From routine quality checks to failure investigations, macroetch testing is an accurate, reliable method for assessing the metallic properties of materials ranging from stainless steel to beryllium. No matter your need, our highly trained metallurgists work with you to help understand your materials and get the most out of your products.

Our macroetch test services are offered at locations across the globe, and can be performed as standalone tests or as part of larger metallurgical testing projects. We work with you to determine the best etching methods for your projects, giving you the reliable, accurate results you need to ensure that your materials are without defect and fit for purpose.

Macroetch Test Procedures

Depending the size of the available material and the standard being used, our labs provide several methods for macroetch testing. Using a mixture of chemicals and compounds, macroetching removes the top layer of a sample to reveal material characteristics, structural elements and potential defects that can be observed without the use of a microscope (or using very low magnification).

Some of the features that we look for in a macroetch test include:

  • Banding
  • Corrosion
  • Fractures and defects
  • Grain size and grain boundaries (grains must be large)
  • Surface discontinuities
  • Macro structure
  • Forging defects

The Element Advantage in Macroetch Testing

With global experts actively serving on professional and standards committees, including ASM and ASTM, we are consistently at the forefront of new testing techniques and material innovations. Our labs use state-of-the art equipment to ensure that your materials are fit for purpose and of the best quality. 

For more information about our macroetch test services, or to request a quote, contact us today.

American Society for Testing & Materials

ASTM A561, ASTM A604, ASTM E1181, ASTM E112, ASTM E340, ASTM E381, ASTM E407, ASTM E930

British Standards

BS EN 10328:2005, BS EN ISO 2639:2002, BS EN ISO 643:2012


EN 3684

International Standards Organization

ISO 643, ISO 4967:2013

Society of Automotive Engineers


Do I Need Macroetch Testing 640 x 480
macroetch test services

Do I Need Macroetch Testing?

Our labs can perform many reliable metallurgical testing methods, each with distinct advantages. Let us help you determine if macroetching is the best option for your material.

Macroetch testing can be used across a variety of applications, and is most often applied when looking for surface characteristics of a material. Some common uses for macroetching include:

  • Quality control Macroetch testing is frequently used as an efficient, effective method of quality control in batches of material. By testing samples from batches of material after manufacturing is complete, we can ensure that no defects occurred during processing, and that the lot is ready to be used for any project.
  • Failure analysis Often, the surface characteristics of a metal offer important clues about why a failure has occurred. Using macroetching techniques, we can determine at what point failure may have occurred, and what caused it (manufacturing defects, material inconsistencies, etc.).
  • Material selection Choosing the right material for an application is extremely important, and can often be a difficult task. We apply macroetch techniques to help determine what materials have the right combination of characteristics to ensure the success of a product or system.
  • Sample preparation In addition to its uses as a standalone procedure, macroetch testing can also be used to prepare samples for additional testing. From setting up a material for microscopic examination to pre-penetrant cleaning for non-destructive testing, macroetching can be a useful tool across testing disciplines.

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The martensite content in quenched and tempered steels plays a significant role in their mechanical properties, making the as-quenched microstructure critical to the material strength and hardness.  LEARN MORE

What is Metallurgical Testing?

Metallurgy is the science and technology of extracting metals from their ores, refining them and preparing them for end use. Metallurgical testing identifies the condition and makeup of materials, ensuring the product or component is fit for purpose. LEARN MORE

Metallurgical Failure Analysis Helps Prevent Future Failures

When components fail, it can affect the delivery of goods and the safety of the general public. Performing metallurgical failure analysis is critical to preventing future failures.


Intergranular Corrosion Testing: An Overview of ASTM A262

ASTM A262 is a common intergranular corrosion testing method that can quickly screen batches of material to determine corrosion susceptibility. The ASTM A262 testing specification contains five unique intergranular corrosion tests.


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