Metallurgical Analysis Services

MSL have an extensive range of automated sample preparation equipment to enable timely sample preparation so that they can carry out examinations on both macroscopic and microscopic on most types of components and/or failures.


Macroscopic Examinations

In many cases detailed examinations of fractured surfaces can be undertaken using a low magnification technique. Hand lenses, binocular microscopes enabling magnification from 1x to 100x are available, along with macro-photographic facilities.

Microscopic Examinations

A range of optical microscopes are available enabling detailed metallurgical evaluation to be conducted up to magnifications of 1000x. The images can be magnified by a further factor of 2x by a colour camera linked through proprietary software to a colour monitor enabling storage of images to hard disk. This method of data storage is particularly useful for transfer to Word documents for subsequent report writing.


Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)

A requirement of an ISO 9001 & Quality Management System is the operation of a continual improvement policy (Clause 8.5.1). The addition of a SEM to our list of test equipment allows a significant improvement in the ability to determine the causes of non conformities.

The equipment has the capability of high magnifications and allows images in the range 30 to 50,000 to be achieved. In addition the equipment has I-Scan digital software allowing digital imaging and image storage thus enabling transfer to a wide range of Windows applications.

A Polaron coating unit is available enabling coating of non conducting specimens by precious metal and carbon thereby allowing the equipment to be used on a wide range of applications.

Fractographic Analysis

Fractography is a descriptive explanation of a fracture process, usually in metals with specific reference to the use of photographs to study the fracture surface.

Macrofractography involves low magnification (<25x)

Microfractography involves higher magnification (>25x)

The scanning electron microscope is a very popular tool in the field of fractography. The large depth of focus, the ability to vary magnification over a wide range, the non-destructive nature of the examination and the 3D appearances of SEM fractography makes the instrument an indispensable tool in failure investigations.

Several clearly unique and recognisable features of a particular fracture surface enable the failure mode to be established by the investigator.

Common features include:

  • Dimpled fracture surfaces – ductile mode of failure.
  • Cleavage facets, indicative of transgranular brittle fracture.
  • Brittle intergranular fracture – temper embrittlement, intergramlar S.C.C, hydrogen embrittlement.
  • Fatigue failure striations.

MSL offer a full range of metallurgical analysis,  for further information please contact us:

Metallurgical Testing In Accordance with Standard
JOMINY End Quench BS EN ISO 642ASTM A255
GRAIN SIZE-Micro-sample examination. BS EN ISO 643
Carburised and hardened surfaces, CASE DEPTH. SAE J423
BS 6286
BS EN ISO 2639
BS EN 10328
Decarburisation ASTM E1077
BS EN ISO 3887
Identification and Counting of INCLUSIONS. ASTM E45
Categorisation of Alloys/ Positive Material Investigation. (PMI) / OES – Chemical Analysis MSL TEINST 13 – Internal Specification
Weldments – Tests designated in specified welding codes; Fracture; Hardness; Impact;Tensile; Bend and Charpy. Macro & Micro examination BS EN ISO 9016
BS EN ISO 4136
BS EN ISO 5173
BS EN 17637
BS EN ISO 9015-1
BS EN 1320
BS EN 1321
BS EN ISO 9606-2
BS EN ISO 15614-1ASME 1X
API 1104
AWS D1.1/D1.1M
Customer specifications.
Estimating the Volume fraction of phases and constituents of materials using a statistical approach ASTM E562
Metallorgaphic Replicas ASTM E1351
Evaluating the microstructure of graphite in iron castings ASTM A247

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