Metallographic Sample Preparation (Major Steps)

“Quality control for metals & alloys are critical to ensure structure integrity and reliability for the manufacturing use and consumer application…”


  Benefits of Metallographic Sample Preparation:  

  • Analysing the microstructure of the physical structure and components material (with microscopy).
  • Determine if the material has been made/processed correctly
  • Discovering why a material’s quality passed or failed during application & conditions
  • Quality Control on product reliability & integrity

Major Steps:  

Sectioning and Cutting

Whatever the material is, samples need to be cut accordingly to the area of interest and for handling convenience. Some of the cutting methods used are Abrasive cutting, Diamond wafer cutting, Electric discharge machining (EDM), Fracturing, Thin microtome sectioning, Sawing, Shearing, Water jet cutting, etc.

Note: It is important to reduce the chances of microstructure damage to avoid producing false metallographic characterization analysis later.


After cutting into a small work pieces, it will be compressed in mounting moulds with thermoplastics – acrylics, ambient castable resins or thermoplastic glues. Which: 

  • Protects the material’s surface and edges.
  • Fills spots that have pores on the material.
  • Handles irregular-shaped samples, conveniently.

Grinding & Polishing

Grinding helps to prepare the cut surface or mount for metallographic examination by:

  • Reduce the damage created by sectioning
  • Creating a flat, reflective, smooth and scratch-free surface
  • Handles irregular-shaped samples, conveniently.

After the grinding process, polishing is done to create a clearer view of the surface on the object while removing minor scratches.


The metallographic etching is a chemical technique used to highlight features of metals at microscopic levels. the specimen is covered or dipped into a protective layer of etching liquid (this varies from the electrochemical, chemical, physical or cathodic vacuum).

  • Helps to reveal tiny cracks, pores, or inclusions within the metal samples.
  • Metallurgists can discover why certain metal qualities pass or fail according to application.

Need advice on Metallographic Sample Preparation?

Mr. Samson Chong, Product Specialist (+6012-223 2576 – WhatsApp) 
[email protected]

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