Sei sulla pagina 1di 11
Nodularity: General Description: The term “Nodularity” is generally used to determine the percent of nodularity,

Nodularity:

General Description:

The term “Nodularity” is generally used to determine the percent of nodularity, which means a degree or percent of a roundness value as established by ASTM standards, as well as, the nodule count per unit area (i.e., number of nodules per mm2). Generally, the nodularity values are determined by measuring a captured image of graphite in nodular cast iron as viewed through a optical microscope at 100X magnification.

Specific Description:

Both ductile and cast iron graphite’s can be measured using the ASTM standardized nodularity rating system through the use of image analysis.

According to traditional ASTM standards, Nodularity is measured by factors of 5 and is evaluated based on traditional wall charts using subjective visual interpretations. Not until advanced software designed Image Analysis tools were introduced into the process did some of the subjectivity go away. Normal readings for Nodularity range between 80 and 95 which represent material that meets higher standards of acceptability.

Typical Nodularity is represented by the following picture.

material that meets higher standards of acceptability. Typical Nodularity is represented by the following picture.
material that meets higher standards of acceptability. Typical Nodularity is represented by the following picture.
Plating Thickness: General Description: Generally speaking, plating thickness refers to any material or materials that

Plating Thickness:

General Description:

Generally speaking, plating thickness refers to any material or materials that have been treated with a protective coating of one material type or another.

In the example of electroplating, an electrodeposited tin-lead coatings on fabricated articles of iron, steel, copper, and copper alloys, to protect them against corrosion, to improve and preserve solderability over long periods of storage, can be measured in relation to depth of application on the substrate materials.

relation to depth of application on the substrate materials. An example of a plating deposit Specific

An example of a plating deposit

Specific Description:

Some corrosion of tin-lead coatings may be expected in outdoor exposure. In normal indoor exposure, tin-lead is protective on iron, copper, and copper alloys. Corrosion may be expected at discontinuities (pits or pores, or Porosity) in the coating. Porosity decreases as the thickness is increased. A primary use of the tin-lead coating (solder) is with the printed circuit industry as a solderable coating and as an etch mask material which requires a measurement of a maximum and/or minimum tolerance range of the application’s coverage.

However, when referring to Plating Thickness in a metallographic sense there are hundreds of various materials associated with the substrate materials that also have hundreds of materials available to be applied as the layered coatings. Plating Thickness refers to a material or materials

hundreds of materials available to be applied as the layered coatings. Plating Thickness refers to a
that are used as an application to cover the base material, which is referred to

that are used as an application to cover the base material, which is referred to as the substrate material, and these coatings, or plating layers require measurements of depth and coverage area based on preset tolerance levels to ensure the integrity of the protection the coatings provide.

.

The following are two examples of a Plating Thickness treatment:

Electrodeposited coatings on threaded fasteners

This specification covers application, performance and dimensional requirements for electrodeposited coatings on threaded fasteners with unified inch screw threads. It specifies coating thickness, supplementary chromate finishes, corrosion resistance, precautions for managing the risk of hydrogen embrittlement and hydrogen embrittlement relief for high-strength and surface-hardened fasteners. It also highlights the differences between barrel and rack plating and makes recommendations as to the applicability of each process.

Fatigue of Nickel-Plated Copper

The fatigue life of nickel-plated copper depends upon the thickness of the nickel coating. Increases in life from 150 to 450 percent were obtained by increasing the thickness of the nickel from 0.0001 to 0.00025 in. (0.00254 to 0.00635 mm). A further increase in thickness to 0.005 in. (0.0127 mm) resulted in an increase in life of 200 percent. Interrupting the current during electroplating produces interfaces within the coating and increases the fatigue life for a given thickness. Increases in life of 110 percent were obtained by applying a 0.0005-in. thick coating in five layers, rather than in a single layer.

Porosity

General Description:

Porosity can best be defined as any object determined to be a contaminant of foreign material, or to the contrary, voids or lack of material as measured by size, shape, color, content, and/or count. Porosity covers a wide range of materials even outside the metallographic domain. For example, porosity can be identified in plastics, wood, fibrous materials, cement, chemical based materials, among many others.

