Optical Microscopy of Meteoritic Metal

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TECHNIQUES- Grinding & Polishing

Sample Selection | Sectioning | Epoxy Mounting | Grinding & Polishing | Etching | Microscopy

When the epoxy plug is cured, the mounted specimen is ground on a 600 grit diamond stone in order to remove all saw marks. The specimen is cleaned prior to polishing using the ultrasonic cleaner.

The specimen is then polished using a sequence of 6, 3, and 1 micron diamond paste on billiard cloths (Buehler) lubricated with baby oil. I use a Buehler Ecomet with a Whirlimet attachment, which allows for semi-automated polishing.  

The final polishing is done by hand using 0.06 micron silica suspension (Extec) on a low-nap cloth. After polishing, the specimen is gently washed with distilled water, rinsed with ethanol, and finally dried using a hair dryer.