Part of the Oxford Instruments Group

Metals, Alloys, Composites & Ceramics

Metals, Alloys, Composites & Ceramics Applications

Materials manufacturing and processing are focused on producing materials with very specific properties. Typically these materials are stronger, lighter and more efficient to manufacture. To facilitate these requirements detailed analysis of the material is required, and this can be either as part of a materials development or as part of quality control. This analysis includes understanding the chemical and phase composition, grain structure and strain within the material. 

Oxford Instruments provides tools which are designed to deliver the required results in these challenging markets. For example, there is often a requirement to investigate large sample areas to deliver adequate sampling statistics, on samples being produced in bulk. This is made possible through the AZtec large area mapping solution, where many hundreds of fields are analysed automatically through unattended data collection and then montaged together to provide a real overview of the sample. 

Similarly, automated analysis and classification of inclusions or secondary phases have now become routine, for example, the analysis of steel inclusions to recognised standards.

Similarly, as materials are processed, characterisation on the nanoscale is needed as grain and particle sizes are decreasing in engineered materials.  This is aided by detector technology developments:

Application Notes

View all of our Metals, Alloys, Composites & Ceramics application notes

Characterising extreme deformation in a failed Al alloy

A rigorous characterisation of the microstructure of failed materials is necessary to understand the causes of failure. Although EBSD is an effective tool for failure analysis, high local defect densities can make characterisation very challenging. In this application note the power of newly developed pattern matching techniques is demonstrated, with improved data quality leading to a better understanding of the failure mechanisms in an Al alloy.

The Struggles with PFIB and Steel

In this application we demonstrate how a plasma focused ion beam (PFIB) can cause a phase transformation in austenitic steels and how to mitigate this effect, by using the gas injection system (GIS) to flow XeF2 gas over the sample.

Using WDS and AZtecWave For Quality Control and Quality Assurance of Metals

In this application note we demonstrate how WDS and AZtecWave can be used effectively and quickly to determine whether a supplied metal is within specification, by comparing the results to the specification sheet provided.

Evaluating parent grain reconstruction in Titanium using high temperature in-situ EBSD

Learn how parent grain microstructures can be reconstructed from low temperature EBSD analyses using AZtecCrystal. Here, the reconstruction results for a Titanium sample are tested using in-situ EBSD analyses of beta-Ti collected at >900 °C using a new type of high temperature phosphor screen. The results indicate an excellent agreement between the as-measured and reconstructed beta-Ti microstructures.


The Analysis and Classification of non-metallic inclusions in Steels with AZtecSteel

Here we consider the use of SEM equipped with EDS and dedicated particle analysis software AZtecSteel for the complete characterisation of 5 steels. We demonstrate how inclusions across the population can be assessed and how they can be classified across the sample.


Steel Cleanliness Analysis to International Standards with AZtecSteel

This application note demonstrates how AZtecSteel, an industry-leading, dedicated particle analysis solution for the analysis of non-metallic inclusions can characterise inclusions in different types of steels to the requirements of multiple international standards.

Phase characterisation of an Aluminium Alloy using EDS

The AutoPhaseMap module in the Oxford Instruments’ EDS software, AZtecEnergy, automatically finds areas of different characteristic composition from X-ray map data, and determines the distribution, area, constituent elements and composition of each of these areas or phases. This application note examines how this can be used to characterise an aluminium alloy and its inter-metallic phases.

Direct Observations of Phase Transformations using High Temperature EBSD

Learn about a new phosphor screen for the Oxford Instruments CMOS EBSD detector range that uses an optical interference filter to block out the infrared signal during high temperature EBSD experiments. This new technology enables faster and more sensitive analyses of microstructural changes measured in-situ at high temperatures.

Fast Characterisation of Minerals with Similar Crystal Structures

Combining electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) techniques for geological sample characterisation, helps to unlock even more information on the likely formation and history of the sample.

Applying nanomanipulation to the EBSD analysis of a gold wire

This application note describes a method of combining Oxford Instrument’s OmniProbe tools and AZtec EBSD system for the manipulation and analysis of a 5μm diameter gold microelectronic wire sample.

AZtec Grain Analysis

The grain size is an important parameter of a material, it will strongly affect mechanical and physical properties. Understanding how grain size is influenced through the processing of materials, can assist in engineering materials with optimised properties.

Evaluating Dislocation Densities and Slip Systems in deformed Titanium using EBSD

Discover how EBSD can be used to characterise the dislocation type and densities in deformed metals and alloys, enabling a better understanding of the material’s physical properties. Here we compare two deformed Ti alloys, showing how advanced dislocation analysis using AZtecCrystal highlights the operation of different slip systems during deformation.

Phase characterisation of nanoscale intermetallic phases in a Ni-based alloy

This application note examines how AutoPhaseMapcan be used to investigate the chemistry and distribution of nanoscale intermetallic phases in a Ni-based alloy which are on the scale of 150-1000 nm.


Related Products

Get in touch with one of our Application Specialists...