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Three microstructural topics of interest to metallurgists are considered from the standpoint of their current status. They are (1) the so-called magnification effect, in which measured microstructural quantities have different values at different magnifications; (2) the estimation of NV, the number of particles or grains per unit volume, approximated from simple planar measurements rather than by the laborious 2-d to 3-d transform calculations; and (3) the characterization of profiles, in which five parameters are explored for their suitability in describing the average properties of irregular planar curves.
Although these stereological problems are still unsolved in the general sense, there has been considerable activity in these areas over the years. Current thoughts and approaches are summarized, with emphasis on practical applications and solutions.
quantitative metallography, profile analysis, stereology, quantitative fractography, magnification effect, volume number density
Professor of metallurgy, Fracture and Fatigue Research Laboratory, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Ga.