Scanning Electron Microscopy Testing

Generator deposits on fibrous paper tissue as received Magnification: 100x.

EDS spectrum typical of the corrosion products.


SGS MSi’s Scanning Electron Microscopy SEM dept is the heart of all failure analysis and corrosion failure analysis investigations. Our SEM department has over 30 years of experience identifying the following failure mechanisms:

  • Fatigue
  • Intergranular Fractures
  • Overload
  • Hydrogen Embrittlement
  • Wear
  • Cavitation
  • Ductile & Brittle Fractures
  • Intergranular Corrosion
  • Microbiological Corrosion
  • Stress Corrosion
  • Crevice Corrosion
  • Galvanic Corrosion
  • Pitting Corrosion
  • Marine Corrosion
  • Erosion

A scanning electron microscope (SEM) is an electron microscope capable of producing images of an object as small as 1nm. The electron beam interacts with the sample surface creating various signals of secondary electrons, backscatter electrons and x-rays. These signals are combined in a vacuumed chamber to produce an image of the material and form a high-resolution image that appears 3D.
SEM Test Methods & Specifications

The following is a listing of specifications that are in accordance with our A2LA and ISO accreditation.

  • ASTM B748
  • ASTM E766
  • ASTM E1508
  • MSi Procedure 2000

Scanning Electron Microscopy

Our expertise in Scanning Electron Microscopy used in conjunction with EDS (energy dispersive spectroscopy) provides valuable information for our clients material needs.

Our expertise in Scanning Electron Microscopy provides valuable information for our clients material needs. In conjunction with EDS (energy dispersive spectroscopy) we can provide a semi-quantitative elemental analysis of the material. This EDS analysis method is particularly useful when an inclusion or discontinuity is found in a sample. Our microscopists scan the surface of the material to identify these discontinuities and determine its elemental make-up. These indications can help determine a failure mode or inconsistency of a material.

Energy dispersive spectroscopy is a type of elemental analysis used to characterize the chemical composition of a material while observing it microscopically in our SEM equipment. We can perform EDS on most metallic samples to identify these characteristics.

Visit our corrosion testing page.

SGS MSi is equipped to successfully help our clients in all metallurgical failure analysis situations.


Investigations at SGS MSi are a team effort.  Expertise in materials testing along with sales support provides our customers with the highest level of customer service.

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