Metallographic grinding – an overview
Before samples can be microscopically examined and evaluated in metallography, they are subject to a series of mechanical processing steps. After cutting and mounting, preparation steps begin which serve to remove material from the sample surface. During these steps, damages and deformations which inevitably remain after the cutting step are carefully removed. Carefully grinding the sample in a professional approach in metallography is one first important step towards a smooth sample surface. The surface of the sample is removed in small steps using abrasives bonded on grinding discs. During the grinding process, the removed chips are washed away with water. For metallographic grinding, a distinction is made between plane or pre-grinding and fine grinding. Pre-grinding uniformly smoothens the surfaces of different samples and prepares them optimally for the subsequent fine grinding process. Here, abrasives with large grits which provide high removal rates are frequently used. The subsequent fine grinding is performed with fine grit discs up until the optimum sample surface condition is achieved for the following polishing step.
Precise and economical grinding in metallography
Metallographic grinding serves to optimally prepare the sample for the subsequent polishing step. The less deformations, scratches or smearing remain on the sample surface after cutting, the easier and more successful the grinding process. The grinding process objectives are a function of the respective desired preparation level that is to be achieved for the sample. The grinding process may already be a step towards achieving the examination goal when particular aspects of a metal or another material are to be revealed. As a general principle, attention should be paid to achieve the respective preparation objective in as few work steps as possible. This is not just true for grinding, but for all other preparation steps. Highly precise and adjustable machines and high quality grinding discs for a targeted material removal are indispensable for an effective and economical metallographic grinding process. Perfectly matched ranges of machines, consumables and auxiliary materials for metallographic grinding such as those offered by SCAN-DIA facilitate a quick and economical grinding process.