The materials chemical composition and microstructural analysis are mostly needed in the following cases:
- for the assessment of material conformity
- for identification of the material during expertise work
- to determine the material designation of the broken product
- to develop part/product heat treatment technology.
It is advisable to assess the conformity of the material whenever there is a suspicion that the purchased material does not meet the specified chemical composition rquirements. The additional costs occurring due to use of non-conforming material exceeds the costs to determine the materials designation forehand significantly. Damage may be due to the non-machinability of the material (deformability, weldability, cutting performance, heat transferability, heat-transferability, etc.), the product does not meet the required mechanical properties (low strength, brittleness, low wear resistance, low impact-resistant, etc.).
Structural analysis of the material (micro- and macrostructure) also allows to assess the conformity of the material (eg, the proportion of ferrite, the grain size, non-metallic inclusions, porosity, liquidation, cracks, etc.) and allows us to assess the quality of the heat treatment (structure, depth of hardening, decarburisation depth) and it is possible to find out the technological operations performed on the part/product (forging, rolling, etc.).
When new material is to be purchased as an additional cost when purchasing the wrong material, indirect costs are associated as higher workloads, failed delivery times, loss of customer confidence, will also be added.
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