Reduce risk and maintain compliance with our specialist risk management services.

We’re proud to be a leading provider of complete life cycle risk management solutions. From ensuring asset safety and legal compliance with our thorough engineering inspections to driving operational efficiency with our specialist non-destructive testing services, (and much more in between), we’re proud of the long-lasting partnerships we have formed with our customers over the last 160 years, based on the value of our solutions.

Metallography & Metal Testing

At BES Group, we carry out a wide range of metallography and metal testing services to help you understand the microstructure of your material, including the arrangement of grains, phases, inclusions, and other features and characteristics.

Metallography is the study of the structure and composition of metals and alloys. These types of tests are used to evaluate the microscopic features of metal samples, such as their chemical properties, mechanical and physical behaviours, and microstructure.

The information gathered through metallography is extremely valuable for understanding how metals will react under different conditions, and helps with quality control processes, material research, and product development.

Metallography also helps to analyse the effectiveness of heat treatments applied to metals, through processes such as annealing, quenching, and tempering, but examining changes in grain size and phase transformations. This type of data can be useful to predict the mechanical and thermal performance of materials in different environments.

Metallographic examinations can increase the longevity of metals used in infrastructure or machinery by making sure the metals have the right strength, durability and corrosion resistance required for these harsh conditions.

Our team of metallurgists can carry out a comprehensive range of investigative tests, including:

  • Microstructure evaluation, phase distribution, and defect assessments
  • Inclusion content, grain size determinations
  • Graphite type, size, distributions in cast irons
  • Macro and micro examinations for the determination of heat treatment condition, case depth, and material cleanliness
  • Decarburisation tests
  • Ferrite counts, volume fraction, determinations by image analysis
  • Corrosion testing
  • Failure investigations, SEM/EDX analysis, and fracture analysis
Contact our team today!

Do you need in-depth metal analysis?

Get in touch today! Get in touch today! Get in touch today!

Our Metallography Services

Cleanliness Testing

Find out more

Corrosion Testing

Find out more

Failure Investigations

Find out more

Fracture Analysis

Find out more

SEM & EDX Analysis

Find out more

Weld Testing

Find out more

Preparing samples for metallography

Metallography begins with the preparation of thin sections or samples for microscopic examination. This often involves cutting, mounting, grinding, polishing, and etching the metal specimens to reveal their internal structures.

We can then carry out a series of investigative tests to provide a thorough analysis of a component:

  • Microscopic Examination: Using optical microscopes or scanning electron microscopes (SEM) for higher magnification. This observes the microstructure of the metal, including grain boundaries, phases, inclusions and other features.
  • Microstructural Analysis: This provides detailed information about the microstructure, such as grain size and shape, the presence of phases (e.g. ferrite, austenite, pearlite, martensite), phase distribution, and inclusion content.
  • Micro Examinations: This provides information on graphite type, size and distribution in cast irons, and can help determine heat treatment conditions, case depth, decarburisation, and material cleanliness.
  • Defect Detection: Metallography can reveal defects such as cracks, voids, inclusions, and other irregularities in the metal structure. This is crucial for quality control and assessing the integrity of materials.
  • Hardness Testing: The microhardness of different phases or regions within a metal specimen can be determined through metallography, providing information about the material’s hardness distribution.
  • Weld Evaluation: Metallography is often employed to assess the quality of welds. It helps identify features like weld penetration, heat-affected zones, and potential defects, contributing to the understanding of the weld’s structural integrity.
  • Corrosion Testing: Metallography is used to investigate the effects of corrosion on metal surfaces. It helps identify corrosion products, assess the extent of corrosion damage, and study the corrosion mechanisms.
  • Failure Analysis: In the case of material failures, metallography plays a crucial role in identifying the root cause. It allows investigators to examine the microstructure of failed components and determine factors such as fatigue, overheating, or material defects.

Metallography is a powerful tool for studying the internal structures of metals and alloys at the microscopic level. It provides essential information for materials characterisation, quality control, research and development, and troubleshooting in various industries, including manufacturing, engineering, and materials science.

All your destructive metals testing needs, under one roof.

We know how frustrating it can be to have to send samples to multiple labs for different testing methods. Not only is it expensive to machine and send multiple samples, but there is also a risk of inconsistent results if the labs have used samples from different heat-treated batches.

We’re here to take care of all your metals testing needs, under one roof.

With our full suite of tests, we conduct a thorough examination of your sample’s properties, structure, and behaviour. Our in-house workshop prepares the samples, which are then tested in our UKAS accredited laboratory. This ensures that your samples receive a comprehensive and professional service from start to finish, without the hassle of using multiple laboratories.

To ensure efficient tracking, each sample is given a unique barcode to book all your samples into our laboratory. This allows us to monitor each sample from the moment it arrives, throughout the testing process, until its completion.

We aim to complete our full suite of destructive tests within a 3-day turnaround, which includes:

  • Full machining and preparation of samples
  • Tensile, impact and hardness testing
  • Chemical analysis
  • Metallurgical examinations
  • Corrosion analysis
  • Optional services include Salt Spray testing, weld assessments and coating finish testing.

Why Choose Us?

Decades of experience

Our team of expert inspectors have decades of experience in testing, and they have the expertise to identify and interpret the flaws in your materials.

Trusted reliability

BES Group is a trusted and reliable provider of NDT services. We're proud to have a proven track record of providing high-quality services that meet the needs of our customers.

Qualified service

Our team are qualified to PCN Level 3 and ASNT NDT, and adhere to the BS EN ISO 9712 standard.

Sectors we work with

Contact us today!

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
GDPR and Terms and Conditions
Marketing and Communications Email
Marketing and Communications Phone