However, in manufacturing of metal or plastic parts and assemblies, porosity in the raw material is a serious issue affecting the quality of the finished products. Porosity may be caused by temperature control problems, material impurities, or other causes in the casting of metal or plastic parts.

be caused by temperature control problems, material impurities, or other causes in the casting of metal
. Specific Description: An example of Porosity Porosity internal to cast parts may become external

.

Specific Description:

An example of Porosity

Porosity internal to cast parts may become external or surface pores when material is then removed from the raw part material by machining, grinding or other manufacturing operations.

Surface pores, if not detected, may cause leakage to occur between the mating surfaces of parts comprising an assembly or between cavities in an assembly in which substantial pressure differentials are desired.

An example is the required pressure differential between the cylinders of an engine or between the region above and below a piston or a valve in a cylinder. The ultimate result of undetected and uncorrected porosity can include loss of performance, leakage of lubricants or fuel, and contamination of various portions of the assembled mechanism or product.

Detection of surface porosity requires the use of some form of 2, or even 3-dimensional high- definition optical microscopy or metrology, because pores of concern may be as small as 100 micrometers in diameter (roughly the diameter of an average human hair) and may occur anywhere on the surface of a part.

Pores in machined metal or plastic vary significantly in shape, depth, size and the surface characteristics (such as surface roughness) within the perimeter of the pore. If pores are not detected prior to assembly of mating surfaces during the manufacturing process, then considerable additional manufacturing cost is usually incurred as the resulting assembly has to be disassembled or scrapped after pressure testing or other later performance tests reveal deficiencies. Thus, a good image analysis system which can acquire, and quantitatively measure the data, or degree of porosity in manufactured materials, is imperative to achieve the highest level of control for quality assurance requirements.

Graphite Flake Analysis

General Description:

to achieve the highest level of control for quality assurance requirements. Graphite Flake Analysis General Description:
Graphite flake classifications as defined by international standards refer to charting scheme classifying inclusions in

Graphite flake classifications as defined by international standards refer to charting scheme classifying inclusions in various iron and steel products. Using this classification system, the various inclusions are dealt with under the appropriate headings, or listings. Over the years various testing and experiments have been conducted to define the nature and mode of occurrences of these graphite particles.

Specific Description:

One should always begin microstructural investigations by examining the as-polished specimen before etching. This is a necessity, of course, for cast iron specimens if we are to properly examine the graphite phase. Brightfield vertical illumination will be our starting point, but the benefits of crossed polarized light will also be explored.

The following graphics depict structural characteristics of various graphite flake structures and represent just a few examples of their unique compositions.

In Grey Iron

a few examples of their unique compositions. In Grey Iron Figure 1 Figure 1 shows interdendritic

Figure 1

Figure 1 shows interdendritic flake graphite in a hypoeutectic alloy. This type of graphite has been given many names. In the US it is referred to as Type D (ASTM A247) or as undercooled graphite. It was thought that the fine size of the graphite might be useful, but it is not technically useful as it always freezes last into a weak interdendritic network.

it always freezes last into a weak interdendritic network. Figure 2 Figure 2 shows more regularly-shaped

Figure 2

Figure 2 shows more regularly-shaped graphite flakes in an alloy of higher carbon content, although still hypoeutectic. While flake lengths in Figure 1 are roughly 15-30µm, flake lengths in Figure 2 are in the 60-120µm range.

hypoeutectic. While flake lengths in Figure 1 are roughly 15-30µm, flake lengths in Figure 2 are
Figure 3
Figure 3

Figure 3 shows somewhat coarser flakes (250-500µm length range) in a higher carbon content cast iron.

length range) in a higher carbon content cast iron. Figure 4 Figure 4 shows disheveled graphite

Figure 4

Figure 4 shows disheveled graphite flakes in a casting. Note that a few nodules are present. This appears to be a mix of B- and D-type flakes.

present. This appears to be a mix of B- and D-type flakes. Figure 5 Figure 5

Figure 5

Figure 5 shows a hypereutectic gray iron where very coarse flakes form before the eutectic which is very fine. This is similar to C-type graphite.

