What is Visible Light Microscopy?

  • Stereo Zoom
    1x up to 200x to 400x, depending on instrument type

  • High Power Metallurgical
    up to 1,200x or 1,500x with oil immersion lens

  • 800x to 1,00x dry
    Must have a polish or at least very fine features,
    as field depth decreases rapidly above 200-400x

  • Best Stereo Zooms
    Now getting to 400x with better field depth;
    save 500x to 1,200x for cut, mounted and
    polished specimens

  • Confocal Microscopy
    High precision optics to eliminate need for older
    oil immersion process, while going to 3,000x.

  • Look For -
    stress cracks, wear scars, corrosion pits, cracks, and
    crevices, coating delamination

  • Take Lots of Photos
    Document gross features such as wear scars, corrosion
    pits/cracks/crevices, particles, deformation bands/cracks,
    particulates, oxide or corrosion scales

  • Collect loose debris for further analysis
    Chemistry, SEM/EDAX
    Can use digital cameras to construct a computer screen
    montage to get a good idea of condition and phases
    present across the surface