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Buehler Grinder-Polisher Improves Consistency in Materials Analysis

EcoMet 250/300 Pro grinder-polisher with AutoMet 250/300 power head

Published: Wednesday, December 22, 2010 - 16:31

(Buehler: Lake Bluff, IL) -- Buehler, a global manufacturer of scientific equipment and supplies for material preparation and analysis, has introduced its EcoMet 250/300 Pro grinder-polisher with AutoMet 250/300 power head.

New capabilities include the ability to store and recall 32 methods via touch-screen controls, a Zaxis (Z-axis) function that removes material by depth instead of time, and platen and power-head speeds that adjust in 10 rpm increments.

The EcoMet 250/300 Pro/AutoMet 250/300 semiautomatic system, with its programmable and adjustable functions, increases consistency and repeatability, ensures better flatness, and enables method optimization compared to manual grinding. The optional PriMet Pro modular dispensing satellite uses peristaltic pumps, not mist technology, to distribute lubricant, diamond, alumina, and colloidal polishing suspensions. Controlled dispensing offers repeatable results regardless of the operator, and it can lower consumable costs by preventing overuse.

Buehler also offers the EcoMet in a nonprogrammable version with push-button controls and digital readouts.

Tools to improve quality

Although they also allow manual sample preparation, EcoMet Pro/AutoMet semiautomatic grinder and power head systems provide several tools that help increase consistency and repeatability. For example, semiautomatic material removal helps ensure better flatness (critical when making measurements) because it eliminates hand rocking, while the Z-axis function enables targeting a specific plane.

“After determining the average depth of material needed to be removed to reach the damage-free or stress-free section, personnel can program the EcoMet Pro to remove a specific amount of material, rather than programming it by time,” says Andrea Johnson, Buehler product manager.

Johnson notes that testing and lab personnel believe that they must have a “hand touch” to prevent over-preparing a sample. Unfortunately, manually prepared samples often have planar issues and exhibit variations between samples.

“To ensure that all specimens are prepared using the same method—and to save time—use the EcoMet’s programmable function to store up to 32 methods and instantly recall them,” Johnson says.

Additional benefits of semiautomatic systems include variable speed adjustments that provide the flexibility to custom-tailor methods to the type and hardness of a sample. Higher speeds impact the abrasive aggressively, while slower speeds are gentler on the sample.

The EcoMet 250 Pro/AutoMet 250 system features platen speeds of 10 to 500 rpm and power head speeds 30 to 60 rpm (both adjustable in 10 rpm increments), as well as a central specimen force of 5 to 60 lb (20 to 260 N) and single specimen force of 1 to 10 lb (5 to 45 N). The EcoMet 300 Pro/AutoMet 300 system features platen speeds of 10 to 400 rpm and power head speeds of 60 to 150 rpm (both adjustable in 10 rpm increments), a central specimen force of 10 to 120 lb (40 to 535 N) and single specimen force of 1 to 20 lb (5 to 90 N). Operating parameters, such as speed and force, are adjustable during the preparation sequence. A pause function allows the operator to stop operation during a step, remove a sample for examination, and then complete that step at a later time.

“The range covered by these machines enables their use for preparing small, fragile, multicomposition parts, large, unmounted welds, or anything in between,” says Johnson.

EcoMet 250 Pro grinder-polisher with AutoMet 250 power head provides more control and the ability to store 32 methods, increasing consistency and repeatability.


About The Author

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Buehler, a premier manufacturer of scientific equipment and supplies for use in materials analysis, is a division of Illinois Tool Works (ITW), a global industrial manufacturer of value-added consumables and specialty equipment with related service businesses. Buehler products and analysis methods are applied in quality, R&D, and university laboratories across numerous industries, including aerospace and defense, automotive, electronics, energy, medical, and primary metals. Based in Lake Bluff, Illinois, Buehler has offices in seven countries, sales distribution in more than 100 countries, and more than 45 Buehler Solutions Centers.