Some techniques learned from experience can help metallographers identify certain phases in steel.
The microstructure of metals and alloys can be quite complex, particularly in certain alloy systems such as iron-based alloys. A good understanding of physical metallurgy, the role composition and processing on structure formation and modification, and an idea of the approximate expected hardness of different phases or constituents will help narrow the range of possible phases that might be present.
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The articles and presentations that can be down-loaded from this web site are based upon work done by GFV while employed at Bethlehem Steel (1967-1983), Carpenter Technology (1983-1996), Buehler Ltd. (1996-2009) and Struers (2009-Present) and from the authors consulting work for companies such as, Latrobe Steel, Scot Forge, etc., and from his litigation work. GFV's bylined articles appearing in various issues of the ASM Handbook series have been listed here courtesy of ASM International, Materials Park, Ohio.