A Generic Metallographic Preparation Method for Magnesium Alloys

Report No. ARL-TR-6447
Authors: James E. Catalano; Laszlo J. Kecskes
Date/Pages: May 2013; 52 pages
Abstract: Based on a survey of past metallographic practices and procedures in the literature, a general procedure was developed and evaluated on pure magnesium, a range of currently available high-performance magnesium alloys, and a couple of non-commercial alloys. Our experimental investigation revealed that a single robust composite sequence of polishing and etching steps is possible with slight modifications, based on the alloy composition families tested. The procedure developed shows the microstructural features of the alloys well, delineating grain boundaries and intergranular phases with adequate contrast. Electron microscopy–based observations coupled with energy dispersive x-ray analysis were used to identify the major constituents. Details of the procedure, its limitations, and suggested adjustments or changes are described.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: May 1, 2013