Met Troubleshooting Guide
LECO’s Met Troubleshooting Guide lets you capitalise on our 40+ years of experience in the field of metallurgy. Search our solutions to common problems and tips on avoiding them before they become problems.
I let my epoxy mount cure all night, but it is still soft
Have you ever let long-cure epoxy mounts cure overnight, only for the setscrew to push into the mount when you went to load it into your grinder/polisher’s fixed specimen holder? When the epoxy is soft, the specimen isn’t secure in the mount or in the specimen holder, and proper grinding and polishing becomes impossible. The eight hour cure time for long cure epoxy means you can’t just whip up a new one; if something goes wrong, you’ve effectively lost an entire day as the replacement also needs eight hours to cure.
But if you left your mounts to cure overnight, shouldn’t that have been more than enough time? What could have gone wrong?
First, My Specimen Was Scratched, And Now The Mount Has Radial Cracks!
Cracks in your mount are never a welcome sight. While a scratched specimen doesn’t always have a cracked mount, a mount with radial cracks is far more likely to cause a future scratched specimen. While we covered the scratches in an earlier tip, we can’t ignore the cracks.
After Etching, My Specimen Has An Area That Looks Stained!
There is a certain sort of frustration that comes with putting a completed multi-step metallographic preparation beneath the microscope, taking a look, and seeing a discolored or stained surface. While a few types of stains can be ignored, many stains mean something went wrong during the preparation.
I Break Sectioning Blades More Often Than I Would Like
Having an abrasive cut-off wheel break in the middle of a cut is scary and can happen even on the best equipment. Replacing the broken blade interferes with your material lab’s smooth workflow. If your sectioning blades are breaking frequently, you might be experiencing some common failures. Below, we outline five of the most frequent causes of a broken blade and how to fix them.
Why Do My Polished Specimens Keep Getting Scratched? 3 Key Reasons & How to Avoid Them
Nothing is more frustrating than when you go to evaluate your sample under a microscope and all you see is scratches across the surface of your specimen. You want your materials lab to run as smoothly as possible and these scratches can slow down your evaluation process, requiring you to start over or redo a sample. The good news is, these scratches can be avoided with the proper precautions, below we take a look at the three main causes for a specimen scratch after polishing and what you can do to avoid them in the future.