The Unique Characteristics of Metallurgical Microscopes

The Unique Characteristics of Metallurgical Microscopes


Metallurgical microscopes offer researchers high magnification capabilities along with different reflected and transmitted light options. With these microscopes, researchers have the ability to view even opaque items at incredibly high magnifications.


In this article, we’ll look at the components of metallurgical microscopes, what separates them from other types of microscopes, and the best uses for metallurgical microscopes.  


The Components


Metallurgical microscopes are optical, which separates them from other microscopes in methods of specimen illumination. To look at materials like metal at a microscopic level, the specimen must be illuminated from frontal lighting, which is then reflected onto the sample. The resulting image quality for the researcher greatly depends on the quality of the objective.  


Metallurgical microscopes are available in both binocular, dual head, and trinocular models. This allows for maximum flexibility and expandability for the user. In addition, you can also pick up metallurgical microscopes in inverted, upright, and boom stand models to better suit your existing lab space and your requirements. They are highly customizable, and professional microscope sellers like Microscope Central can add digital screens, microscopy cameras, and special software for even more applications. 


Different Magnification Tools


Metallurgical microscopes are available with a few different types of magnification including:


Darkfield illumination: This is used to produce images with bright non-flat structure features (edges, pores, etched grain boundaries) and a dark background.


Bright field illumination: This magnification is used to produce images with a bright background as well as dark, non-flat structure features.


Nomarsky Prism: This is used in differential interference contrast systems, which allows the researcher to observe features not visible in brightfield magnification. 


Polarized light: This is most commonly used by researchers to view metals with non-cubic crystalline structures (such as alpha-titanium and magnesium). A polarizer located before the illuminator and analyzer is used to create the polarized light.


Uses of Metallurgical Microscopes


Metallurgical microscopes have a purpose in nearly any industry or science that must observe flat or glossy metals alongside other surfaces. Traditional stereoscopic microscopes can’t accomplish this. Because of the ways that metallurgical microscopes use light to reflect off of the specimens, researchers can look at these materials much closer than before, which is beneficial in a variety of fields.


For obvious reasons, metallurgical microscopes are vital in Metallurgy and Archaeometallurgy, which are the fields dedicated to the study of metal in the present day as well as metal throughout history. In addition, many researchers involved in Gemology utilize metallurgy microscopes as they grade and value precious stones. It isn't crucial to the field, but if a gem valuer has the right coaching and experience, a metallurgical microscope can be very beneficial to their work.


Metallurgical microscopes are also used in mineralogy for very similar purposes. Mineralogists can use the microscopes to identify a minerals origin, its age, and a variety of other attributes that aren't possible with standard microscopes.


The Best Metallurgical Microscope Selection


Whether you’re buying your first dissecting microscope or you’re looking for an upgrade, we have the equipment you need! Be sure to browse our entire selection of metallurgical microscopes at Microscope Central! We offer the best equipment to help you make new discoveries every day!