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Tools for increased knowledge

Gammadata Instrument offers products and services based on atomic and nuclear physics as well as lasers and optical measurement technology. We provide equipment, expertise and service to the nuclear, analytical, materials characterization and educational markets.

We are surrounded by products that, for either decorative or functional purposes, are covered with coatings from:

  • Paints and lacquers
  • Adhesive or protective coatings
  • Optical, catalytic or insulating coatings

Of all these coatings, conversion phosphate coatings play an important role, especially in the automotive industry: they are used for corrosion resistance and lubricity. Since these coatings are used for critical parts, the coating process must undergo thorough quality checks.

SEM is an ideal choice for quality checking of conversion coatings and for the analysis of the crystal morphology. Moreover, imaging with the BSE detector is the most suitable technique to analyze the coverage of the coated sample because of the difference in atomic number between the phosphate coating and the steel.

Since steel is an alloy of iron, and therefore has a higher atomic number than the phosphate coating, it will appear brighter in the backscattered image. The images below show a BSE image overlaid with the colored EDX map, where the yellow areas consist of iron and the light blue refers to zinc. The brighter areas of the BSE images overlay with the yellow, demonstrating the effectiveness of using these images for the measurement of coating coverage.

To learn more about how SEM helps perform automated quality control on coating processes, our free application note on coating scripts is worth reading.

It details how SEM makes for a fast, yet cost-effective instrument for quality control analyses of coatings — and how it helps increase the efficiency and reliability of production processes as a result.




Phenom-World is a leading global supplier of desktop scanning electron microscopes and imaging solutions for submicron scale applications. Phenom SEM-based systems are used in a broad range of markets and applications. Phenom procuce some of the most advanced desktop SEMs available on the market with a complete family of products in the Phenom series. From the entry level Pure model through to the class leading Pro XL.

Contact us for more information or to arrange an on-site demo

Chris Bradburn
Product Manager

Phone: +46 18 566 809
Email Chris

Hans Christian Becker
Applications engineer

Phone: +46 18 566 832
Email Hans Christian

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