Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Micro-Analysis (EDS)
The Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) is a versatile and essential tool in Failure Analysis and Metallurgical Engineering. Magnification capabilities extend from 5X to over 200,000X. When combined with micro-analysis capabilities provided by Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS), this instrumentation is capable of both imaging and chemically analyzing features as small as one-fifty millionths of an inch in diameter.
Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS – also sometimes called EDX, EDAX and Micro-Probe) operates in conjunction with SEM, providing powerful chemical analysis capabilities of microscopic features, particles and contaminants. EDS can also generate elemental maps which display an image of the sample and the location and concentration of elements in the imaged sample area.
SEM and EDS Capabilities and Applications include but are not limited to:
- Fracture mode identification (“How it failed.” Fatigue, ductile, brittle, etc.)
- Fracture origin identification (defect, inclusion, damage, corrosion pitting, etc.)
- Identify stress at the time of failure (shear, torsion, tensile, bending, etc.).
- Identify the direction and progression of fracture to final failure.
- Identify abuse in service, inappropriate or unauthorized repairs, manufacturing defects and other factors contributing to failure.
- Determine chemical composition of contaminants and their source.
- Identify wear debris and the source components from which it came.
- Reverse engineering information such as multi layer plating composition, surface treatments, etc.