Many samples have irregular shapes making it impossible to clamp them into a sample holder. By embedding we give them a standard shape making it much easier på place in a sample holder or to hold on to when preparing samples manually.
Some materials are very porous and fragile and benefit from support from the resin in the preparation.
Often the edge of the sample is of interest and needs to be flat. For instance when measuring a coating thickness or the structure of a case hardened sample etc. Many older methods rely on grinding paper and soft polishing cloths with inherent bad edge retention. By supporting the sample with a material equal in hardness a much flatter edge can be obtained.
With the introduction of diamond grinding discs, rigid disc fine grinding and hard polishing cloths the need for this edge support has decreased significantly.
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