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Mullite Ceramic Specimen Preparation

Metallographic etchant database

The preparation of hard/brittle/porous ceramic materials is not especially difficult with a few simple preparation tricks. First, to minimize grain pull-out which may be falsely characterized as porosity sectioning damage must be minimized. This is accomplished by sectioning with the appropriate diamond wafering blade and using the finest practical abrasive for initial grinding. Planar grinding is best achieved with the use of as small a diamond abrasive as possible on a metal mesh cloth. Note there is a trade-off between planar grinding time (abrasive size) and induced damage. In some cases for ceramics, it is better to take more time and minimize damage at planar grinding in order to reduce overall polishing times. The use of SIAMAT colloidal silica also provides a chemical mechanical polishing (CMP) action which is the most effective means for eliminating both surface and subsurface damage. The combination of SIAMAT colloidal silica with DIAMAT polycrystalline diamond also produces the required surfaces finishes.

SECTIONING

Diamond Wafering blade - medium grit / low concentration

MOUNTING
Castable Mounting with Epoxy or Acrylic resins

POLISHING

Abrasive/surface

Lubricant

Force/ sample

Speed
(Head/base)

Time

30 um DIAMAT diamond suspension on CERMESH Metal Mesh cloth   5-10 lbs

200/200 rpm

Until plane
6 um DIAMAT diamond on TEXPAN polishing pad SIAMAT colloidal silica 10 lbs

200/200 rpm

5 minutes

1 um DIAMAT diamond on GOLDPAD polishing pad

SIAMAT colloidal silica

10 lbs

200/200 rpm

5 minutes

SIAMAT Colloidal silca on TEXPAN polishing pad

 

10 lbs

100/100 rpm

5 minutes


Metallographic micrograph of Mullite ceramic

Mullite, 400X (B.F.) as polished condition

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