Holistic analysis of metallic components

You need metallographic analyses with really meaningful information?

We have the equipment and the specialist skills to undertake all relevant metallographic analyses on your components both quickly and correctly. As such, you receive a comprehensive overall picture of the state of your workpiece. We compile our analysis results in comprehensible test reports that offer you specific suggestions for the rectification of problems.

+49 7022 2796-681

Sample preparation in metallography for subsequent analysis

Your competent partner for metallography

For a specific, reliable and reproducible measurement result, sample preparation is crucial during all metallographic analyses. Undertaking this demanding task correctly is one of the core competencies of our experts, as is the practical evaluation of the findings. We provide you with results that answer your specific questions and on which you can always rely as correct.

Fast, reliable

measurement results

  • Metallographic sample preparation
  • Microstructure analysis
  • Weld seam inspection
  • Solder seam inspection
  • Hardness testing
  • Analysis of corrosion behaviour
  • Analysis of surface topography

Sample preparation

The preparation of samples is an important and also complex part of materialographie and its subfield, metallography. The goal is to make it possible to analyse solid materials macroscopically or microscopically. The materials must be prepared correctly for this analysis.

With the aid of our broad range of equipment, we prepare for you steel, aluminium and titanium alloys, non-ferrous metals, lithium-ion batteries, hard/soft magnets, ceramics, ferrites, composite materials, GFRP, CFRP and polymers as well as electronic assemblies.


Sample preparation for macro and micro sections

Cutting with the band saw system for sample preparation

© Behringer GmbH

Separation with the benchtop separation system for sample preparation
Cutting with the diamond wire saw for sample preparation in metallography

1. Cutting

Depending on the size of the component and its material, we use various cutting methods. For large components such as tools or assemblies from engines, for example crankcases, we cut precisely using band saw systems and table cutting systems. Our diamond wire saw is suitable for very small components such as fine soldered joints on circuit boards, sensors and printed circuit boards where we make cuts in the range from 0.15 to 0.5 mm without a heat-affected zone.

Embedding of the sample using impregnating resin for sample preparation
Specimen preparation: Round embedding body
Specimen preparation: Rectangular embedding body

2. Embedding

Embedding makes it easier to handle the sample, helps with obtaining good edge sharpness and protects fragile, deformable or coated materials during the analysis. As a rule, we use cold or hot embedding methods (electrically conductive or electrically non-conductive). As standard, we rely on embedding in a vacuum because in this way an optimal joint is produced between the sample and the impregnation resin. If transparent embedding is required very quickly and without the application of heat or pressure, UV embedding is also used.

Grinding and polishing for surface preparation

3. Grinding and polishing

With our semi-automated and automatic grinding and polishing systems, we produce perfectly prepared surfaces on the embedded items to be inspected – matched to the subsequent, metallographic analysis.

Etching in sample preparation makes microstructures in metals visible

4. Etching

Etching is used in metallography to depict, in a metal, specific microstructures that could not be made visible by means of polishing. Etching can be manual by means of immersion or electrolytically using acids, lyes and bases.

Sputtering of the sample in preparation for SEM-EDX analysis
Sputtering with a layer of carbon or platinum in the nanometre range

5. Sputtering

If samples that are not electrically conductive are to be analysed using SEM-EDX, they must be coated first by sputtering. An even coating of carbon or platinum in the nanometre range is applied to the sample. In this way the samples are prepared for further analyses using electron microscopes.

Applications for metallography

Microstructure analysis on metallographically prepared section

Microstructure analysis

We analyse microstructural and structural characteristics on metallographically prepared specimens to be able to provide you with information about deformation, particle boundaries, the porosity, intermetallic and non-metallic phases, segregation and contamination, as well as the crystalline structure and state of tempering in general.

Weld and solder seam testing in metallographically prepared sections

Weld seam and solder seam inspection

By inspecting weld or solder seams in metallographically polished specimens and by means of hardness testing as well as microstructure analysis, it is ensured that the application of heat has not weakened the material; it is also possible to assess the quality of the seams reliably. In the prepared cross-section, defects even inside the seams become apparent so they can be avoided in future.

Vickers and Brinell hardness test for quality testing and damage analysis

Hardness testing

Reliable and established Vickers and Brinell hardness testing form part of the standard repertoire for the analysis of components made of metal. We determine for you not only the hardening depth and hardness curve, we also identify brittle areas on your components – before they fail and cause more extensive damage.

Investigation of corrosion phenomena

Analysis of corrosion behaviour

For the successful analysis of different types of corrosion, detailed knowledge of the related application is essential. Only in this way can the behaviour of the metal in specific ambient conditions be determined reliably and the cause of damage identified. Our experts make available to you this knowledge.

