September 27, 2012, Eilise Spenceley
Accutek is excited to introduce our newest addition: the Jeol Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)!
Accutek is excited to introduce its newest addition: the Jeol SEM! When I (a marketing assistant/guru) first learned that Accutek was purchasing a SEM, I didn’t fully understand what all of the fuss was about. But after receiving a crash course from one of our project engineers, Ross Frischmuth, I don’t understand how anyone couldn’t be excited about having an SEM at their facility. For those of you, who like myself, are unfamiliar with the machine, here is a crash course on SEMs:
Accutek President, John McCloy, poses in front of our newly delivered Jeol SEM
Scanning Electron Microscope:
1. Differ from optical microscopes because they use electrons instead of light to form an image.
2. Have a large depth of field—so when you are viewing an irregular surface, you can see cracks and fractures that you cannot see on a microscope.
3. Able to magnify at very high resolutions (Our SEM has a resolution of 3 nanometers, which is 300,000x magnification!)
4. Our SEM is capable of performing EDS or EDX (Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy). Accutek now has the ability to look at isolated areas on the surface of a part and get a semi quantitative chemical analysis.
These are just a few of the primary features and characteristics of an SEM machine. If you still don’t understand what all the buzz is about, wait until you see the extremely clear images this machine produces.
Accutek has two immediate uses for the new SEM:
Currently, our failure evaluations are performed with a stereoscope that features magnification ranging from 6.5 to 50x, and a metallograph with 50 to 1000x magnification. The SEM will supplement this equipment by allowing us to inspect the “as received” part at a much higher magnification, and detect any micro-cracks or other surface irregularities without having to section the part. It will also help determine the presence of any oxidation or other chemical attacks. All of these service capability enhancements will all Accutek to better examine characteristics of materials and test specimens, and ultimately better service our clients.
A crystal clear photo from our new Jeol SEM.
As Accutek continues to expand its wear testing capabilities, having an in-house SEM will allow us to perform the particle characterization required for this testing. After running parts in vitro, the test fluid can be filtered, and wear debris can be isolated and quantified by size, shape, and frequency of occurrence. We look forward to performing these analyses on-site, resulting in increased control over test fluid samples and decreased lead time for evaluations.
According to Ross Frischmuth, the SEM is a “huge step up in Accutek’s failure analysis capabilities and will allow us to service our clients in ways we couldn’t before.” The uses for an SEM are limitless, and we look forward to discovering new ways to utilize our newest equipment addition.