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I needed to take cross section characterization of an aluminum coating. I tried to use a hand saw to cut through it, but it destroys the coating, and usually is separated with the substrate as I exerted force in using the tool. What can I do to get a cross section part without damaging the thin coating/film?

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    $\begingroup$ The positioning of your question at Chem.SE gives us a subtle hint that you might be hoping for a chemical solution. I don't think one exists. Aluminum is pretty active; once it starts reacting, it isn't going to stop, and the galvanic pair with steel only makes it worse. Then again, I might be missing something, so let's wait and see. $\endgroup$ – Ivan Neretin Sep 8 '17 at 13:39
  • $\begingroup$ Use a good metalligraphy saw. Do a rough cut to get two pieces, glue them flush together with the coating on the inside, and do your clean cut through that. Or rough cut and polish back to an undamaged portion of the coating (doing this in a sandwich is good too). None of this is Chemistry per SE, but it wouldnt fit on Physics... $\endgroup$ – Jon Custer Sep 8 '17 at 14:20
  • $\begingroup$ For metallography, cut with a wet abrasive wheel ( as noted, you may need to place another surface against the aluminum for support) ,. Then mount the sample in Bakelite or equal. Then grind and polish in the traditional manor. It will require good technique not to round the aluminum edge, and excellent cleanliness to avoid scratching the aluminum. This is not a "do it yourself" job. $\endgroup$ – blacksmith37 Sep 8 '17 at 20:50

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