TARRC now has a new scanning electron microscope – the TESCAN Vega3 XMU. Robin Davies of the Materials Characterisation Unit who will be working with the new microscope on a daily basis says, 'Like the previous SEM this can be used at high vacuum, but the new instrument can also operate at variable pressure. This enables samples to be examined without the need for applying the conductive coating which is necessary for high vacuum imaging of non-conducting samples like rubber and other polymers'.
The new SEM has also been fitted with a new Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectrometer (EDX) – An Aztec Energy Advanced X-Max 80 system from Oxford Instruments. This is used to identify the elements in a sample. Elemental spectra can be produced for bulk samples or specific features, such as filler particles or impurities. This can provide invaluable information to identify the source of production problems. The new system has an 80mm²SDD detector which is much faster and more sensitive than our previous EDX system so it is easier to do X-ray mapping of samples to give visual displays of elemental distribution, filler dispersion etc.
If you think that our UKAS accredited microscopy services through Rubber Consultants can benefit your business then please contact Dr Robin Davies.