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Optical metallography, one of the most common materials characterization techniques, uses visible light to magnify structural features of interest. This article discusses the use of optical methods to evaluate micro and macrostructure and relate it to process conditions and material behavior. It covers the steps involved in sample preparation, including sectioning, mounting, grinding, polishing, and etching, and presents several examples of macro and microanalysis on various metals and alloys.

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M.R. Louthan, Jr., Optical Metallography, Materials Characterization, Vol 10, Edited By Ruth E. Whan, ASM International, 1986, p 299–308,

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