Compacted Graphite

fine. This is similar to C-type graphite. Compacted Graphite Figure 6 Compacted graphite is a more

Figure 6

Compacted graphite is a more recent development made in an effort to improve the mechanical properties of flake gray iron. Figure 6 shows an example where the longest flakes are in the 60- 120µm length range. Compare these flakes to those shown in Figures 2 and 3.

where the longest flakes are in the 60- 120µm length range. Compare these flakes to those
In Nodular Iron: (See Nodularity Above) The addition of magnesium ('inoculation') desulfurizes the iron and

In Nodular Iron: (See Nodularity Above)

The addition of magnesium ('inoculation') desulfurizes the iron and causes the graphite to grow as nodules rather than flakes. Moreover, mechanical properties are greatly improved over gray iron; hence, nodular iron is widely known as 'ductile iron'.

Nodule size and shape perfection can vary depending upon composition and cooling rate.

can vary depending upon composition and cooling rate. Figure 7 Figure 7 shows fine nodules, about

Figure 7

Figure 7 shows fine nodules, about 15-30µm in diameter

7 Figure 7 shows fine nodules, about 15-30µm in diameter Figure 8 Figure 8 shows coarser

Figure 8

Figure 8 shows coarser nodules (about 30-60µm diameter) in two ductile iron casts. Note that the number of nodules per unit area is much different, about 350 per mm 2 vs.125 per mm 2 , respectively.

Grain Structure Types

The measurement of grain size, whether by the chart comparison method or by manual or automated measurement methods, is complicated by the different types of grain structures encountered and by the etched appearance of the grains. For example, as shown in Figure A,

encountered and by the etched appearance of the grains. For example, as shown in Figure A,
encountered and by the etched appearance of the grains. For example, as shown in Figure A,

Figure A Ferrite Grain

we may have ferrite grains in a non- heat treated or non-hardenable body-centered cubic (bcc)

we may have ferrite grains in a non- heat treated or non-hardenable body-centered cubic (bcc) metal or alloy. These do not contain annealing twins, but could contain deformation twins, and second-phase constituents may be present. The example shown is ferrite in a low-carbon sheet steel; carbides are present. This specimen was etched with nital and not all of the grain boundaries are visible; those that are visible are variable in darkness and width. These factors are a minor nuisance for manual rating and a significant problem for automatic rating.

Figure B depicts a single phase austenitic alloy that contains annealing twins.

single phase austenitic alloy that contains annealing twins. Figure B Annealing Twins Like the previous micrograph,

Figure B Annealing Twins

Like the previous micrograph, it shows the boundaries as dark lines, a so-called "flat etch." The austenitic alloy shown, L605, illustrates a common problem with such alloys, they are very difficult to etch so that all of the grain boundaries are visible. This makes it very difficult to measure the grain size with a high degree of precision. Also, when rating grain size the twin boundaries must be ignored, which is not easy, especially by image analysis. Not all austenitic alloys will exhibit annealing twins, aluminum alloys rarely are twinned.

Using Color Metallography:

Color has historically seen limited use in metallography, mainly due to the cost of film and prints and the difficulty and cost of reproducing images in publications. However, with the growth of digital imaging, capturing color images is much simpler and cheaper. Also, printing images in color is inexpensive for in-house reports, and can be distributed cheaply on CDs, although reproduction in journals is still expensive. Color does have many advantages over black and white. First, the human eye is sensitive to only about forty shades of gray from white to black, but is sensitive to a vast number of colors. Tint etchants reveal features in the microstructure that often cannot be revealed using standard black and white etchants. Color etchants are sensitive to crystallographic orientation and can reveal if the grains have a random or a preferred crystallographic texture. They are also very sensitive to variations in composition and residual deformation. Further, they are usually selective to certain phases and this is valuable in quantitative microscopy.

