 ml HF (40%)

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.

Microstructure for niobium
Niobium alloy (BF), etched

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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