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The term metal matrix composite (MMC) covers a wide range of material combinations. It can include materials such as glass fibers contained in a lead matrix or something altogether different such as carbon fibers in a titanium matrix. The combinations are endless. Knowing the microstructure of these composites can provide important information about their physical and mechanical properties.
Preparing MMC’s can be challenging due to the nature of the materials present. For example, Touchstone has extensive experience in dealing with very difficult combinations of materials such as ceramic fibers in aluminum. If the metallurgist isn’t careful, the ceramic fibers will be fractured and scattered throughout the soft aluminum matrix. Touchstone personnel have developed the procedures necessary to provide quality metallographic images of both the ceramic fibers and matrix of this and other MMC materials. This experience has allowed Touchstone to become a premier organization for the sample preparation and documentation of the microstructure of MMC’s.
Whether you are looking for a lab to simply provide you with images for quality control support, or would be interested in help from a PhD metallurgist in your MMC development, Touchstone is available to serve you.
Touchstone is equipped to provide MMC metallography services that encompass initial sample preparation such as cutting and mounting as well as polishing, etching, and even image analysis through the use of our stereomicroscopes, inverted light microscope, or one of our three scanning electron microscopes (SEM).