Interpreting the Evidence: Elemental Analysis in the SEM

  • Roch J. Shipley
  • Michael E. Stevenson
Technical Article---Peer-Reviewed


Failure investigation often involves artifact examination in a scanning electron microscope (SEM). In turn, SEM examination often includes elemental analysis of the surfaces examined, e.g., deposits, a fracture surface, a polished cross section, or other surface. However, elemental data can be misinterpreted without a basic understanding of how they are obtained and the inherent limitations and assumptions of the methods employed. Recent experiences of the authors reinforce the importance of these points.


Aluminum casting Blade Chemical analysis techniques Corrosion failure analysis EDS Scanning electron microscope 


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Copyright information

© ASM International 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Professional Analysis and Consulting, Inc.Sugar GroveUSA
  2. 2.Engineering Systems, Inc.NorcrossUSA

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