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This article describes the specimen preparation steps for tin and tin alloys, and for harder base metals which are coated with these materials with illustrations. The steps discussed include sectioning, mounting, grinding, polishing, and etching. The article provides information on etchants for tin and tin alloys in tabular form. It presents the procedure recommended for electron microscopy to determine the nature of the intermetallic compound formed by the reaction between tin or tin-lead coatings on various substrates. The article concludes with an illustration of the microstructures of tin-copper, tin-lead, tin-lead-cadmium, tin-antimony, tin-antimony-copper, tin-antimony-copper-lead, tin-silver, tin-indium, tin-zinc, and tin-zinc-copper systems.

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