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ASM Handbook

Metallography and Microstructures

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George F. Vander Voort
George F. Vander Voort
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Metallography and Microstructures of Ferrous Alloys



This article describes the metallographic specimen preparation procedures for cast iron test samples, including mounting, grinding, polishing, and etching. It discusses the makeup and use of black-and-white and selective color etchants and where one might be preferred over the other. The article provides information on nearly 100 micrographs, discussing the microstructure of flake graphite in gray iron, nodular graphite in ductile iron, and temper graphite in malleable iron. It also examines the matrix microstructures of gray, ductile, compacted, and malleable cast iron samples.


This article reviews various phases and constituents found in the microstructures of low-carbon and coated steels. It provides information on the criteria for selecting proper metallographic procedures. Techniques used to prepare metallographic specimens of low-carbon steels and coated steels, such as sectioning, mounting, grinding, polishing, and etching, are discussed. The article also reviews the simple and proven manual sample preparation techniques of coated steel specimens.

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2004. "Metallography and Microstructures of Ferrous Alloys", Metallography and Microstructures, George F. Vander Voort

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