Mechanical ASTM E3
ASTM E-3: Practice for Preparation of Metallographic Specimens
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.
Microstructures have a strong influence on the properties and successful application of metals and alloys. Determination and control of microstructure requires the use of metallographic examination. Many specifications contain a requirement regarding microstructure; hence, a major use for metallographic examination is inspection to ensure that the requirement is met. Other major uses are in failure analysis and in research and development. Proper choice of specimen location and orientation will minimize the number of specimens required and simplify their interpretation.
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