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PACE Technologies Metallographic Preparation CLASS Chart icon

Zinc and Zinc Alloy
Specimen Preparation (Class 1 Procedures)
Metallographic Class 1 sample preparation  

Pure zinc can be difficult to prepare because it forms abrasion artifacts in the form of small recrystallized grains which often produce twinning. Proper preparation requires minimizing damage. For pure zinc alternating between polishing and etching and repolishing is often required in order to remove the damaged microstructure. The recommended etchant is 10 grams of sodium hydroxide in 100 ml D.I. water; 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.

Microstructure pure zinc
Pure zinc, 100X (DIC), etchant 10 grams NaOH in
100 ml D.I.water for 5 seconds
Zinc-aluminum microstructure
Zinc-Aluminum alloy, 100 X Polarized Light,
Etchant 40 gms CrO3, 3 gms Na2SO4, 200 ml DI water.


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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