What is metallography?
The study of the microstructures of metallic alloys, such as aluminium and nickel alloys, is referred to as metallography. Microstructure analysis allows us to determine whether a material has been correctly processed and is a critical step in determining product reliability. Today, there are thousands of standardised alloys available, with more in development.
What is resin?
Resin is a versatile material, a solid or liquid synthetic organic polymer, that can be used in plastics, varnishes, flooring and so forth. Thus, synthetic resins are often used in manufacturing.
What is hot mounting and how is it used with resin in sample presentation?
Metal samples should be prepared so that they can be examined microscopically, which may require hot mounting resins.
The type of resin used in mounting can vary depending on whether it is thermosetting or thermoplastic; thermosetting has a permanent outcome as the resin cures at a high temperature. The type of resin used also depends on the desired outcome: for example, acrylic resin, either thermoplastic or thermosetting, may be used since the sample remains visible during and after polishing and is suitable for most materials.
Resin can be used through the straightforward hot mounting process to create products with specified dimensions. A mounting press is used in this process; a sample is placed with the chosen mounting resin and enclosed at a high temperature. High pressure may also be applied but is not required with thermoplastic resin; they do not require added pressure to harden. Overall, constant pressure, at the correct level, ensures rigid, consistent mounts.
Once a thermosetting resin’s mount has hardened, the specimen can only be removed if the mount is broken. On the other hand, thermoplastic resins can be melted and remoulded, so they are easily recyclable. These are important factors to consider when hot mounting resins.