Joining Technologies and Corrosion  
Alloy Design & Processing Technologies
Corrosion and Local Electrochemistry
Functional Surfaces in Reactive Environments
Joining & Interface Engineering
User Lab Metallography



The metallography UserLab of the Empa provides know-how and facilities for surface finishing and cross-sectional sample preparation using conventional metallographic methods (e.g. cutting, grinding, polishing and cutting). Access to the user lab is granted to all registered Empa employees, which have completed a general safety course and also received a personal instruction to the rules and safety aspects of the UserLab (see below).

We provide the following facilities for metallographic sample preparation:

• Precision cutting machine (Buhler IsoMet4000)
• Low-speed saw (Buhler IsoMet)
• 40mm diameter hot mounting press (Buhler SimpliMet 1000)
• Various cold-mounting resins
• Grinding Machine (Buhler MetaServ 250)
• 3 semi-automatic polishing machines (Buhler PHOENIX 4000)
• Vibration polishing (Buhler Vibromet 2)
• Optical microscope with Camera (Zeiss Axiovert 100A / Canon DSLR)

The following consumables for sample preparation are provided by the UserLab in reasonable quantities:

• Standard cut-off wheels (note: diamond cut-off wheels are not provided by the UserLab)
• Hot- and cold-mounting resins (incl. clamps and other tools)
• Grinding Paper (FEPA 240-4000)
• A common stack of polishing cloths (note: individual sets are not financed by the UserLab)
• Commonly applied polishing suspensions and lubricants
• Raw-chemicals and equipment to prepare standard etching solutions

Off course, we can also support you with guidance and assistance regarding sample preparation and interpretation.

IMPORTANT: The UserLab is not a service center, i.e. we do not offer (routine) sample preparation tasks.

Your contact: Martin Sauder


  1. The Lab is only for authorized (registered) personnel.

  2. Your activities in the UserLab have to be logged in the lab journal.

  3. Equipment and facilities have to be cleaned after use.

  4. Use the provided consumables in an economical way.

  5. Leave a note if consumables are running low on stock or if the equipment is damaged or broken.

  6. Working with fluoric acid or chemicals, which contain fluoric acid, is only allowed if a special chemical safety course by Renato Figi was attended (please contact Renato Figi, Lab 132).

  7. The Metallography Lab is accessible for our users during the following times only:

Monday-Thursday from 07:30h - 16:30h
Friday from 07:30h - 14:00h

Any work within the UserLab outside the official opening hours needs a (temporary) special permission by Martin Sauder (Responsible of the Metallography UserLab) or Lars Jeurgens (Head of the laboratory).

Your contact: Martin Sauder


  1. Please fill out the 1st level or the 2nd level registration form and let it sign by your laboratory head or group leader. Return the filled-out and signed form to Martin Sauder.

  2. Every 2nd Wednesday of the month (from 10:30h-11:30h am), we organize a short introduction course for newly registered users. Please contact Martin Sauder in advance, if you wish to participate in the next introduction course.



Head of the laboratory
Supervision of the UserLab

Martin Sauder, Technician


User Registration Forms
Please respect our opening hours

Monday-Thursday: 07:30h - 16:30h

Friday: 07:30h - 14:00h

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