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Optical Microscopy Metallography Facility

This facility is equipped for the metallographic preparation of specimens by producing strain-free surfaces usually examined by optical microscopy. Other applications of mechanically polished specimens involve producing strain-fee (surface) tensile specimens, optically flat electrodes, and flat substrates for subsequent thin-film depositions. Both transmitted light and reflected light metallographs are available for photomicrography and microstructural characterizations. The Lab Manager is available for consultation and training.

Facility Type: 


  1. "Digital" darkroom

    available with AV Macintosh, scanner, and dye-sublimation printer capable of photographic quality prints.

  2. A semi-automatic Buehler Ecomet IV Abrasive and Polishing System

    Capable of preparing up to eight specimens simultaneously with reproducible parameters of platen speed, pressure, and diamond concentrations.

  3. Alumina slurry polishing

    available with sizes from1.0 to 0.05 micrometer

  4. Micro-hardness tester

    Capability to load from 10 grams to 1000 grams with either Knoop or Vickers indentors

  5. Optical microscopes ranging from 6X to 1600X

    Selected microscopes have brightfield and darkfield modes, and polarized light. 4" X 5" or 35mm camera formats are available for taking photomicrograph as well as digital image capture.

  6. Various 8" diameter platens

    for polishing are available with diamond paste sizes ranging from 30 to 0.1 micrometer