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Fracture surfaces are fragile and subject to mechanical and environmental damage that can destroy microstructural features. This article discusses the importance of care and handling of fractures and the factors that need to be considered during the preliminary visual examination. It describes the procedures for sectioning a fracture and opening secondary cracks as well as the effect of nondestructive inspection on subsequent evaluation. The article provides information on the most common techniques for cleaning fracture surfaces. These techniques are dry air blast cleaning, replica stripping, organic-solvent cleaning, water-base detergent cleaning, cathodic cleaning, and chemical-etch cleaning.

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