Solar Atmospheres of Western PA (SAWPA) can now offer in-house metallographic testing with the purchase of a Zeiss AxioVert A1 inverted materials microscope, accompanying Axiocam digital camera and Zen Core materials-analysis software package. The AxioVert A1 system allows for reflected brightfield, darkfield, polarized and circular contrasting techniques, along with a 50x to 1000x magnification range. The additional Axiocam and Zen Core materials-analysis software features automated determination of material grain size.

This automation of traditionally time-consuming and labor-intensive processes results in repeatability and increased efficiency as the human element is removed from the characterization method. Surface contamination, grain size and intergranular attack (IGA)/intergranular oxidation (IGO) determinations will now be performed in-house.