SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1960

Simplified Metallographic Techniques for Nuclear Reactor Materials


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
Metallurgical Services, Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corp., Apollo, Pa.
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Developed by Committee: E04
Pages: 37–57
DOI: 10.1520/STP44350S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5959-4
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-6113-9