Metallographic Specimen Preparation for Electron Backscattered Diffraction

  • G. F. Vander Voort


Electron backscattered diffraction (EBSD) is performed with the scanning electron microscope (SEM) to provide a wide range of analytical data; e.g., crystallographic orientation studies, phase identification and grain size measurements. The quality of the diffraction pattern, which influences the confidence of the indexing of the diffraction pattern, depends upon removal of damage in the lattice due to specimen preparation. It has been claimed that removal of this damage can only be obtained using electrolytic polishing or ion-beam polishing. However, the use of modern mechanical preparation methods, equipment and consumables does yield excellent quality diffraction patterns. The experiments discussed here covered a wide variety of metals and alloys prepared mechanically using three to five steps, based on straightforward methods that generally require less than about twenty-five minutes.