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Automated SEM steel inclusion analysis


As the demand grows for lighter-weight, more durable steel products, today’s steel manufacturers are under pressure to create higher-value steel that includes the specific characteristics their customers require.

Steel manufacturers typically turn to optical microscopes to identify the size and number of non-metallic inclusions, but these microscopes don’t provide information about the chemical makeup.

The Thermo Scientific™ Phenom™ ParticleX Steel Desktop Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) addresses this issue, providing the fast, accurate, and complete information steel makers need to optimize their production process.


Automation and dual-use

A key benefit of the Phenom ParticleX Steel Desktop SEM is that it can be used for the dual purposes of inclusion analysis during the steel making process and failure analysis after the component has been manufactured. During the day, researchers can manually use the instrument to pinpoint the root cause of failures identified by the customer after the final product has been manufactured. Overnight and on weekends, the SEM can be set up for automated routine inclusion analyses as part of the steel manufacturing process.

Automated inclusion analysis

The Phenom ParticleX Steel Desktop SEM can also be used for automatic, unattended inclusion analysis, helping metallurgists to quickly determine the quality of manufactured steel by providing insight into the quantity and chemistry of inclusions that emerge during the steel making process. The instrument analyzes a selected area, taking SEM images and EDS spectra from all the inclusions that are present and displaying the data as ternary diagrams.