A hallmark of material testing for decades, metallurgical testing covers a wide range of services, from grain size analysis to fractography. Metallurgical tests are used in virtually every industry, and have widespread implications for any number of specialties. Using a variety of techniques and equipment, metallurgists can identify material type, diagnose defects and processing errors, and more.  

Although metals have been used for centuries in everything from skyscrapers to cars, new alloys and better technology are bringing innovative materials to the market. While many traditional metallurgical testing methods used for evaluating metals remain the same, metallurgists are facing more challenges than ever before. 

Using everything from mechanical strength to chemical analysis, metallurgical testing focuses on quantifying the properties of metals. These methods are frequently used to confirm material type or grade, provide certifications for new material or mixed batches, determine grain size, provide microstructure analysis, determine the cause of failures, and more. 

Element’s metallurgical testing laboratories are equipped with the expertise and technology needed to test both traditional metals and more exotic alloys. Our experts are trained in corrosion, microstructure and macrostructure evaluations, fractography, material identification, and more. Many of our metallurgical test methods can be done on-site, or alongside our metallurgists in one of our state-of-the-art labs. With metallurgical testing locations across the globe, we can assist with any project, no matter how large.

Metallurgical Testing
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Macroscopic Evaluation

Our highly-trained experts use a combination of visual methods and instrumentation to detect surface-level metallic properties.

Macroscopic testing refers to any method that can be performed without magnification, or any instrumentation used to examine sub-surface properties. These assessments focus on surface characteristics of metals, and are detectable by the naked eye. Our experts will use a variety of visual inspection techniques to evaluate the "big picture" - ensuring that the quality, integrity and properties of a material are what they should be.
Macroscopic evaluations are generally performed on finished products or treated metals, in addition to raw materials. Our macroscopic methods offer an efficient way to assess the overall condition of a material, and can detect flaws or imperfections before a part goes into use or production.
Some of the tests that we offer include:
  • Banding
  • Case Depth (Carburization/Depth of decarburization)
  • Coating thickness
  • Coating weight
  • Contaminant analysis
  • Digital imaging
  • Eutectic melting point
  • Ferrite content
  • Grain flow
  • Macroetching
  • Macrostructure evaluation
  • Nitriding
  • Passivation
  • Replication metallography
  • Surface discontinuities
  • Surface roughness
  • Visual inspection
  • Weld and casting evaluation
Micrographic Metallography 640 x 480
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Microscopic Evaluation

Element's metallurgists use state-of-the-art technology to find patterns, defects and metallic characteristics below a material's surface.

Microscopic testing includes methods that use microscopic instruments to search for characteristics below the surface of a material, or those too small to be detected by the human eye alone. These types of evaluations are generally performed using a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), or other high-powered microscopic equipment. These methods are generally used when the sub-surface a material is being examined, or when a small section of a larger sample is being reviewed. 

Using sophisticated equipment, our experts can isolate extremely small sections of a sample. This allows us to make determinations about a material's integrity, strength, composition, quality, and more. Microscopic methods allow us to find small defects, detailed patterns and intricate details in metallic materials. 

Some of the methods that we use include:

  • Alloy depletion
  • Bradealloy
  • Constituent content
  • Corrosion creep back
  • Cross-sectioning
  • Fiber length
  • Fractography
  • Grain Size
  • Inclusion content
  • Intergranular corrosion
  • Intermetallic phase determination
  • Microetching
  • Microstructure evaluation
  • Near-surface examination
  • Optical imaging
  • Photomicrography
  • Pitting and crevice corrosion
  • Porosity
  • Recast evaluation
  • Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) / Electron Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS)
  • Volume fraction
On-Site Metallography 640 x 480
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On-Site Metallography

For larger or more complex projects that require on-site service, Element can perform a full suite of diagnostic and routine metallographic methods in the field.

While our labs can test a wide variety of material and component types in our facilities, there are some situations that require on-site testing. To accommodate this, we offer a comprehensive range of metallurgical test methods in the field for components and materials that are too large, too heavy, or too fragile to be transported to a lab. We offer the same quality testing and accurate results that you would get in one of our labs, and on-site services can often reduce test times for particularly urgent projects. 

Some of the on-site services that we offer include:

  • Coating inspection
  • Creep damage assessment
  • Equotip hardness
  • Ferrite content
  • Fractography
  • Microstructure evaluation
  • Positive Material Identification (PMI)
  • Thermal degradation

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