In collaboration with the National Physics Laboratory, CMCA(UK) have developed and implemented a metallographic lab fully stocked with the analysis tools required to observe and quantify intermetallic growth in semi-conductors. With these systems in place CMCA(UK) is now able to analyse and measure the microstructure and elements present in components and alloys. Using the information gathered, it is possible to predict component deterioration with the potential to bring major cost savings to our customers.
CMCA(UK) is pleased to report we have already successfully begun performing tests and gathering data for a major defence contractor. The prime function of the metallographic lab is to prepare samples for analysis by mounting in resin, in order to encapsulate the test piece. These are then finely polished and the microstructures present are revealed in our scanning electron microscope. Additionally components can also be sectioned and tested for lead or any other elements for REACH purposes. Using the combination of solderability testing data, composition data, and physical measurements CMCA(UK) can use the information gathered to build a unique profile for each test piece and predict component deterioration. This capability is a very powerful tool as we can observe underlying structures in metals that could be missed using XRF techniques alone, thus providing potential major cost savings to our customers.