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OBJECTIVES At the end of session the students will be able to ; i. Study the methods of metal cutting of specimens. ii.

Study the methods to place the specimen for hot mounting. iii. Study the methods of grinding process and polishing.

INTRODUCTION In the study of metallic materials it is often to analyze the phases exist and grain size in the structure. Details of the structure of metals are not readily visible through naked eyes, but grain structures in metals may be seen with the aid of microscope. Metals characteristics such as grain sizes, affect of heat treatment, and carbon content of steels may be determined by studying the micrograph. For this purpose, the metal use in the metallurgical examination must be prepared and polished carefully before a good microscopic image can be seen. It is important to ensure that the surface is totally flat and smooth before microstructure observation under the microscope. Any irregularity will appear as a dark image and may create confusion to the observer who attempts to analyze a structure. In order to obtain this smooth flat surface, several preparatory steps are required.

SAFETY i. ii. Never use a metallographic cutter machine and mounting press machine without permission. Use glove when handling chemicals.

EQUIPMENT / APPARATUS / COMPONENTS i. ii. iii. iv. v. vi. vii. viii. ix. Metallographic cutter machine Mounting compound Mounting press machine Rotary pregrinder Polisher Nital liquid (100ml alcohol and 2ml sulfuric acid Specimen to be mounted Specimen drier SD6000 Cotton buds, file

PROCEDURES A. HOT MOUNTING 1. The metal was cut with size not more than 15mm x 15mm using the Metallographic cutter machine. 2. The rough surface was smoothed of metal with file. 3. The mounting press machine was swithed on. 4. The specimen should be placed with the surface to be examined down. 5. The mounting release was sprayed on mould. 6. The mounting compound (pallet of polymers) was added scope into the mould. 7. The mould tigtly was closed and the knob was loosed up for cycle to open it up. 8. The data was keyed in in the machine according to type of mounting compound being used. (refer to table 1). 9. The button was pressed start and the pressure is leveled at 270 bar during the heating operation. 10. Once the machine completes its operation,the buzzer will be on. 11. The pressure button was pressed again, and the specimen taken out the specimen carefully from the machine. 12. The mould was cleaned and the mounting release was sprayed,and then place it back on the machine. B. GRINDING PROCESS 1. The specimens was fited into the apparatus of the specimen holder. 2. The rotary pregrinder machine was switched on with 240 grit paper. 3. Pipe source was turned on at the machine. 4. FWD was set at 200 rpm. 5. Same procedures was repeated for 360,600,800,1000,1200 grit paper.

C. POLISHING PROCESS 1. The specimen was washed with soapy water followed by alcohol to prevent contamination of the disc. 2. The specimens was fited into the apparatus of the specimen holder for coarser polisher (3 microns) 3. The diamond was used paste for 3 micron. 4. The polisher machine was switched on and diamond lubricator was used during the polishing process. 5. Same procedure was repeated for finer polisher (1 micron and diamond paste for 1 micron)

D. ETCHING PROCESS 1. The specimen was make sure is clean from any dirty. 2. Specimen was washed using the ultrasonic cleaner and dry it by using Specimen Drier SD6000 if necessary. 3. Specimen was etched using a reagent. 4. Specimen was etched by using a regent called as natal. (nital: 2ml sulfuric acid and 100ml alcohol). 5. The cotton bud was wiped over the surface a few times. 6. Specimen was washed with immediately in alcohol and it was dryed using Specimen Drier SD6000.


RESULT In the experiment, the microstructure of carbon-steel was determined. Based on the table of "Microstructure of Carbon-Steel" and diagram of "Iron-Carbon Phase Diagram", the type of the microstructure formed has been identified. The view of the microstructure can be seen through microscope.

ANALYSIS/DISCUSSION 1. The importance of doing Metallographic specimen for examination by microscope is all specimen to be used under microscope need to have a clean surface for the best result after examination. Initial microscopic viewing should be done utilizing a stereomicroscope, which reveals a three-dimensional scanning of the specimen surface. The specimen is placed on the stage of the microscope so that its surface is perpendicular to the optical axis. The important characteristics of the microscope are: magnification, resolution and flatness of field. The resultant magnification is the product of the magnifying power of the objective and that of the ocular.


