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    Simplified Metallographic Techniques for Nuclear Reactor Materials

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    Simple and versatile methods of preparing some of the more common nuclear reactor materials for metallographic examination are described.

    Chemical polishing develops the microscopic structural characteristics of a metal in a few minutes without the use of mechanical or electrolytic polishing. Attack polishing, a method which incorporates the simultaneous application of polishing abrasive and dilute acid solution to the polishing lap, is very useful in preparing materials that have a tendency to smear and flow during mechanical polishing. Cathodic vacuum etching reveals microscopic structures due to the selective removal of atoms by positive ion bombardment from a cathodic specimen in a glow discharge. Electrolytic polishing and the use of diamond abrasive are also playing important roles in metallographic preparation of reactor materials.

    Author Information:

    Cain, F M
    Manager, Metallurgical Services, Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corp., Apollo, Pa.

    Committee/Subcommittee: E04.11

    DOI: 10.1520/STP44350S