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Cast Iron Specimen Preparation

Metallographic etchant database

Cast Irons are difficult materials to prepare properly because the graphite nodules or the graphite flakes are easily pulled out during preparation. By minimizing the sectioning damage and by starting with a modest grit size SiC paper, retaining these difficult particles can be accomplished.


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

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




Force/ sample



240 grit SiC paper
360 grit SiC paper
600 grit SiC paper
800 grit SiC paper
1200 grit SiC paper


5-10 lbs

200/200 rpm

Until plane
1 minute
1 minute
1 minute
1 minute

1 um DIAMAT diamond on GOLDPAD pad

DIALUBE Purple Extender

5-10 lbs

200/200 rpm

2 minutes

0.05 um Nanometer alumina on TRICOTE pad


5-10 lbs

100/100 rpm

1 minute

Metallographic micrograph of nodular cast iron

Cast Iron, 2% nital etchant, 100X (DIC)

Metallographic micrograph of graphite flakes in cast iron

Graphite cast iron, 2% nital etchant, 500X

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