Metallography Made Easy

LECO PX500 Grinding PolisherYou need a smoothly running lab to efficiently analyze your samples, and LECO has you covered. We offer quality metallographic and optical solutions that seamlessly come together to give you results you can count on.

Strong instrumentation is only part of the solution. Our support after the sale also plays a vital role in your lab’s productivity and helps keep you one step ahead. We do this through training classes, application support, friendly customer service, and helpful customer reference materials on a variety of topics.

We thought it could be fun to dive into our archives! Before our current application notes, we had “Met Tips: Ideas for Metallographic Procedures”, written in partnership with Dr. Lee Dillinger. Though most of these Met Tips were published almost 10 years ago now, they still hold up with useful information on various techniques that continue to be used in the field today!

Take a look at our few of our favorites below!

Metallography: A Tool for Quality Control

Metallography is the preparation of specimens for microscopic examination, and then the study of the microstructure in relation to the physical and mechanical properties of that particular alloy. This is a textbook definition, and to one in the field of metallography makes good sense, but in layman’s terms what does it mean?

The Art of Grinding

Any metallographic procedure involves three distinct stages: (1) preparation (which consists of sectioning, mounting, and grinding); (2) polishing and etching; and (3) microscopic examination. The three stages actually break down to six steps, and of the six steps involved in the overall process of metallographic examination, the one most overlooked is the grinding step. This can be quite disastrous when interpretation is done. Regardless of which brilliant etching techniques are used, or if the newest and most sophisticated equipment is used for examination, the information obtained can be quite misleading if poor grinding procedures are performed.

Tricks of the Trade

Every profession has little “tricks-of-the-trade” to make the pursuit of that profession run just a little more smoothly. The profession of metallography is no exception. Experienced metallographers (those who have been in the trade for a number of years), have developed little “tricks-of-the-trade” that have become second nature to them. The following tips have been around for many years and have been used quite frequently. Hopefully among them is one that will answer a particular problem experienced in your laboratory.