Metals, Alloys, Composites and Ceramics

This is possibly the largest application field for Electron Backscatter Diffraction (EBSD), since the technique has become the primary tool for characterising microstructures in most metals, alloys, composites and ceramics. The range of applications is numerous, from routine (and nowadays rapid) measurement of grain size and texture in rolled metal sheets, to the detailed analysis of dislocation densities associated with crack propagation. Many of these materials are relatively simple to analyse using EBSD, but advanced tools such as transmission Kikuchi diffraction or high-resolution pattern correlation approaches are increasingly being applied to improve our understanding of these materials.

Key to many of these applications is the close relationship between the physical properties of these materials and the microstructural parameters that can easily be measured by EBSD.

The following list gives an indication of some typical applications within this segment, although the complete range of applications is much larger:

  • Routine characterisation of grain size and texture
  • Identification of grain boundary precipitates with implications for crack formation
  • Analysis of slip and twinning mechanisms in deformed materials
  • Parent grain analysis in martensitic steels and Ti alloys
  • Phase analysis in multi-phase steels (including martensite and bainite)
  • Detailed failure and crack propagation analysis
  • In-situ analysis of the response of materials to strain and temperature
EBSD phase map of a super duplex stainless steel showing the initiation of stress corrosion cracking

Phase map of a super duplex stainless steel, tested in mineral oil to simulate a seawater environment and to study the effect of s-phase intermetallics on stress corrosion cracking. The s-phase is in yellow, g-phase is in blue and a-phase is in red. Some cracks are indicated by arrows, showing how cracks were initiated in the s-phase, followed a path through some g-phase grains and were stopped by both g- and a-phases.

Application Notes

Rapid Microstructural Characterisation of Rolled Ni Sheets using Symmetry S2

The extreme analysis speed achievable with the Symmetry S2 EBSD detector enables effective characterisation of samples at speeds over 4500 indexed patterns per second. Here a deformed and heat-treated Ni sheet is analysed using EBSD in just a few minutes, providing all key microstructural measurements.

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AZtec Grain Analysis

The grain size is an important parameter of a material, it will strongly affect mechanical and physical properties. Understanding how grain size is influenced through the processing of materials, can assist in engineering materials with optimised properties.

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AZtecSynergy and BLG CrossCourt 3 EBSD Characterisation of a Crept Nickel Alloy

Microanalysis is a powerful tool in understanding potential failure mechanisms and potential life time of many materials. In this example, the microstructure and damage distribution following creep deformation of a nickel superalloy is studied using EBSD and EDS

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Improving the spatial resolution of EBSD using transmission Kikuchi diffraction in the SEM

This application note illustrates the application of TKD to a nanostructured nickel sample and a highly deformed stainless steel, both of which were impossible to characterise using conventional EBSD.

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EBSD Microstructural Characterisation of an Alumina Insulator

Careful sample preparation enables good quality EBSD data to be collected from an alumina insulator. This data provides valuable information on the microstructure of the material – in particular grain size and distribution, texture and porosity.

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Rapid Characterisation of Steel and Ni

The Symmetry detector is ideal for the routine characterisation of metal samples at speeds up to 3000 pps. Here it is used to characterise a deformed Ni superalloy and a large area across a welded duplex steel.

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AZtec Synergy - Phase identification in a high temperature Steel

This technical note illustrates the capability of Oxford Instruments AZtecSynergy microanalysis system using the Tru-I® indexing engine to perform Phase Identification.

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Rapid Classification of Advanced High Strength Steels using EBSD

Here the high analysis speed of the Symmetry S2 EBSD detector is combined with the advanced data processing capability of AZtecCrystal to characterise the complex phase distribution in 2 quenching and partitioning (Q&P) processed high strength steels.

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Webinars

Parent microstructure optimisation in steels and alloys using EBSD-based reconstruction

In this webinar, where are joined by one of the developers of a new approach to parent grain reconstruction, Dr Hung-Wei (Homer) Yen, who will be discussing the importance of understanding parent microstructures in the steel industry.

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Characterising and monitoring materials developed for use in extreme environments

Learn how the combination of EDS & EBSD on an electron microscope can be applied to the characterisation of materials ensuring manufacturing and product reliablity.

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