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Automotive & Aerospace
Steel Cleanliness Analysis using EDS

The use of speciality steels in automotive industry is becoming increasingly widespread. These speciality steels have improved mechanical behaviour including improved toughness, macinability, ductility and fatigure life so that they can perform better in forming of automotive body part. An important controlling factor for this superior behaviour is the cleanliness of the steel. A demand of cleaner and ultraclean steels increases, there is a requirement to detect smaller and smaller inclusions in larger sample areas and a full understanding of even the smallest inclusions is now critical.

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.

This demand is best addressed with SEM equipped with EDS and dedicated particle analysis software. The use of SEM and EDS adds further precision as morphology can be more precisely determined (micro or nano-scale) and chemical information is available

AZtecSteel is an automated package developed specifically for the analysis and classification of steel inclusions.

It automatically locates and analyses morphology and composition of inclusions, classifying and reporting results to a choice of international standards

Here is an inclusion analysis in steel, composition and morphology are measured in real time. The images on the right show that aluminium and Titanium oxides are forming in the core of inclusions and are enclosed by mechanically weaker phases. EDS exposes the internal variation and this information can be used to define inclusion behaviour. The size of the inclusions is sub-micro which is difficult to be observed with light microscope.

The fast real time analysis makes it possible to be an efficient online quality control.

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