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This chapter discusses the context in which metallography is used and some of the challenges of analyzing three-dimensional structures from a two-dimensional perspective. It describes the hierarchical nature of metals, the formation of grain boundaries, and the notable characteristics of microstructure. It explains how microstructure can be represented qualitatively by points, lines, surfaces, and volumes associated to a large extent with grain contact, and how qualitative features (including grains) can be quantified based on cross-sectional area, volume fraction, density, distribution, and other such metrics.

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Introduction to Metallographic Technique, Metallography of Steels: Interpretation of Structure and the Effects of Processing, By Hubertus Colpaert;Edited By André Luiz V. da Costa e Silva, ASM International, 2018, p 25–37,

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