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

Partially stabilized zirconia is actually a fairly easy material to prepare. Care must be taken not to produce excessive damage during cutting and initial grinding which may cause the stress induced crystal structure from the tetragonal phase to the monoclinic phase. To minimize sectioning damage it has been found that cutting zirconia at high loads (feed rates) and high speeds provides the best combination. Rough grinding is then accomplished with a metal mesh cloth and 30-micron polycrystalline diamond. Rough polishing with a POLYPAD pad or TEXPAN pad using a combination of 6-micron polycrystalline diamond and SIAMAT colloidal silica provide a chemical-mechanical-polishing (CMP) action. Final polishing on a DACRON cloth with 1-micron diamond and colloidal silica produces a surface ready for microstructural etching and examination.

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 zicronia ceramic
Yittria stabilized Zirconia, 15,000X, thermally etched

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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