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Graphite Composite Specimen Preparation

Metallographic etchant database

Proper preparation of polymer / graphite composites is required because the properties of the matrix material and the graphite particles vary significantly in both hardness and fracture toughness. As a general rule, the most difficult component to prepare in composite materials are the most brittle component (e.g. graphite particles). To properly polymer-graphite composites, initial sectioning must minimize damage. This is generally accomplished with a fine grit diamond wafering blade. Proceeding preparation steps must not add additional damage, this is accomplished by a matching the proper abrasive to to the proper polishing surface.

SECTIONING

Diamond Wafering blade - fine grit / low concentration

MOUNTING
Castable Mounting with Epoxy or Acrylic resins

POLISHING

Abrasive/surface

Lubricant

Force/ sample

Time

320 grit SiC paper
600 grit SiC paper

Water
Water

5 lbs
5 lbs

Until plane
1 minute

6 um DIAMAT diamond on TEXPAN polishing pad

DIALUBE Purple Extender

3-5 lbs

3 minutes

1 um DIAMAT diamond on ATLANTIS polishing pad

DIALUBE Purple Extender

3-5 lbs

2 minutes

0.05 um NANOMETER Alumina on MICROPAD/ MICROPAD 2 polishing pad   3-5 lbs 45 seconds

Metallographic micrograph of graphite composite

Polymer / Graphite Composite, as polished, 200X (B.F.)

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