The use of speciality steels in the industry is becoming increasingly widespread. These speciality steels have improved mechanical behaviour including improved toughness, machinability, ductility, and fatigue life. An important controlling factor for this superior behaviour is the 'cleanliness' of the steel. This is a measure of the amount and type of small non-metallic inclusions. As the demand for clean and ultraclean steels increases, there is a requirement to detect smaller and smaller inclusions in larger sample areas. Methods have been developed using light optical microscopes to classify steels by counting and measuring the inclusions present. However, this requires time and expertise, limits the minimum inclusion size and lacks chemical data.
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*Please note, this application note refers to X-Max, this has since been upgraded to Ultim Max