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Metallographic Characterization of the Microstructure of Tool Steel

Five Five-Step Method for Preparing Tool Steel

  1. 120-to 240-grit SiC, water cooled, 240-300 rpm, 6 Lbs/specimen, UP
  2. 9-μm diamond on UltraPolsilk cloth, 150 rpm, 6 Lbs/specimen, 5 min
  3. 3-μm diamond on TriDentcloth, 150 rpm, 6 Lbs/specimen, 4 min
  4. 1-μm diamond on TriDentcloth, 150 rpm, 6 Lbs/specimen, 3 min
  5. 0.05-μm MasterPrepAlumina suspension on MicroCloth, 120-150 rpm, 6 Lbs/specimen, 1-3 min

Use contra rotation (head rotates in opposite direction to platen if the head speed is <100 rpm.

Step 4 is optional; use with more difficult to prepare specimens.


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.