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Zinc and Zinc Alloy Specimen Preparation

Metallographic etchant database

Pure zinc can be difficult to prepare because it forms abrasion artifacts in the form of small recrystallized grains which often produce twinning. Proper preparation requires minimizing damage. For pure zinc alternating between polishing and etching and repolishing is often required in order to remove the damaged microstructure. The recommended etchant is 10 grams of sodium hydroxide in 100 ml D.I. water; etch for only a few seconds before repolishing.


MAXCUT Abrasive blade (MAX-C or MAX-I series)

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




Force/ sample



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


5-10 lbs

100/100 rpm

Until plane
1 minute
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 NAPPAD polishing pad


5-10 lbs

100/100 rpm

1 minute

Microstructure pure zinc

Pure zinc, 100X (DIC), etchant 10 grams NaOH in 100 ml D.I.water for 5 seconds

Zinc-aluminum microstructure
Zinc-Aluminum alloy, 100 X Polarized Light, Etchant 40 gms CrO3,
3 gms Na2SO4, 200 ml DI water.
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