The mechanical and physical properties of a metal are influenced by their microstructure. Therefore, we specify micrographs as standard for our stock grades. Examining the internal structure of the metal can confirm the degree of uniformity and refinement of the grain structure, plus the absence of deleterious phases, contaminants and inclusions.
Grain size and orientation can also be measured. A finer grain size (higher count) is associated with improved mechanical properties, such as yield strength and impact toughness. The orientation of the grain structure is an artefact of the manufacturing process, whether rolled, extruded or forged, but will influence properties. For instance, impact properties can vary depending upon whether the test sample is taken in the longitudinal or transverse direction relative to the products shape.
Customer specifications requesting additional micrographic analysis are rarer than for mechanical properties, but we are able to manage an effective sampling and testing process as required.