About Microstructural Analysis

Metals and composite materials frequently have specifically engineered microstructures to achieve a desired yield strength, impact strength, hardness, or corrosion resistance.  For these reasons, it is important to know the sizes and shapes of grains, reinforcement phases, porosity, or any contaminants such as inclusions.

  • Approaches

    To conduct microstructural analysis most materials have to be sectioned and polished, as the features are usually on the order of microns and need to be examined with microscopy. 

    Our Scanning Electron Microscope, coupled with our Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectrometer (SEM/EDS) will be able to determine the microstructure morphology and confirm the chemical composition of any contaminants, inclusions, or phase separations.

    Chemical etching is common for metallic materials to help identify different phases and grain boundaries.

  • Sample Considerations

    For Scanning Electron Microscopy Analysis the samples will have to be small and conductive. 

    • We can prepare a smaller representative sample from a larger sample. 
    • We can also sputter coat non-conductive samples

    Samples can be as small as a few millimeters squared as long as they are representative. 

    Contact us to discuss your testing needs and associated sample considerations.

  • Experience

    Our team has a wealth of experience related to microstructural analysis.  For example we have conducted size analysis of nanoparticles and also analyzed the porosity of materials.