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Zinc-Aluminum Alloy Specimen Preparation

Metallographic etchant database

Zinc-aluminum alloys are difficult to prepare because they are soft and contain oxide particles which can become dislodged and scratch the surface. The key to polishing zinc-aluminum alloys is to use alumina polishing abrasives to reduce fractured abrasive particle embedding and to final polish with polycrystalline abrasives (fine aggregates).

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

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




Force/ sample



P240 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

Metallographic microstructure for zinc aluminum alloy

Zinc-Aluminum Alloy, 200X B.F. (etchant CrO3, Na2SO4)

Zinc aluminum metallographic microstructure
Zinc-Aluminum Alloy, 1000X DIC (etchant CrO3, Na2SO4)
Polarized light metallograhic microstructure of zinc aluminum
Zinc-Aluminum Alloy, 100X Polarized (etchant CrO3, Na2SO4)
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