Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Metallurgical Microscopes

In manufacturing metals, it is often important to be able to find flaws in the metal prior to final production. However, the standard biological high power microscope will not allow you to view metals because light comes from beneath the stage and will not shine through solid objects.

The two images above were captured using the MC2000 microscope digital camera on a National Optical 420T stereo microscope. These images were captured at 30x magnification. In order to view scratches or minor flaws in metal, a stereo microscope works well.

In more advanced instances, when more magnification is required a metallurgical microscope is best. The image above was captured with the Meiji MT7100 metallurgical microscope at 200x magnification. The metallurgical microscope is similar to a biological microscope, in that it has high power objectives. On a metallurgical microscope however, the light shines down from inside the objective directly onto your specimen, allowing you to view opaque samples at high magnification.