The Metallurgists Toolbox: Metallography

It’s not just for grain structure

Presented: Wednesday, June 10, 2020

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The art and science of metallography is a crucial source of valuable information in the failure analysis process and can be applied to metals (metallography) and materials (materiallography) alike.

Metallography is often thought of as a simple QC procedure used to examine the grains of metal using optical microscopes; however, this technique, if applied correctly, can provide invaluable information when reviewed with a variety of optical techniques including optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, EBSD, TEM and XRD. For this webinar we will be limiting our discussion to metallography and optical microscopy.

The metallographic preparation process can be difficult and interpreting the resulting data complex. We will briefly discuss the metallographic preparation process and some of the many metal/materials characteristics that can be revealed through this process. The successful interpretation of the images produced by metallography are sometimes indispensable tools in the metallurgists toolbox.

Some examples presented include:

  • Defect characterization
  • Examples of the use of microstructures and grain structure as a QC tool in a variety of product forms including welding, casting and joining.
  • Metallography as a forensic tool in fire investigations and accident investigations.
  • Fracture mechanism confirmation
  • Metallography as an art form

Please view all of our webinars here.

About the Presenter:

jimcurielJim Curiel, Senior Consultant Metallurgist
Mr. Jim Curiel, EAG’s senior consultant metallurgist, has over 45 years of experience in metallurgy, materials characterization and failure analysis. Jim has consulted on projects ranging from medical instruments, aircraft structures and engines, fastener systems, pipeline ruptures and microelectronics to toys, weapons systems and disaster conservation. His experience in leading and solving high priority failure investigations provide a vast knowledge base to draw upon and enable Jim to assess each problem with a unique, unbiased perspective. 

While providing consulting services, Jim spent a good portion of his career in academia. What sets him apart is his passion for the metallurgy and materials science field and passing his knowledge to future engineers. Jim, a past chair of Los Angeles ASM International, has chaired several committees and has served as Metallurgy/Materials Science mentor and coordinator of the ASM International Foundation camps for students and teachers alike.

In this webinar we will:

  • Define metallography
  • Examine the basic process of metallography
  • Define the structure of metal and using case studies
  • Illustrate how this technique is an essential tool for failure investigations and metals/materials