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PACE Technologies Metallographic Preparation CLASS Chart icon

Pure Tin
Specimen Preparation (Class 1 Procedures)
Metallographic Class 1 sample preparation  

Tin allows can be difficult to prepare because it is very soft and distortion to the microstucture can easily occur. If not removed this distorted layer hides the true microstructure. In addition, if any excessive heat occurs during preparation the microstructure can also be masked by surface recrystallized. Proper preparation requires minimizing damage. For tin and tin alloys, alternating between polishing and etching is often required in order to remove the damaged microstructure. The recommended etchant is 2% nital (2 ml nitric acid in 100 ml methanol or ethanol); etch for only a few seconds before repolishing.

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

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

Abrasive/surface Lubricant Force/ sample Speed
Time Individual
Force mode
Central Force
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 Nanometer alumina
on NAPPAD polishing pad
  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.

Metallographic micrograph of pure tin
Pure tin, 100X, 2% nital etchant for 2 seconds


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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