Metallographic inspections play a key role in determining the remaining life assessment, creep life of pressure vessels, pipelines, power plants and in verifying the material and heat treatment of fabricated equipment. In those instances, destructive metallographic tests are unsuitable as further usability of the component is required. Replica metallographic technique is an in-situ, non-destructive technique to reveal the microstructure of components.
The usual method of metallographic investigation involves cutting pieces from the component sothat laboratory preparation and examination can be performed. However, in replica metallography, after proper surface preparation through the use of cellulose acetate sheets, the technician makes a copy (for this reason it is called “replica”) of the microstructure of the metal surface, which will be examined using an optical microscope.
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