The processing of aluminium sheet for use in aluminium can manufacture is a low cost high volume application. As a result it is paramount that the use of aluminium sheet is maximised. The build up of specific secondary phases or precipitates in the Al are known to have a negative impact on the texture formed during the aluminium processing, such that part of the aluminium sheets is wasted (cannot be manufactured into cans).
The application of EBSD and EDS enables the precipitates to be accurately identified. In addition an accurate measure of the location, distribution and phase fraction can be obtained. By using these tools to monitor the quality of the Aluminium sheet the process to manufacture the Al cans can be monitored and controlled to maximise its efficiency.
The inclusions in the Al matrix are visible in the secondary electron image. Combined EBSD and EDS is applied to identify the nature of these precipitates, which are then mapped to determine the location and spatial frequency in the can material.