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Graphite Specimen Preparation

Metallographic etchant database

Specimen preparation of friable and brittle materials such as graphite present a microstructural preparation challenge. Proper microstructural preparation of these materials must maintain the structure of the graphite structure. This is accomplished by first mounting the graphite in a castable mounting compound such as epoxy. Initial grinding with a 320 grit or finer SiC paper is required to prevent pulling out the graphite particles, especially the smaller particles. Rough polishing is accomplished on low napped polishing cloths using diamond, with final polishing for a very short time on a high napped cloth using an alumina suspension.


Diamond Wafering blade - fine grit / low concentration

Castable Mounting with Epoxy or Acrylic resins




Force/ sample



320 grit SiC paper
400 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 ATLANTIS polishing pad

SIAMAT colloidal silica

5-10 lbs

200/200 rpm

3 minutes

0.05 um Nanometer alumina on NAPPAD cloth


5-10 lbs

100/100 rpm

1 minute

Metallographic micrograph of graphite

Graphite, magnification 1000 (B.F.), as polished

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