If you know that you need to have metallographic sample testing done sometime soon, then you probably realize that you are going to need a sample that can be submitted for testing. You might not want to prepare this sample yourself since you might not have the time and equipment and since you might not be sure of how to do it yourself. Plus, you want to make sure that the sample is properly prepared so that the testing can be done properly. If you hire a professional to help you with metallographic sample preparation, these are some of the steps that they will probably take when helping you with preparing your sample.
First of all, the professional will take a look at the piece of metal that you have provided them with and will choose a section that they will remove the sample from. In some cases, this is from a corner or edge since this can often be the easiest part to remove. However, this is not always the case since a better sample can sometimes be taken from other parts of the metal. The professional should assess your specific piece of metal to determine the best portion to take a sample from so that proper testing can be performed.
Once the professional who is preparing your sample has determined where they are going to remove the sample from when working with a piece of metal, they will work on cutting out that sample. Ideally, they will do so with proper, precise equipment that will not cause too much damage to the metal when it's being cut. Otherwise, the testing might not be as accurate as you are hoping that it will be. In many cases, laser cutting equipment is used during the cutting process simply because it's safe and precise and because it does not cause damage to the metal that is being cut.
Depending on the type of testing that you are having done, the type of metal that you are having tested, and the way that the metal sample turns out when it's cut from your piece of metal, some finishing might have to be done. For example, polishing or grinding might need to be done so that a proper testing surface is available.
So that proper testing can be done on the sample, the sample will typically need to be mounted. Luckily, this is typically considered to be an important part of sample preparation, and it's something that your sample preparer should do for you.
Reach out to a professional for help with metallographic sample preparation.