Surface topography enables you to view the textural properties of a surface both visually and chemically. Using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), an analyst can probe the surface to view material microstructures such as surface voids, fissures/cracks and edge dislocations and has therefore an obvious use in component failure analysis. SEM is also used to analyze raw material powders
used in AM.
As an example SEM is used to detect agglomerations, surface roughness and to see the ratio of spherical to irregular shaped particles; all of which impact powder flowability and sintering.
The Phenom ProX™ Desktop SEM is a combined imaging and X-ray analysis bench top system. With the Phenom ProX , sample structures can be visually examined and their elemental composition determined. Advanced software and the optionally availability of an energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) module permits the user to perform not only optical analysis, but the ability to carry out elemental analysis as well.