Coronavirus (Covid-19): Latest updates and information
Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Homepage contents

Course Content Page

Course overview

The course is designed to give knowledge of the techniques used for sample preparation of metallurgical samples for optical and electron microscopy. The course examines equipment and methods for extracting samples from metal parent samples, producing polished flat surfaces and how etching can be used to reveal surface features. The basic principles of optical and electron microscopes are considered and explained.

Who should attend?

The course is suitable for students, researchers, technicians, engineers and scientists. Industrial sectors where this course will apply include energy, oil and gas, aerospace, metal production, nuclear and automotive. A basic understanding of science and engineering principles in assumed.

Image by Eisenbeisser - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Tuesday, 01 January 2019

Course Content

Metallography and Microscopy


• Location

• Section size

• Sample removal

• Minimisation of damage

Grinding and Polishing

• Types of grinding wheel

• Grinding equipment

• Minimizing grinding damage

• Polishing wheels and abrasives

• The polishing process

• Manual polishing techniques

• Automatic polishing

Optical Microscopy

• The metallurgical microscope

• Illumination

» Condensing lens

» Dark field

» Bright field

• The optical path

• Polarised light

• Colour filters

• Quantitative metallography


• Types of mount

• Mounting materials

• Hot mounting

• Cold mounting


• Why etch?

• Etching theory

• The etching process

• Typical etchants for a range of metals

Scanning Electron Microscopy

• Principles of SEM

• SEM Imaging


• Typical applications of SEM/EDX

Friday, 01 March 2019

Learning Outcomes

• Understand the importance and techniques for removing representative samples

• Appreciate the equipment and practices used for grinding, polishing and etching

• Description of how to obtain useful metallurgical information from the optical microscope

• Insight into the wider range of information available from the scanning electron microscope

Monday, 01 April 2019

Dates and Fees

Due to Covid-19 we have been making changes to our course delivery. We remain committed to providing a high-quality learning experience and if face to face teaching is not possible some courses may be delivered online. We will continue to review the situation and update our website with the latest information. Please contact us to find out more about this course and we can advise you of the current options.