Solar Atmospheres purchased and commissioned a Hitachi scanning electron microscope (SEM). The FlexSEM1000 II will allow the commercial heat treater to meet customer needs, such as strict requirements for low-level contamination from carbon, oxygen and/or nitrogen post heat treating. In addition, the SEM will enable Solar to fulfill materials characterization and microstructural determination requests beyond basic metallography and hardness testing. This investment is a response to the changing needs of Solar’s customers.

The SEM unit includes an energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) option in order to characterize the elemental composition of the sample under investigation. According to Solar, the SEM’s human interface is user-friendly, meaning quick and accurate metallurgical photos and spectroscopy can be achieved. The company says it can now help its customers develop a complex heat-treatment process and provide them with the analytical results to validate that process.