Identifying Impurities in Steel Production using the ASPEX Metal Quality Analyzer SEM System
The ASPEX Metal Quality Analyzer (MQATM) has for years, been at the forefront of inclusion analysis in investigative work to determine castability issues and improve product quality. The control of inclusions relies on accurate knowledge about the phase changes and compositional relation of them under various chemical and thermal conditions during processing. Given the direct link between the inclusion content and steel production process, manufacturers of steel demand an analyzer that can operate under adverse conditions.
The Aspex MQA is based on the PICA 1020 Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM).
Run time 1:43 mins
Why is the ASPEX Metal Quality Analyzer (MQATM) Unique?
Although SEM/EDX systems do an incredible job of examining inclusions of interest, routine quality control analysis can require tens of thousands of inclusions to be characterized and manual inspections can be time-consuming and inefficient. One way many companies are trying to automate the inspection processes is to use a 'frame-based' analysis, where a conventional scanning electron microscope (SEM) is used like a camera and automated via the energy dispersive spectrometer; however, using an SEM like a camera results in a fairly inefficient analysis process.
By comparison, the MQATM dynamically scan the sample through utilizing the electron microscope, not the EDX system. Rather than capturing a high-resolution image of the field, the system moves the beam across the field in an array of fairly coarse steps. At each point, the brightness of the backscatter signal is noted. If the signal is dark enough to indicate that an inclusion is present at that position, then the software initiates an inclusion-sizing sequence, RCA.