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ASTM E3-11(2017)

Standard Guide for Preparation of Metallographic Specimens

1.1 The primary objective of metallographic examinations is to reveal the constituents and structure of metals and their alloys by means of a light optical or scanning electron microscope. In special cases, the objective of the examination may require the development of less detail than in other cases but, under nearly all conditions, the proper selection and preparation of the specimen is of major importance. Because of the diversity in available equipment and the wide variety of problems encountered, the following text presents for the guidance of the metallographer only those practices which experience has shown are generally satisfactory; it cannot and does not describe the variations in technique required to solve individual specimen preparation problems.

1.2 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

1.3 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.


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