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The microstructural analysis of metallic materials studies the relationship between the structural elements of alloys and their physic-chemical properties.


A great variety of materials and alloys with different product formats are analysed in the IK4-AZTERLAN Metallurgy Department. Thanks to the research and development of new materials/applications, and the analysis into the foundry and metal-mechanical sectors through technological services, we are able to work with special alloys, high performance materials and innovative applications. The metallurgic interpretation of metallographic substances provides us with vital information which deepens our knowledge of materials.


On some occasions, the metallographic technician comes across images of exceptional beauty: complex spatial mazes, geometric shapes painted with an impulsive pallet of tones, evocative figures on vague backgrounds…
These sensory stimuli affect the perceptual sensitivity of the technician, temporarily taking him away from a rational metallurgical interpretation to a more emotional and passionate evaluation of the image. It is during these reflective pauses when metallographic limits merge with art.


“Metallography. 1. F. The study of the structure, composition and properties of metals and their alloys. RAE (Spanish Language Academy)

“Art. 2. Amb. A display of human activity through which a personal and disinterested vision is expressed, interpreting something real or imaginary through artistic, linguistic or auditory means.


I want to thank my work colleagues from the Metallographic department for their collaboration on the collection of images that have made this article possible. Thank you very much!


“Alpha Sandwich” – Gr2 Titanium tube with exterior embrittlement due to the presence of “alpha-case”
Etching: HF base solution


“Labyrinth” Cr and Nb carbide on refractory Steel.
Etching: Kalling´s nº 2

“Cosmic Cataclysm” Alligatoring coat with corrosion pitting
Without Etching

“Fish” Forged duplex steel with precipitation of ferrite nitrides
Etching: Oxalic acid

“Orbital loneliness” Steel insert in spheroidal pearlitic cast iron
Etching: Nital 5

“Cheetah” Duplex steel with precipitation of intermetallic phases
Etching: NaOH base solution

“Metallic storm” Acicular carbides in perlitic cast iron.
Etching: Nital 5

Ibai Gallastegi
Ibai Gallastegi

Head of Corrosion and protection

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