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Magnesium and its alloys are among the most difficult metals to prepare for metallographic examination. This article describes specimen preparation processes, including sectioning, mounting, grinding, and polishing. It discusses macro and microexamination techniques as well as related etching processes, including macroetching and color etching based on polarized light enhancement. The article concludes with an overview of the effects of alloying elements, including aluminum, beryllium, calcium, copper, iron, lithium, manganese, rare earth metals, silicon, silver, strontium, thorium, tin, zinc, and zirconium.

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Toby V. Padfield, Metallography and Microstructures of Magnesium and Its Alloys, Metallography and Microstructures, Vol 9, ASM Handbook, Edited By George F. Vander Voort, ASM International, 2004, p 801–815,

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