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SEM industrial applications like asbestos identification
Author: Madelaine Frazenburg, Dr Alicia Botes & Jurgen Kriel
Published: 25/05/2021

Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) offers a comprehensive range of analyses for various industries, which commonly include engineering, automotive, glass manufacturing, pharmaceutical, dentistry, wine, food, chemical and medical industries. 

Foreign Object, Contamination & Glass Analysis


Figure 1. a) Light microscope image of contaminant found in mouthwash, b) BSD imaging with c) EDX spectrum of contaminant. 

Figure 2.  a) Light microscope image of contaminant suspected to be bone, found in food, b) BSD image of bone contaminant for verification.

​Figure 3: a) Elemental map of contaminated water filter sample, b) SEM image in grayscale, c) Ca in yellow  and d) Si in red.

Figure 4. Water filtration samples confirming successful filtering of contaminants. SEM images using MERLIN, BSD detector. 

Figure 5. Quality control. SEM images using MERLIN, BSD detector for the investigative analysis of chemical composition in spice.

Failure, Inclusion and Corrosion Analysis

Figure 6. Fracture/failure testing indicating premature failure of a rupture disk caused by intergranular attack followed by fatigue, and final fracture.

Figure 7. a) Unpolished steel and b) polished steel.

Asbestos Identification ​

Figure 8. a) Sample containing Asbestos indicated by arrows and b) spectra and data obtained by using EDX-SEM.

Particle Size Distribution 

Figure 9. Particle size distribution of silicon dioxide particles. a) SEM micrograph of partilces, b) Thresholded image of pixels, c) Objects identified as particles of interest, d) overlay of areas of interest e) particle size distribution chart f) comparison of mean area of different treatment groups.