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PACE Technologies Metallographic Preparation CLASS Chart icon

Stainless Steel
Specimen Preparation (Class 5 Procedures)
Metallographic Class 5 sample preparation  

Stainless steels have high concentrations of chromium (>12%) and are generally relatively soft as compared to heat treated steels. This makes stainless steel more susceptible to smearing. Preparation is relatively straight forward.

SECTIONING
MAXCUT Abrasive blade (Cat. No. MAX-E 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
120 grit SiC paper*
240 grit SiC paper*
Water 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
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 GOLDPAD polishing pad
DIALUBE Purple Extender 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 micrograph of 431 Stainless Steel
431 Stainless Steel, mag. 400X, etched with
Modified Murakami's
300 series cast stainless steel microstructure
300 Series Stainless Steel, 200X (BF), Etchant Oxalic Acid.

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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