Ceramics and Ceramic Composites: Materialographic Preparation

1st Edition

Authors: G. Elssner H. Hoven G. Kiessler P. Wellner
Hardcover ISBN: 9780444100306
eBook ISBN: 9780080528816
Imprint: Elsevier Science
Published Date: 14th December 1999
Page Count: 186
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Ceramics and ceramic composites are now used in almost all areas of technology and have potential for even greater and more widespread applications. To make this a reality, it is increasingly necessary to understand the microstructure of the material and its relationship with properties and performance. Central to this is the characterization of the material, in particular using optical and scanning electron microscopy techniques.

This book acts as an expert guide to the various steps necessary for successful and accurate characterization of these materials including the crucially important preparation stage, the techniques used to reveal the microstructure and the analysis of the results.

In particular, the book presents fundamental information on preparing polished sections of ceramics and ceramic composites including the main steps of sampling, sectioning, mounting and impregnation, and mechanical grinding, lapping and polishing. It discusses microstructural imaging in the optical microscope (OM) and the use of the scanning electron microscope (SEM). Etching or contrast enhancement following final polishing in order to reveal the material's microstructure is also covered.

An entire chapter is devoted to material-specific preparation procedures for polished sections. These procedures take into account the properties of the ceramic or composite being examined and the purpose of the examination. They have proven to be very suitable for the respective materials and are effective for revealing the pores. The examples presented here for ceramics and ceramic composites provide polished sections of good to excellent quality for routine examination under the optical microscope. They include tips for etching and contrast enhancement, as well as microstructural images. Chapter 5 discusses the preparation of polished sections for purposes of examination and contains information on producing oblique sections and controlled removal of


For materials scientists, metallographers and technicians engaged in characterization of ceramics and ceramic composites.

Table of Contents

Abbreviations. Introduction. Fundamentals of Preparing Polished Sections. Selection and sampling. Sectioning. Mounting and impregnation. Hot (compression) mounting. Cold mounting. Recovery of embedded samples. Impregnation. Grinding, lapping, and polishing. Preparation equipment. Grinding. Materialographic lapping. Polishing. Revealing the Microstructure. Microstructural imaging in the Optical Microscope (OM). Imaging methods of optical microscopy. Electronic image processing and contrast enhancement. Tips on contrast enhancement and etching. Relief polishing. Contrast enhancement with interference layers. Chemical dip etching. Thermal etching. Plasma etching. Ion etching. Electrolytic etching. Microstructural imaging in the scanning electron microscope. Ultrasonic scanning microscopy. Material-Specific Preparation of Polished Sections. Properties of ceramic materials. Pores in ceramic materials. Examples of preparing ceramic materials. &agr;-Al2-O3 (corundum) in single-crystal form. Aluminum oxide ceramic: 99.5% &agr;-Al2O3. Aluminum oxide ceramic: 99.7% &agr;-Al2O3. Aluminum oxide ceramic: &agr;-Al2O3 with SiO2 and MgO additives. Aluminum oxide ceramic: &agr;-Al2O3 with glass phase. Aluminum nitride AIN, sintered. Boron carbide B4C, high-density. Boron nitride BN, sintered. Calcium carbonate CaCO3, white marble. Cerium oxide CeO2. Chromite. Refractory ceramics. Glass. Graphite. Coal. Lanthanum strontium manganese oxide. Silicon carbide SiC, pressureless-sintered. Silicon carbide varistor ceramic. Silicon nitride Si3N4, hot-pressed. Si-SiC-C ceramic. Zinc oxide ZnO. Zirconium oxide ZrO2. Zirconium oxide with aluminum oxide inclusions. Zirconium oxide, partially stabilized with MgO and SiO2. Preparation of ceramic composi


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Elsevier Science
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About the Author

G. Elssner

Affiliations and Expertise

Max-Planck-Institut für Metallforschung, Stuttgart, Germany

H. Hoven

Affiliations and Expertise

Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Jülich, Germany

G. Kiessler

Affiliations and Expertise

Max-Planck-Institut für Metallforschung, Stuttgart, Germany

P. Wellner

Affiliations and Expertise

Sulzer Metco in Hatteresheim, Germany