Abrasive sectioning has primarily been used for sectioning ductile materials. Examples include metals, plastics, polymer matrix composites, metal matrix composites, plastics and rubbers. The proper selection of an abrasive blade requires an understanding of the relationship between the abrasive particle, abrasive bonding and the specimen properties. Abrasive Type - Today's high performance abrasive blades use alumina or silicon carbide abrasives. Alumina is a moderately hard and relatively tough abrasive which makes it ideal for cutting ferrous metals. Silicon carbide is a very hard abrasive which fractures and cleaves very easily. Thus, silicon carbide is a self-sharpening abrasive and is more commonly used for cutting nonferrous metals.


Purpose of the process below used before conducting an examination by using microscope: a) Mounting The purpose Small samples are generally mounted in plastic for convenience in handling and to protect the edges of the specimen being prepared. Compression-type

molding is commonly applied to encase specimens in 1 to 1.5 inch diameter plugs of a hard polymer. b) Grinding The purpose of the coarse grinding stage is to generate the initial flat surface necessary for the subsequent grinding and polishing steps. As a result of sectioning and grinding, the material may get cold worked to a considerable depth with a resultant transition zone of deformed material between the surface and the undistorted metal. Course grinding can be accomplished either wet or dry using 640 and 1000 in grade of sand paper. It must be taken to avoid significant heating of the sample.

The final objective is to obtain a flat surface free from all previous tool marks and cold working due to specimen cutting. An important factor throughout the Coarse Grinding and Fine Grinding Stages is that the scratches be uniform in size and parallel to each other in any one grinding stage. The movement when grinding is as we draw number 8 to make sure the best surface for the specimen. c) etching The purpose of etching is to get the best result when the specimen is place under the microscope. Etching occurs when the acid or base is placed on the specimen surface because of the difference in rate of attack of the various phases present and their orientation. The etching process is usually accomplished by merely applying the appropriate solution to the specimen surface for several seconds to several minutes. Microscopic examination of a properly polished, unetched specimen will reveal only a few structural features such as inclusions and cracks or other physical imperfections. Etching is used to highlight, and sometimes identify, micro structural features or phases present. The surface layer of disturbed metal resulting from the final polishing stage will always present and it must be removed.


Why are there sequence steps in grinding and polishing? What will happen if the steps are not followed or ignored? The grinding procedure involves several stages, using a finer paper (higher number) for each successive stage. Each grinding stage removes the scratches from the previous coarser paper. Between each grade the specimen is washed thoroughly with water to prevent contamination from coarser grit present on the specimen surface. Typically, the finest grade of paper used is the 1000. Once the only scratches left on the specimen are from this grade, the specimen is thoroughly washed with water, followed by water and then allowed to dry. Polishing discs are covered with soft cloth impregnated with and an oily lubricant. Particles of two different grades are used a finer polish typically with diamond particles 1 micron in diameter, to produce a smooth surface. Before using a finer polishing wheel the specimen should be washed thoroughly. If these step are not followed the metallographic specimen are not completed because the process include grinding and polishing to make the specimen become smooth.


Can we conduct the examination of microscope without etching process? We cannot conduct the examination because etching process is used to reveal the microstructure of the metal through selective chemical attack. It also removes the thin and highly deformed layer introduced during grinding and polishing in alloys with more than one phase, etching creates contrast between different regions through differences in topography or reflectivity. The rate of etching is affected by crystallographic orientation, the phase present and the stability of the region. This means contrast may arise through different mechanisms. Therefore revealing different features of the sample.

CONCLUSION As conclusion, the objectives of the experiment were successfully achieved. The method of preparation of metallographic sample was understood. There are 5 process need to be through by the specimen which are cutting, molding, grinding, polishing and finally etching. The other aim which is to understand the concept of etching and the purpose of etching also successfully achieved. Etching process was carried out to selectively attack the surface of metals to reveal grains boundaries, phases, precipitates, inclusions and variations in composition.

Other than that, the basic function of optical microscope and it operation also understood. The structure of the material can be observed with the aid of optical microscope. Finally, the objective of the used and performed analysis from the microstructure's observed also successfully achieved. The microstructure of the sample obtain was a mixture of ferrite and pearlite which is a hypoeutectoid steel.


i. ii.

Handbook, Metalography, vol. 9, ASM-International, Ohio. William D. Callister Jr., Fundamentals of Materials Science and Engineering-An Integrated Approach, 2nd edition, 2005, ISBN 0-471-47014-7

iii. Metallurgy and metallography of pure metals, Edited by V.S. Yemelanov [and] A.I. Yevstyukhin, 1962, OCLC # 1629772. iv. Thompson Henry, Microscopical techniques in metallurgy, 1954, OCLC# 2144627.