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Specimen Preparation for Electron Backscattered Diffraction – Struers


Although some publications have claimed that mechanical specimen preparation is inadequate for producing damage-free specimens for EBSD, this is certainly not true. Our methods have concentrated upon producing the best possible surfaces using an automated grinder-polisher with standard consumable products in a reasonable amount of time and at low cost. Furthermore, these methods are highly reproducible as demonstrated by extensive tests on many metals and alloys from aluminum to zirconium. Success depends first, and foremost, upon limiting cutting damage by using the proper blade and cutter. Next, commence grinding with the finest abrasive that will remove the cutting damage in a reasonable time and make all of the specimens in the holder co-planar. Polishing is done in counter rotation with a low holder rotational speed to keep the cloth as uniformly covered with abrasive and lubricant as possible. The grinding and polishing steps must keep the surface perfectly flat for best results. After the final polish, a general purpose etch can be applied, with the specimens in the holder, to evaluate the success of the preparation and determine what the structure is. Then, remove the etched surface by repeating the final step but with about half the required time. Preparation procedures are influenced by the crystal structure of the specimen. Face-centered cubic specimens will always exhibit more damage from each step than less ductile HCP and BCC metals and alloys.


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.