Uses of Optical Microscopy
- Basic identification of the metal or alloy used. The method is particularly suitable for ferrous alloys such as iron, phosphoric iron, steel and cast iron: Case study 5.
- Provides evidence of heat treatments including quenching and tempering used to enhance the physical properties of an alloy.
- Mechanical working, such as cold working, used to harden a metal or alloy, can be identified.
- Composite construction, such as the steeling of the edges of cutting weapons, can be seen and described:
Case study 6.
Case study 9.
Case study 10.
- An assessment of the homogeneity of an alloy and its non-metallic inclusion content can be made
- Metallic surface coatings can be examined and their means of attachment determined.
An analytical project to determine whether hardened metal was used in the production of arrow heads.
An analytical project to determine how a previously unknown firearm found on board the wreck of the Mary Rose was made.
An analytical project to determine the methods of manufacture of Japanese sword blades.
An analytical project to determine the metallurgical quality and effectiveness of Japanese armour.