Metallography is the study of crystal structures and phase components of metals. The properties of metals are controlled by both their microstructures and chemical compositions. For example, different microstructures could occur depending on heat treatment or solidification process for a steel specimen with the same chemical compositions. With proper cutting, polishing and etching process, the microstructure of a metal could be revealed usually with optical microscopy. By revealing material microstructures, both naturally occurring and resulting from engineering processes, metallography studies could identify metallurgical characteristics of materials such as phases, grain sizes, crystal orientations, defects and voids, phase separations, cracks and inclusions. Metallography is also one of the primary tools to analyse metal failure mechanisms including fatigue, corrosion, creep, stress ruptures, fractures, cracking and hydrogen embrittlement.

Typical Experimental Results:

Optical metallograph of a malleable cast iron showing spheroidal graphite in a ferrite matrix

Optical micrograph showing dark pearlite patches distributed in the matrix of ferrite grains of a low-carbon steel surface

Applications:

Alloys Ceramics Chemical Etching Corrosion Analysis Cracks
Cross-Section Analysis Crystal Structures Failure Analysis Foreign Material Identification Forensic Analysis
Fractography Fracture Study Grains Grain Boundaries Grain Growth
Grain Orientation Grain Size Grain Structure IC Failure Analysis Materials
Metals Metallography Metallurgy Microscopy Microstructure
Nano Materials Phase Diagram Steels Thin Films and Coatings Welds

For more information please read our application notes.

Instruments: Zeiss Axiotron Inspection Microscope

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Key Specifications:

Microscopy Type Stereo, Compound
Optical Resolution 200nm
Magnification 0.58X-1200X
Objective 5X, 10X, 20X, 50X, 100X, 150X
Biocular Lens 5X, 10X
Imaging Mode Bright Field, Dark Field
Sample Size Height: 50mm; Diameter: >150 mm
Stage Manual or automatic
Camera Color CCD
Light Source LED, Halogen Lamp

Hysitron TriboIndenter Optics

SPM

CSM Scratch Tester Camera System

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AmScope Stereo Tri-ocular Microscope

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