Analysing the alloy composition using spark emission spectroscopy

Determination of alloy composition

Some alloy elements such as iron, aluminium, copper, zinc, magnesium, titanium, cobalt or nickel can be analysed both qualitatively and quantitatively using spark emission spectroscopy (OES) and their proportions compared with the limits in the steel code, various standards and your internal requirements.

Investigation of surface roughness and surface topography

Surface topography

We can measure and analyse material wear, volume measurements, cavities and other three-dimensional microstructures down to the nanometre area using a laser scanning microscope. In this way it is possible to measure the surface roughness and topography without contact.

Applications for metallography

Metallography permits detailed insights into the crystalline structures of metallic materials and components. In this way, defects can be detected quickly and their causes rectified. The significance of these analyses becomes clear if you consider the crucial role metallic components play in modern industry. A reliable analysis of these components is therefore essential in many sectors.

Analysis area - Automotive industry
© Vaceslav Romanov -


By means of metallographic material inspection and the analysis of weld seams, we help you to ensure that gearbox, suspension, drive train, chassis and other important components can withstand the enormous loads to which a vehicle is subjected every day.


Quality assurance and material analysis for the aerospace industry
© aapsky -


Aluminium in particular plays an important role in aerospace technology. By means of expert sample preparation and subsequent metallographic analysis, we contribute to the detection of flaws and defects in the microstructure of the material and the early prevention of catastrophic material failure, among other issues.


Analysis for medical technology
© Monstar Studio -

Medical technology

So that implants operate reliably in the human body for many years and noticeably improve the quality of life of the wearer, the quality of implants is of crucial importance. For this reason we analyse their microstructure and material composition in the same way as for medical instruments.


Added value at quality analysis


If speed is of the essence: even for enquiries at short notice, we offer you quick, precise metallographic analysis of your samples.


Excellent know-how, extensive experience and a high-end range of equipment guarantee high-quality measurement results.

Range of equipment

The right equipment is available for every destructive material test. Here we rely on products of German quality from ZEISS.


The accreditation of our inspection methods and laboratories signifies for you certainty, dependability and objectivity. This accreditation applies to all our specialist areas.

With extensive experience, excellent metallographic technology and sound expertise, our experts obtain the best from every analytical method so that you can rely on excellent results.

+49 7022 2796-681

DAkkS accreditation according to DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025

Accredited test laboratory for metallography

Our analytical methods for the destructive inspection of non-metallic and metallic materials, weld seam and solder seam analysis on metallic materials, layer thickness measurement, measurement of edge oxidation and determination of particle size, porosity analysis in metallic materials and coatings, particle analysis of non-metallic, carbon-based, organic and mineral particles, hardness testing, hardness curves and direct hardness measurement on metallic materials are accredited by Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle GmbH (DAkkS) in accordance with DIN EN ISO/IEC 17025. We are one of the few test laboratories in Europe in which all specialist areas have been successfully accredited.

You can read more about the advantages our accreditation offers you here:

Read more

Frequently asked questions

What other methods are available for the analysis of metallic components?

Metallography cannot answer all questions that arise in the context of quality assurance. Along with the analysis of microstructures, hardness testing and the like, questions often also arise about the shape and position tolerances of the overall component, the presence of shrinkage cavities, pores and inclusions.

At Quality Analysis, our experts from the area of industrial computed tomography as well as industrial metrology are at your disposal. You receive all the answers to your questions and a holistic assessment of your components from a single partner.

What needs to be taken into account during metallographic analyses?

Correctly implemented metallographic sample preparation is of major importance for informative material testing and the determination of the material characteristics of samples made of metal. Errors during the preparation of samples may reduce the value of the overall result of the analysis.

How are samples prepared for metallographic analysis?

The sample must be extracted before preparation. What sounds trivial, requires great expertise and skill to avoid unintentional changes to the microstructure. The sample must then be fixed and ground. Etching the sample after polishing is the last step in preparation. Only then are microstructures, particle boundaries, etc. clearly apparent.

What is the difference between metallography and materialography?

Metallography addresses the quantitative and qualitative analysis as well as the description of the microstructure of metals. Materialography does the same, however also for non-metallic materials such as ceramics or plastics. Metallography is therefore a branch of materialography.


The right partner for


What can we measure and analyse for you?
We would be pleased to advise you about the numerous possibilities for the metallographic analysis of your sample.  The goal: the best, most cost-effective and most efficient analysis of your sample.

Call us, we look forward to hearing from you!