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PACE Technologies Metallographic Preparation CLASS Chart icon

Silicon Nitride Engineering Ceramic
Specimen Preparation (Class 10 Procedures)
Metallographic Class 10 sample preparation  

The key to proper specimen preparation of hard / tough ceramic materials such as silicon nitride (Si3N4) is to grind with a semi-fixed abrasive (polycrystalline diamond on a metal mesh cloth), followed by the use of CMP (chemical mechanical polishing) techniques using colloidal silica.



SECTIONING

Diamond Wafering blade - medium grit / low concentration

MOUNTING
Castable Mounting with Epoxy or Acrylic resins.

POLISHING
Abrasive/surface Lubricant Force/ sample Speed
(Head/base)
Time Individual
Force mode
Central Force
mode
70 micron diamond grinding disk*
Water 5-10 lbs 200/200 rpm Planar
  Metallographic central polishing force
30 um DIAMAT diamond
suspension on CERMESH
Metal Mesh cloth
  5-10 lbs 200/200 rpm 5 min Metallographic individual polishing force Metallographic central polishing force
6 um DIAMAT diamond
on TEXPAN polishing pad
SIAMAT
colloidal silica
10 lbs 200/200 rpm 5 min Metallographic individual polishing force Metallographic central polishing force
1 um DIAMAT diamond
on GOLDPAD or ATLANTIS
polishing pad
SIAMAT
colloidal silica
10 lbs 200/200 rpm 5 min Metallographic individual polishing force Metallographic central polishing force
SIAMAT Colloidal silca
on TEXPAN polishing pad
  10 lbs 200/200 rpm 5 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.

Metallographic micrograph of silicon nitride ceramics
Silicon Nitride polished with CMP techniques
400X (DIC) as polished
Metallographic micrograph of silicon nitride ceramics
Silicon Nitride polished by conventional 9,6,3,1,0.25 um
diamond steps. Note that the damage is not removed even
after long polishing times. 400X (DIC) 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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