This MRC includes four research areas;
- Analytical Chemistry,
- Certified Reference Materials and
The main objectives for the work are improvements of methods, development of new methods and information and education of this work to our member companies. This work includes a continuous coverage of new methods and techniques that are used for analysis and characterisation within the different research areas. It also includes an ever ongoing process of learning.
One important role of this MRC is to bring home new technology and make it available to our members. Our members have in this way possibilities to use sophisticated instruments and learn new methods in research projects and contract work, and they can in a convenient way evaluate the techniques for a future possible investment.
Metallography and micro analysis
Research area Metallography and micro analysis works with classic surface preparation methods for subsequent analysis in the light optical microscope (LOM) or electron microscope (SEM/TEM) as well as with new and sophisticated methods. Swerea KIMAB has three high resolution FEG-SEM´s with state-of-the-art ultra fast EDS and EBSD analysis. One SEM is also equipped with WDS. Furthermore a transmission electron microscope, FEG-TEM, with both EDS and EELS analysis is available. A Laser Confocal Microscope for surface characterisation is also available. For surface preparation we use all the classical methods including cutting, grinding and polishing devices (rotation and vibration), but also novel equipment e.g. ion beam etching and polishing both for SEM and TEM, and the FIB for TEM preparation of electron transparent specimens.
In cooperation with Materials Science department at KTH Swerea KIMAB runs the MEMIKA laboratory which includes the above mentioned instruments and also a Focused Ion Beam (FIB) microscope and several Scanning Probe microscopes (SPM). In this cooperation with KTH there are also micro- and nano hardness equipment available.
The analytical chemistry group has a well equipped laboratory for classical wet chemical analysis, with trained staff for several reference methods in metallurgical analysis. For trace analysis, there is state-of-the-art ICP instruments, both for optical emission (OES) and mass spectroscopy (MS). The ICP-MS system also includes a laser ablation unit for direct solids analysis with lateral resolution down to 20 µm and depth profiling capability. In addition to these techniques, the group has combustion-based instruments for analysis of C, S, O, N and H. This group is also in charge of the production and sales of Certified Reference Materials (CRM), an activity carried out in close cooperation with several other European producers.
The spectroscopy group works with several types of advanced OES systems for direct solids analysis. Glow Discharge Optical Emission (GD-OES) spectroscopy is used for fast bulk analysis of steels and other alloys, as well as compositional depth profile (CDP) analysis of surface layers and coatings. Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) systems are developed for novel applications; such as ultra-fast sorting of metal scrap and localised hydrogen analysis. In addition, a hand-held X-ray fluorescence instrument is available for on-site analysis of a wide range of materials.