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This article describes two contemporary approaches for preparing cast iron specimens with a wide range of phases and constituents as well as different graphite morphologies. It introduces concepts and preparation materials that enable metallographers to shorten the process while producing better, more consistent results. Recommended procedures to prepare cast irons and examples of high-alloy cast iron microstructures revealed using a variety of etchants are presented. Several etchants are used to reveal the matrix microstructure, depending on the alloy content. The article discusses the use of black and white etchants and lists the compositions of abrasion-resistant cast irons according to ASTM A532/A532M in a table.

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