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Metallographic Preparation Procedures - Precious Metals

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Gold, Silver, Platinum

Precious metals are relatively soft metals and any loose or fracture abrasive particles can easily embed. This makes specimen preparation very difficult because it gums up diamond grinding disks or specimen becomes embedded with fractured SiC particles when ground with SiC papers. The key to preparation of these materials is to use the tougher alumina abrasives and to chemically etch the specimen in between each grinding step. The purpose of etching is to remove the embedded particles so as not to carry them over to the next preparation step as contamination.

SECTIONING

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

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

POLISHING

Abrasive/surface

Lubricant

Force/ sample

Speed
(Head/base)

Time

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

Water

5-10 lbs

100/100 rpm

Until plane
1 minute
1 minute

3 um DIAMAT diamond on GOLDPAD polishing pad

DIALUBE Purple Extender

5-10 lbs

100/100 rpm

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 MICROPAD / MICROPAD 2 polishing pad

 

5-10 lbs

100/100 rpm

1 minute



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