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Materials Characterization

Materials characterization covers a vast array of processes and analytical techniques.  The techniques required for characterization are dependent upon the type of material, sample composition, condition, form, and maybe most importantly what information is required.  At EMSL Analytical, Inc. we listen to our clients and our experience will help ensure we know your process and material, so we can match the right technique and method to your project.  


The following is a partial list of instrumentation and techniques that are available at EMSL for materials characterization and analysis:


  • Optical Microscopy (RL, BF, DF, Transmitted polarized, DIC(soon), Fluorescence (maybe soon))

  • Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS)

  • Scanning Electron Microscopy-EDS (Mapping, high mag, quantification, line profiles, etc.)

  • Sample preparation (Cryo-Microtome, etc)


Chemical Analysis
  • X-Ray Diffractometers (XRD)

  • X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometer (WD-XRF)

  • Cold Vapor Atomic Absorption Mercury Analyzer (CVAA)

  • Cold Vapor Atomic Fluorescence Mercury Analyzer (CVAF)

  • Flame Atomic Absorption (FAA)

  • Fourier Transform Infrared Microscope; Micro FTIR (5 um spot resolution, reflected, transmitted, ATR, mapping, line profiles)

  • Gas Chromatographs (GC, ECD, FID, MS, MS/MS, NPD, High Resolution, Pyrolisis)

  • Glow Discharge Optical Emission Spectrometer (Pulsed Matched RF GD-OES)

  • Gel Permeation Chromatography (GPC)

  • Graphite Furnace Atomic Absorption (GFAA)

  • Carbon, Nitrogen, Sulfur, Hydrogen  Analyzers (combustion)

  • Inductively Coupled Plasma Spectrometer (ICP)

  • Inductively Coupled Plasma Spectrometer/ Mass Spectroscopy (ICP/MS)

  • Ion Chromatography (IC)

  • Liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC-MS)

  • Liquid chromatography-quadrupole mass spectrometer (LC-MS/MS)

  • High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC)/Diode Array/Fluorescence Detectors

  • High Performance Liquid Chromatography coupled with ICP-MS (metals speciation)

  • Mercury Analyzer


Mechanical and Corrosion Testing
  • Impedance Analyzer

  • Instron Impact Tester

  • Instron Torsion Test System

  • Ascott Cyclic Corrosion Test Chamber

  • Wilson Regular and Superficial Rockwell Hardness Tester

  • Mitutoyo Surface Roughness Tester

  • MTS servo-hydraulic fatigue testing system

  • MTS universal testing machine

  • Weathering Chambers

  • ATS Creep Tester


Thermal Analysis
  • Differential Scanning Calorimeter (DSC)

  • TGA

  • DTA

  • DMA


Surface Analysis
  • Auger Electron Spectroscope (AES)

  • Glow-discharge Optical Emission Spectrometry (GD-OES)

  • Real Time Magnified X-ray imaging

  • High Resolution X-ray film imaging

  • X-ray CT (computational Tomography)

  • CSAM (Scanning Acoustic Microscopy)

  • Magnaflux AC/DC Magnetic Particle Inspection (MPI) System

  • Ultrasonic Flaw Detector

  • Acoustic Digital Tap Hammer

  • Portable XRF (Niton type analyzer)

  • XRF (Plating thickness measurement)


Additional Testing Capabilities
  • EDM machining

  • Combustible Dust Chamber (20 L Siwek)

  • Combustible Dust- Mike 3 Test Apparatus/Min. Ignition Temp.

  • Cryo-Microtome

  • Environmental Chambers (various conditions)

  • Heat-treating Furnaces (RT to 1700C)

  • High Speed Video Camera

  • Dynamic light scattering particle size analyzer

  • Zeta Potential Analyzer

  • Additional Tests (offsite or special arrangement)

  • FIB (focused ion beam) – Tons of applications

  • EBSD/EBSD mapping

  • Serial block tomography imaging (3D reconstruction down to nm scale of volume w/EDS/EBSD compositional analysis)

  • Tensile stage real-time analysis of strain/compression in SEM

  • XPS (need warning to gain equipment Cert)

  • TEM sample preparation and lift out

  • High Res TEM analysis (200KV + and cryoTEM)

  • Surface Profile/3D reconstruction

  • uXRF (20um spot)

  • micro Raman (small areas, diamonds, graphene, ceramics)

  • AFM (varies, needs warning to gain equipment Cert)

Industries Served
Techniques Employed
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