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.

SEM & EDX Analysis

Scanning Electron Microscopy with Energy Dispersive X-ray Analysis (SEM-EDX) is a powerful analytical technique used for characterising the surface morphology, elemental composition, and chemical mapping of materials at a microscopic level.

Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) is a widely used technique in metallurgy for analysing the microstructure and surface topography of samples. It is highly popular due to its ability to produce high-resolution images using a focused electron beam, scanning the surface of the sample at very high magnifications, ranging from 10 to 5,000 times.

At BES Group, we use SEM microscopy to detect cracks, contaminants, and fractures on the surface of materials to gain a deeper understanding of the behaviour and characteristics of samples at higher magnification levels compared to traditional microscopes.

Knowing whether a material is prone to specific types of failure, like fatigue or stress corrosion cracking, or if there are any contaminants present on the surface, empowers our customers to make well-informed decisions regarding production processes. It also helps them assess whether their choice of material is suitable for its intended application.

Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (EDS or EDX) is another technique that we use in combination with SEM microscopy, for a comprehensive analysis of material composition.

Using x-rays emitted from the sample during the SEM process, EDS allows for a more detailed microanalysis of features observed on the scanning electron microscope.

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Identifying failures with SEM & EDX Analysis

SEM or EDX analysis can be used for investigating the failure of components made from metal or other electrically conductive materials. Whether it’s copper pipework, fastener systems, high-tension wires, chains, cast housings, or even artificial hip implants, SEM/EDX analysis can provide crucial insights into the reasons behind a part’s failure.

By understanding how and why a part failed, manufacturers and consumers can take appropriate measures to prevent similar issues in the future, ultimately reducing costs and expenses.

Material failure investigations typically involve a range of tests, including visual examination, SEM (and EDX if necessary), metallography, chemical analysis, and mechanical testing (such as hardness, tensile, and impact testing).

We can carry out in-depth investigations to analyse the microstructure and elemental characteristics on your materials.

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SEM Analysis

EDX Analysis

Benefits of SEM & EDX Analysis

SEM analysis is a quick and cost-effective method for investigating metallurgical issues. It provides detailed and enlarged images of samples or materials without causing any significant damage.

This technique is crucial in failure investigations as it allows for the analysis of the root cause of a failure at an elemental level. Additionally, it helps in identifying defects or flaws that cannot be observed through optical means alone.

  • High Sensitivity: SEM-EDX analysis can detect even the smallest amounts of elements, making it ideal for analysing complex samples with low concentrations of certain particles.
  • Non-destructive: SEM-EDX analysis is a non-destructive test, so we can examine your samples without causing any damage to their structure or composition.
  • Wide Range of Samples: SEM-EDX analysis is extremely versatile, and can analyse various materials such as metals, polymers, ceramics, composites and much more.
  • Failure Analysis: SEM-EDX analysis offers in-depth information about the physical and structural characteristics of failed components, making it easier to identify why your product has failed.
  • Data-Driven Decision Making: The valuable insights gained from SEM-EDX analysis help in making informed decisions about production processes, improving quality control and efficiency, as well as minimising risks and reducing costs.
  • Enhanced Product Reliability: By addressing the underlying factors contributing to failures, SEM-EDX analysis plays a crucial role in improving product reliability, durability, and overall performance. This ultimately leads to increased customer satisfaction and a stronger brand reputation.

While SEM microscopy is highly beneficial, it is important to note that EDX Microanalysis has its limitations. It is semi-quantitative and cannot identify organic matter. Moreover, there are certain elements that it may not be able to detect, even if they are present.

However, if you have an unknown material, such as contamination on a component or a fracture face, EDX analysis can still be used to determine its approximate chemical composition. It can also indicate any local differences in chemical composition, such as segregation.

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Why Choose Us?

35,000 satisfied customers

We've built a strong reputation for providing exceptional service to over 35,000 satisfied customers from diverse industries. Our unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction has resulted in long-standing partnerships and unwavering trust.

Destructive Testing Experience

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

Flexible service

We understand that our customers may require quick turnarounds and bespoke testing services, which is why we tailor all our services to suit your needs.

Sectors we work with

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