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Metallography

Lab session#1:
To develop the concept of metallography and to do the grinding of given specimen.

Metallography:
It is a branch of materials science which relates to the constitution and structure, and their
relation to the properties, of metals and alloys. [1]
Metallography is the study of the structure of metals and of metal alloys through the examination
of specimens with a metallurgical microscope. The structures observed in the microscope are
often recorded photographically.
Metallography is the study of the structure of metals. These days it is also applied- to nonmetallic materials. Carbon composites, wood, glass, ceramics, and polymers fall into this last
category. The examination of a materials structure ranges from extremely coarse to very fine.
Viewing by eye to observe rust, cracks, holes are coarse techniques. Identification of individual
atoms and dislocations by electron microscopy and X-ray analysis are extremely sensitive and
accurate techniques. Normal metallographic examination usually falls in between these two
extremes. Grain size and shape, porosity, cracks, second phases, and fracture processes are
investigated. From a brief review of these parameters, metallography can be shown to be an
extremely powerful analytical tool. For example, the mechanical properties of materials depend
upon grain size and shape, and the amount, nature, and distribution of second phases. Thus
metallography can 'predict' the mechanical properties of given material.
Metallography is the study of the microstructure of all types of metallic alloys. It can be more
precisely defined as the scientific discipline of observing and determining the chemical and
atomic structure and inclusions or phases in metallic alloys. By extension, these same principles
can be applied to the characterization of any material.
Many important macroscopic properties of metallic materials are highly sensitive to the
microstructure. Critical mechanical properties, like tensile strength or elongation, as well as other
thermal or electrical properties, are directly related to the microstructure. The understanding of
the relationship between the microstructure and macroscopic properties plays a key role in the
development and manufacture of materials and is the ultimate aim of metallography.

Metallographic specimens:
Preparation of metallographic specimens generally requires five major operations:
1. Sectioning
2. Mounting (which is optional)
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Metallography
3. Grinding
4. Polishing
5. Etching

Sectioning:
The first step in specimen preparation the selection and separation of samples from the bulk
material is of special importance. If the choice of a sample is not representative of the material, it
cannot be corrected later. It is also difficult to compensate later for improper sectioning, because
additional, time-consuming corrective steps are necessary to remove the initial damage. [2]
Sectioning includes abrasive cutting and sawing.

Abrasive cutting:
The most versatile and economical sectioning method is abrasive cutting. A thin, rapidly
rotating, consumable abrasive wheel produces high-quality, low-distortion cuts in times ranging
from seconds to several minutes, depending on the material and the cross-sectional area. This
technique is almost universally applicable. Important parameters in abrasive cutting are wheel
composition, coolant condition, and technique.

Abrasive wheel cutting


Abrasive wheels consist of abrasive grains (alumina, silicon carbide, boron nitride, diamond)
bonded together with either resin or rubber or a rubber-resin combination, or metal.

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Metallography
Cutting wheel machines are available with high or low speed, with or without a feeding device,
and even with precisely guided sample holders. The machines must always be equipped with a
cooling system to prevent excessive heat that might affect the microstructure of the specimen;
the coolant is ordinarily water, to which a corrosion inhibiting agent can be added. [1]

Sawing:
Sawing is perhaps the oldest method of sectioning in the metallographic laboratory. The method
is still used today as manual hacksawing and power hacksawing.
Saw blades are generally made of hardened steel and are used to cut only materials softer than
saw blade. Oil or water-soluble oil should be used as a cutting fluid to avoid premature wear of
the saw teeth, as well as to minimize frictional heat, which may soften the saw teeth or alter the
microstructure of the specimen below the cut surface.

Grinding:
Grinding is a most important operation in specimen preparation. During grinding the operator
has the opportunity of minimizing mechanical surface damage that must be removed by
subsequent polishing operations. Even if sectioning is done in a careless manner, resulting is
severe surface damage. The damage can be eliminated by prolonged grinding. However,
prolonged polishing will do little toward eliminating severe surface damage introduced by
grinding.
Grinding should commence with coarse grit size that will establish an initial flat surface and
remove the effects of sectioning within a few minutes. An abrasive grit size 150 or 180 mesh is
coarse enough to use on specimen surfaces sectioned by an abrasive cutoff wheels. Hacksawed,
or other rough surfaces usually require abrasive grit sizes in the range 80 to 150 mesh. [2]

Grinding pressure:
Grinding pressure is dependent upon the applied force (Newtons) and the area of the specimen
and mounting material. Pressure is defined as the Force/Area .For specimens significantly harder
than the mounting compound, pressure is better defined as the force divided by the specimen
surface area. Thus, for larger hard specimens higher grinding pressures increase stock removal
rates, however higher pressure also increases the amount of surface and subsurface damage. [3]
Success in grinding depends in part on the pressure applied to the specimen. A very light
pressure removes insufficient metal. Somewhat heavier pressure produce polishing, while still
heavier pressure brings about the desired grinding action. Very heavy pressure results in
nonuniform scratch size, deep gouges, and embedded abrasive particles. Generally, a medium to
moderately heavy pressure applied firmly gives the best results.

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Metallography
Cleaning:
Specimens should be cleaned after each grinding steps to avoid any carryover of abrasive
particles to the next step. Water solutions containing detergents are excellent cleaners and
ultrasonic cleaning is an effective technique. Cleanness of the operator's hands is as important as
cleanness of specimen. Contamination of the grinding equipment by flying abrasive particles
must be avoided.

Grinding abrasives:
The grinding abrasives commonly used in the preparation of specimens are

Silicon Carbide :
It is an ideal abrasive for grinding because of its hardness and sharp edges. For
metallographic preparation.SiC abrasives are used in coated abrasive grinding papers
ranging from very coarse 60 grit to very fine 1200 grit sizes.
Aluminium oxide
Diamond particles

Usually are generally bonded to paper or cloth backing material of various weights in the form of
sheets, disks and belts of various sizes. Limited use is made of grinding wheels consisting of
abrasives embedded in a bonding material. The abrasive may be used also in powder form by
charging the grinding surfaces with loose abrasive particles.

Sand papers

Hand grinding:
A simple setup for hand grinding can be provided by a piece of plate glass, or other material with
hard, flat surface, on which an abrasive sheet rests. The specimen is held by hand against the
abrasive sheet as the operator moves specimen in rhytmic style away from and toward him in a
straight line. Heavier pressure should be applied on the forward stroke than on the return stroke.
The grinding can be done wet by sloping the plate glass surface toward the operator and
providing a copious flow of water over the abrasive sheet.

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Metallography
In order to insure that the previous rough grinding damage is removed when grinding by hand,
the specimen should be rotated 90 or 45 degrees and continually ground until all the scratches
from the previous grinding direction are removed. If necessary the abrasive paper can be replace
with a newer paper to increase cutting rates. [2]

Procedure:

Take the given specimen and glass sheet.


Put sand paper on glass sheet.
Do grinding of it by sand paper of grit sizes ranging from 400 to 1500.

References:
1. http://www.asminternational.org
2. http://mimoza.marmara.edu.tr
3. www.metkon.com

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