Seminar on Scientific Metallographic Sample Preparation for Advanced Metal Characterisation

Date: 09 Mar 2009 - 09 Mar 2009

Venue: SIMTech Auditorium

The half-day seminar provides an excellent platform for researchers and industry partners to learn the correct and scientific way of sample preparation as well as to keep abreast with latest technolgoical challenges in advanced sample preparation. 


(1) Latest Sample Preparation Technology by Ms Birgitte Nielsen
With the wide range of materials available today, the challenges around preparation of materialographic samples are many and often complex. Obtaining the true structure of a given material is not always as straightforward as one may think, and reproducing the results may prove even more difficult. This seminar seeks to help improve knowledge on professional and reliable sample preparation and create an understanding of how all the preparation parameters influence the final result. 

The first part of the presentation discusses the various abrasive types and their effect on the grinding and polishing results. Subsequently, the various preparation parameters are discussed in detail, with a special emphasis on time and force, as these have significant impact on the final result. The last part of the presentation focuses on specific preparation methods for specific materials, for example, aluminium, titanium, plasma spray coatings.

This seminar will give a good insight into the latest materialographic sample preparation technology and provide a good understanding of the implications of unaligned preparation parameters so that misinterpretations are avoided.  

(2) Advanced Sample Preparation Tools by Dr Samuel Lim
Sample preparation for microstructural analysis is commonly considered  as a laborious and non-technological advanced part of material science and metallurgy studies.  Mechanical polishing can be considered the basic form of sample preparation and the understanding of the principles behind each process of this method is important in the aspect of quality and accuracy of analysis.  Nevertheless, in tandem with the advancement and development of new analytical tools and electron microscopes, there has been scientific innovation in the area of tools and methods for sample preparation to meet the requirements needed for analysis to be carried out.  In this section of the seminar, some of the other advanced sample preparation tools will be highlighted and introduced.  Suggestions of how they can be used will also be briefly discussed. 

About the Speakers
Ms Birgitte Nielsen has been working since 1992 to 2000 as Materialographer in the Materials Research Department at Risø National Laboratory (fabrication and characterisation of electro ceramic components – SOFC (Solid Oxide Fuel Cells). From 2000 todate, she is employed as  Application Specialist at Struers A/S, guiding customers and sales people the correct preparation method based on the materials to be prepared and the purpose of examination. In addition, she is actively involved in  the area of micro-electronic (soft non-ferrous metals and plastic) and mineralogy.

Dr Lim Chao Voon Samuel joined SIMTech in 2001 and proceeded to Carnegie Mellon University, USA for his Doctorate studies in materials science and received his PhD in 2008. He received his Bachelor degree and a Master of  Mechanical Engineering degree from the National University of Singapore. As Research Engineer, Samuel is assisting the establishment of EBSD (electron backscattering diffraction) capability and technique for microstructure and texture analysis in SIMTech. He specialises in studying the microstructure size and texture effect on the formability of metal in bulk forming as well as microforming. His other areas of interest includes the effect of severe plastic deformation and thermomechanical processes on material properties with particular emphasis on light weight materials such as Al, Mg and Ti metals. In addition, he is also working on metal-matrix composite processing and fabrication.

8.30am    Registration

9.00am    Introduction of SIMTech and PE COI by Dr Lim Gnian Cher, Director, Precision Engineering Centre of 
               of Innovation

9.20am    Presentation by Tina Overgaard, Struers

9.25am    Mechanical Preparation Theory by Ms Birgitte Nielsen, Struers
              - Abrasive types and their effect on grinding-polishing results
              - How to ensure completely plane samples
              - How to avoid scratches and relief
              - How to decrease time & number of steps
              - Q & A 

10.30am  Tea Break & Networking

10.45am   Preparation Parameters by Ms Birgitte Nielsen, Struers
               - Preparation parameters’ influence on grinding-polishing results
               - Selection of methods
               - Examples of difficulties in preparing e.g. titanium, aluminum, plasma spray coating
               - Method optimisation and troubleshooting
               - Q & A

12.30pm   General and Advanced Sample Preparation Tools by Dr Samuel Lim, SIMTech
                - General tools 
                - Advanced tools
                - Selection of tools or methods
                - Q & A

 1.15pm    End of Seminar

Who Should Attend
Researchers, lecturers, undergraduates, polytechnic students and industry professionals

Pre-registration for the seminar is free of charge. Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

For technical enquiries, please contact Ms Cindy Huang Xiaohui, Email:

For general enquiries, please contact Ms Alice Koh, Email: