Thermo Fisher Scientific, Hillsboro, Oregon, USA, has introduced a desktop scanning electron microscope (SEM) solution, the Thermo Scientific Phenom ParticleX. The new system is designed to provide Additive Manufacturing companies and automotive suppliers with faster quality control analyses of materials used to develop their parts and products.
The Phenom ParticleX includes a broad range of automated SEM analyses to identify faults in materials or gauge the impact development and production changes have on a final product. Enabling companies to keep production continuity and quality control in-house is said to enable users to analyse materials up to ten times faster than would be possible when outsourcing to testing companies.
Trisha Rice, Vice President and General Manager of Materials Science at Thermo Fisher Scientific, stated, “Obtaining timely information is a prerequisite for lean manufacturing, and the new automated system in the Phenom ParticleX offers multiple sample analyses, including chemical and morphological classification, outlier detection, and identification of contamination, that validates produced goods against industry-approved standards. The decrease in validation time enables manufacturing companies to produce inventories that meet customer commitments without developing unnecessary inventory.”
The high-resolution imaging and chemical analysis capabilities in the Phenom ParticleX are said to deliver more detailed failure analyses than is possible using optical microscopes. Additive manufacturers can therefore characterise size distribution, particle homogeneity and foreign contaminants to evaluate the purity of metal particles at the microscale.
Industrial manufacturers can use the system to confirm components fulfil technical cleanliness specifications according to VDA19 or ISO16232 standards. It also provides detailed feedback on the cleanliness or purity of final products, without sharing this confidential data with third parties.
The Phenom ParticleX package for AM consists of a Phenom XL Desktop SEM with automation software packages for Additive Manufacturing.