For failure analysis of and materials research on various components, materials and coatings, NLR put a new Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) into use.
The SEM facility is an essential tool for fracture and failure analysis of metals and composites, for characterizing the microstructure of metals, coatings and composites, for chemical analysis of structures of small particles in the micro-structures and / or on fracture surfaces and for the analysis of the deformation degree of microstructures and the determination of orientation of crystals.
The new SEM has a very high operational availability, which is necessary since major customers require NLR to perform quickly and on demand high-quality failure analysis, for example in order to maximize deployability and flight safety of their aircraft.
NLR uses electron microscopes for over 40 years for this kind of analysis. SEMs are capable of generating images with a magnification factor of over 100,000. Also, a variety of analysis equipment is attached to these SEMs.
The facility is used for fractographic research on crack growth analysis, microstructure of anodic layers, coating development and failure mechanisms. It will be used to carry out micro-mechanical tests for determining the crack mechanism of carbon composites and the aforementioned failure analysis.
The new SEM (the NovaNanoSEM 450 and EDAX Trident analysis system) renders more detailed imagery (up to 1nm resolution), has an integrated analysis system, is robust, greatly increases the availability of the system and making analysis results available far more quickly.