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Brass (copper-zinc alloys) Specimen Preparation

Metallographic etchant database

Brass is a copper-zinc alloy, whereas bronze is a copper-tin alloy. Brass is stronger than copper and has a higher malleability then either copper and zinc. Brass is also a good conductor of heat, has excellent acoustic properties and is generally resistant to corrosion in salt water. Brass is commonly rolled and extruded; however, these processes also work harden and can be quanitified by metallographic analysis.

MAXCUT Abrasive blade (Cat. No. MAX-C or MAX-I series)

Compression Mounting with Phenolic, Epoxy or Diallyl Phthalate compression mounting resins




Force/ sample



P220 grit ALO paper
P500 grit ALO paper
P1200 grit ALO paper


5-10 lbs

100/100 rpm

Until plane
1 minute
1 minute

1 um DIAMAT diamond on ATLANTIS polishing pad

DIALUBE Purple Extender

5-10 lbs

100/100 rpm

2 minutes

0.05 um Nanometer alumina on NAPPAD polishing pad


5-10 lbs

100/100 rpm

1 minute

Brass microsctruture

70-30 Brass, 200X (B.F.), Etchant H2O2 / NH4OH

Cold rolled brass microsctruture

70-30 Brass cold rolled, 200X (B.F.),
Etchant H2O2 / NH4OH

Deep rolled brass microsctruture
70-30 Brass deep rolled, 200X (B.F.),
Etchant H2O2 / NH4OH
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