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PACE Technologies Metallographic Preparation CLASS Chart icon

Sintered Iron
Specimen Preparation (Class 3 Procedures)
Metallographic Class 3 sample preparation  

Powder metallurgy is a very useful manufacturing process for parts designed with hard-to-machine geometries. The process includes pressing a metal powder into the rough shape and then sintering it just below the melting temperature of the alloy.

The metallographic specimen preparation of powder metallurgy samples is affected by the specimen’s composition, packing and sintering conditions. Microstructural features of interest include: porosity, grain size, inclusions and orientation of voids. Proper metallurgical preparation takes into account that the microstructure may be porous and perhaps somewhat brittle due to inadequate sintering conditions.

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

Castable mounting with epoxies or acrylics using vacuum impregnation

Abrasive/surface Lubricant Force/ sample Speed
Time Individual
Force mode
Central Force
120 grit SiC paper
240 grit SiC paper*
5-10 lbs 200/200 rpm Planar
1 min
  Metallographic central polishing force
360 grit SiC paper
600 grit SiC paper
800 grit SiC paper
1200 grit SiC paper
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 GOLDPAD polishing pad
5-10 lbs 200/200 rpm 2 min Metallographic individual polishing force Metallographic central polishing force
0.05 um Nanometer alumina
on TRICOTE 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 micrographs of Sintered Iron
Sintered Iron, Mag. 100x (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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