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Techniques>Microscopy>Metallographic Microscopy

Metallographic Microscopy

Expert Metallographic Analysis

How it Works

Metallographic microscopes differ from traditional microscopes in the way they illuminate the sample.  The light is passed through the aperture and onto a polished sample surface.  The light is usually modified using polarizers, apertures, lightfields, darkfields, and other lenses and filters.  These different lighting effects allow for different types of surface analyses.

Investigating a fatigue crack in a graphitic steel component. Investigating a failed adhesion between reinforcing fibers and a polymer matrix. Investigating a failed interface between a circuit and a silicon wafer.


A common use of metallographic microscopes is grain structure and grain size analysis in metals.  A corrosive etchant preferentially attacks grain boundaries on a polished metal surface, making them more defined. Another common use is coating thickness measurement of paints and multi-layered materials.  Metallographic microscopy also plays a significant role in our failure analysis investigations as can be seen in the slideshow above.

Related Services:

Optical Microscopy

Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM)

Film/Coating Thickness

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