How we characterise materials
We can record the condition of a sample either destructively or non-destructively. This could be a used component or a material test item. We offer this service either as a stand-alone package or in support of testing and larger investigations.
Our specialist techniques strengthen test results by providing you with further key information – either numerical or interpretative. Recent examples include measuring surface roughness before and after erosion testing and producing a cross-section of a coating to confirm the degradation mechanism.
We have the facilities and the expertise required to characterise, record and measure the current condition of your materials or components.
- Metallographic preparation including etching
- Optical and scanning electron microscopy
- Positive material identification
- 2D and 3D profilometry
- Computed tomography
- Micro and nano hardness profiling
- Mechanical testing
- Chemical testing
- Bio-chemical testing
Metallographic preparation including etching
Sample preparation includes polished or etched embedded sections.
Samples can be recorded to detail current condition using our photography suite.
Optical and scanning electron microscopy
Microscopy services are available with digital image recording including macroscopy, light microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM).
Positive material identification
The SEM can also be used to identify materials using Energy Dispersive X-ray (SEM/EDX) Spectroscopy.
2D contact surface profilometry is carried out using a Form Talysurf-120L providing information on surface roughness, a wear scar or just surface condition.
3D non-contact approaches are available using Alicona Infinite Focus 3D.
Our ability to record and examine the internal structure of a component non-destructively is a key tool in failure investigations. nC² can access the micro-computed tomography (μCT) facilities of the μ-VIS X-Ray Imaging Centre of the University of Southampton. Our cutting-edge research for our clients has been presented at the International Conference on Engineering Failure Analysis.
Micro and nano hardness profiling
Hardness testing can be carried out using our micro hardness or Vickers hardness testing test rigs.