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March 30, 2016

Pace Technologies/MCL Sample Preparation Workshop

Date and Time

March 30, 2016
9:00 am - 5:00 pm


$50.00; must have an Active RIMS account.
Cost includes lunch

Registration Deadline

March 25, 2015
To register, email:
Colette Orlandi


Dr. Donald Zipperian, CTO, Pace Technologies

Course Description

  • Having trouble imaging your samples in the SEM because of a bad polish?
  • Want to learn some new techniques to achieve better results in your surface preparation?
  • Frustrated because the method you used for your previous sample doesn’t work as well on a totally different material?

Come to the Sample Preparation Workshop at Penn State in N201 of the Millennium Science Complex!

Course Outline

I. Introduction

II. Basic sample preparation steps (goal of each step)

III. Specimen preparation - sample preparation based on specimen hardness vs. ductility – 11 Classes of Materials

  • Class 1 - Ductile materials (aluminum, copper, brass, bronze, tin, lead, zinc)
  • Class 2 – Very soft, low ductility materials (refractory materials, rare earths, precious metals)
  • Class 3 – Lower ductility metals (sintered iron, cast irons, white irons)
  • Class 4 – Soft, brittle nonmetals (electronics) (multilayer ceramic capacitors, electron dies, MEMS, PZT, GaAs, Electronic metallized ceramics, Magnetic ceramics-ferrites)
  • Class 5 – Medium hard ductile metals (soft and medium hard steels, steel welds, stainless steels)
  • Class 6 – Tough, hard nonferrous metals (Superalloys, titanium)
  • Class 7 – Thermal Spray materials (thermal spray coatings)
  • Class 8 – Hardened steels (Tools steels, nitrided steel)
  • Class 9 – Metal matrix composites
  • Class 10 – Engineered ceramics
  • Class 11 – Ceramic matrix composites

IV. Description and specimen preparation challenges for the 11 Classes of Materials

V. Other topics to be determined

VI. Etching techniques


VIII. In-lab demo if time allows (please bring samples if interested) - Also possibly time for additional lab time Thursday morning if there is interest.

Pace Technologies’ founder and Chief Technical Officer, Dr. Donald Zipperian, will be presenting topics designed to help users achieve the best preparation possible. 

  • Learn the best polishing compounds to use for various samples.
  • Learn techniques for grinding and wafering.
  • Learn how best to mount your sample and the differences in various epoxies.
  • Learn how to employ sample prep equipment to the maximum utilization.

Participants at this workshop will receive a FREE Metallographic Handbook written by Dr. Zipperian detailing the procedures covered by this workshop.

Bring your questions about specific samples as there will be a Q&A session following the presentations.