Microstructure Defect Analysis

Microstructure – Heat Treatment Analysis

Metallurgical Associates (MAI) provides expert microstructure and heat treatment analysis. Our engineers’ extensive experience, combined with the latest sample preparation capabilities and techniques, identify defects or flaws, conformance to specification, and suitability of components for intended application in service.

The physical properties of metals – strength, hardness, wear resistance, etc. – and their performance in service depend to a large degree on their microstructure. The sample preparation and analysis of microstructure is referred to as “metallograpy”.

Industrial metals are composed of crystalline structures. The size, shape, orientation and chemical composition of these crystals, or grains, determine those properties.  These characteristics are modified by a variety of manufacturing processes including heat treating, welding, grinding, forging, and others. Irregularities in these manufacturing processes may result in microstructural changes or defects which severely degrade a part’s performance.

Metallography and Microstructural Analysis applications include:

  • Evaluate case hardened and through hardened heat treated components for conformance to specification.
  • Determine components heat treat processing including temperatures, time at temperature, quench type, stress relieve, etc.
  • Identify microstructural flaws, defects resulting in component failure or deficient performance.
  • Weld and welder certification. Analysis of weld defects and failures.
  • Characterized braze and solder joints and certify conformance to specification.
  • Analyze plating and coating defects. Characterize single and multi-layer plating and coating adhesion, thickness and conformance to specification.