Imaging

LOM & SLOM

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SEM & EBSD

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3D Optical Profiler

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Optical Microscopy (LOM), (SLOM)

Light microscopy is a fast and easy to use technique for imaging. The stereo microscope is a good starting point for examinations as it gives a good overview of the specimen. The light optical microscope operates at higher magnifications (25x-1000x) compared to the stereo microscope. Light optical microscopy is mostly used on polished and etched specimens. The technique is a good tool for validation of heat treatments including examination of the microstructure to ensure that desired phases are present in the material.

Typical applications:

  • Microstructures
  • Plating and coating thickness
  • Crack characteristics

Leica DRME Light Microscope and Olympus SZX16 Stereo Microscope.

Microstructure of weld in copper
Materials characterisation of ductile iron using LOM
Microstructure of ductile iron showing graphite nodules sorrounded by ferrite in a pearlite matrix
Crack in G-X75 CrNiSi 23-2-1
Axial section of screw showing deep cracks on thread flanks

Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)

Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) is a powerful technique for imaging features down to the nanometer range. SEM can provide topographical and compositional information and has a greater depth of field compared to conventional light optical microscopes.

Typical applications:

  • Imaging of small features
  • Spatial variations in chemical composition
  • Enables chemical analysis (EDX)
  • Fractography, an important part in failure investigations

Zeiss FEG Ultra 55 with SE, BSE, In-Lens SE and In-Lens BSE detectors.

Electron Diffraction (EBSD)

Electron backscatter diffraction is a SEM based technique that provides crystallographic information of the microstructure in crystalline materials. EBSD can give information about crystal orientation, phases, texture, internal stresses, etc.

Typical applications:

  • Grain structure, size, orientation and distribution
  • Texture
  • Phase identification

Oxford Instruments HKL, NordlysF.

Cross Section through chrome plated grey iron
Intercrystalline fracture in 42CrMo4
EBSD map showing the crystal orientation in a duplex steel

3D Optical Profiler

Optical profilometry is a non-contact metrology technique for surface topography characterization. The technique provides 2D and 3D images of a surface as well as numerous surface texture parameters such as Ra-, Sa- and Sz-values.

Typical measurements include:

  • Surface roughness
  • Step height/depth
  • Dimensions
  • 3D imaging

Veeco Wyko NT9100 system and 4.1 Vision analysis software.

3D image showing wear on a needle
Optical profilometry used to visualise a forced scratch test conducted on PVD coated TiN on high speed steel.(Load 100 N).

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