LECO highlights metallographic preparation process

November 25, 2020

Sample preparation is critical to accurately performing metallographic analysis (Courtesy LECO)

LECO, a global provider of analytical equipment and services headquartered in St. Joseph, Michigan, USA, has published a series of pre-recorded webinars that highlight key considerations for successful material analysis. Included in the webinars is a presentation on the metallographic preparation and analysis of carburised steel, along with an overview of the process.

To accurately perform metallographic analysis of a sample, explains LECO, its preparation is critical. The microstructure and hardness of the sample have to be identified, and the analyser has to be able to trust that what they are seeing is what is actually there, and not just something inadvertently created in the preparation stages.

LECO states that proper metallographic preparation of a sample such as carburised steel has five or six steps, depending on the type of analysis required. The steps include:

  • Sectioning – to provide a workable cross-section exposing the area to be analysed
  • Mounting – where the sample is secured in an appropriate mounting material that allows for sharp edge retention and will grind away at the same rate as the sample in future preparation steps
  • Grinding – to create a flat and even surface
  • Polishing – to remove the deeper scratches left by the rougher grinding abrasives
  • Etching – if analysing the microstructure of your sample this is done immediately after polishing, to prevent oxidation

Dave Coulston, LECO’s Corporate Metallurgist, explains that the etching stage is best performed in several smaller steps. He noted, “You can’t unbake a cake. If you over-etch a sample, there is no going back.”

Whether or not a sample is etched, states the company, the metallographic analysis is the final step. Through hardness testing or microscopic image analysis, more of the makeup of a sample can be revealed.

Coulston explains the metallographic preparation and analysis process in more detail in these webinars on steel analysis.

www.leco.com

Download the latest issue of Metal AM magazine

Our latest issue is now available to view online or download in PDF format.

As well as an extensive AM industry news section, this 168-page issue includes articles and reports on:

  • Metal Additive Manufacturing and the new Space Race: The inside track with Launcher and AMCM
  • Falcontech: The journey from materials engineering to large-scale metal Additive Manufacturing
  • Strategies for advancing the automation of metal Additive Manufacturing
  • Machine Learning and Additive Manufacturing: What does the future hold?
  • System 3R: Bridging critical gaps in the Additive Manufacturing workflow to enable serial production
  • Metal AM in South Africa: Research and commercial initiatives bring the benefit of AM to the African continent
  • CFD simulation for metal Additive Manufacturing: Applications in laser- and sinter-based processes
  • > More information

Latest news

    E-newsletter

    Sign up to our e-newsletter, sent weekly to AM professionals and end-users around the world. We'll also let you know each time a new issue of Metal AM magazine is available.

    Discover our magazine archive…

    The free to access Metal Additive Manufacturing magazine archive offers unparalleled insight into the world of metal Additive Manufacturing from a commercial and technological perspective through:
    • Reports on visits to leading metal AM part manufacturers and industry suppliers
    • Articles on technology and application trends
    • Information on materials developments
    • Reviews of key technical presentations from the international conference circuit
    • International industry news
    All past issues are available to download in PDF format, in either single page format or as double-page “spreads” for viewing on large monitors. All downloads are free of charge. Go to archive...

    Connect with us

    Visit our social media channels and sign up to our e-newsletter

    Copy link
    Powered by Social Snap