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This article provides information on the microstructure of powder metal alloys and the special handling requirements of porous materials. It covers selection, sectioning, mounting, grinding, and polishing, and describes procedures, such as washing, liquid removal, and impregnation, meant to preserve pore structures and keep them open for analysis. The article compares and contrasts the microstructures of nearly 50 powder metal alloys, using them to illustrate the effect of consolidation and compaction methods as well as particle size, composition, and shape. It discusses imaging equipment and techniques and provides data on etchants and etching procedures.

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