The use of color in metallography has a long history with color micrographs published over the past eighty-some years. Examples of natural color in metals are rare (Figure 1). Gold and copper exhibit yellow color under bright field illumination. Color can be produced using optical methods, as in dark field illumination (Figure 2), polarized light (Figure 3) and differential interference contrast illumination (Figure 4). The microstructure of metals with non-cubic crystal structures can be examined without etching using polarized light but color is not always observed. The specimen must be prepared completely free of residual damage for color to be observed, and even then, some non-cubic metals still exhibit little color. However, many metals and alloys can be etched with reagents that deposit an interference film on the surface that cre- ates color in bright field

alloys can be etched with reagents that deposit an interference film on the surface that cre-
illumination. If it is difficult to grow such a film to the point where the

illumination. If it is difficult to grow such a film to the point where the color response is excellent, the color can be enhanced by examination with polarized light, perhaps aided with a sensitive tint filter (also called a lambda plate or first-order red filter).

(also called a lambda plate or first-order red filter). Figures 1 (left) and 2 (right) showing

Figures 1 (left) and 2 (right) showing natural reddish-purple color of the AuAl2 intermetallic (left) in bright field and cuprous oxide¡¯s characteristic ruby red color in dark field illumination (tough- pitch arsenical copper specimen). The magnification bars are 50 and 10 ¦Ìm, respectively.

The magnification bars are 50 and 10 ¦Ìm, respectively. Figures 3 (left) and 4 (right): Grain

Figures 3 (left) and 4 (right): Grain structure on high-purity Zr (left) that was hot worked and cold drawn (note mechanical twins) and viewed in polarized light and of Spangold (Au¨C19Cu-5Al) that was polished and cycled through the shape-memory effect to produce martensite and Nomarski differential interference illumination was used to image the surface upheaval due to the shear reaction at the free surface. The magnification bars are 100 and 50 ¦Ìm, respectively.

Austenitic alloys may also be etched with reagents that produce grain contrast or color variations as a function of their crystallographic orientation. Figures 5 and 6 show the twinned austenitic

or color variations as a function of their crystallographic orientation. Figures 5 and 6 show the
grain structure of cartridge brass that was etched producing grains with different colors and contrast.

grain structure of cartridge brass that was etched producing grains with different colors and contrast.

etched producing grains with different colors and contrast. Figures 5 (left) and 6 (right) represent FCC

Figures 5 (left) and 6 (right) represent FCC twinned grain structure of cartridge brass under two different etching methods, and viewed with polarized light plus a sensitive tint.

Note that unlike the flat etched L605 specimen, all of the grains are revealed. This structure is easy to rate by the comparison method if the grain size chart depicts grains etched in the same manner. This condition is virtually impossible to measure by automatic image analysis, however. Again, twins are present but the coloration or contrast varies within the grains.

To measure twinned austenitic grain structures by image analysis, we need to either suppress the etching of twins or be able to identify and ignore them. At the same time, all of the grain boundaries must be revealed and be identifiable.

Anodizing

There are a number of electrolytic etching reagents that can be used to produce color. Second- phase constituents can be colored and viewed with bright field. Anodizing aluminum specimens with Barker¡¯s reagent, or similar solutions, does not produce an interference film, as color is not observed in bright field. This procedure produces fine etch pitting on the surface. The grain

structure can be seen in black and white in polarized light, and in color if a sensitive tint plate is

added.

aluminum.

Figure 7 shows an example of anodizing to reveal the grain structure of super-pure

tint plate is added. aluminum. Figure 7 shows an example of anodizing to reveal the grain
Figure 7 : Super-pure aluminum anodized with Barker¡¯s reagent (30 V dc, 2 minutes). The

Figure 7: Super-pure aluminum anodized with Barker¡¯s reagent (30 V dc, 2 minutes). The magnification bar is 200 ¦Ìm long.

7 : Super-pure aluminum anodized with Barker¡¯s reagent (30 V dc, 2 minutes). The magnification bar