Relentless process improvements in the metals industries have rendered non-metallic inclusions, once common and conspicuous impurities, now the needle in the haystack. The role of smaller and fewer inclusions in ever cleaner steel remains acute in increasingly demanding applications, but characterizing them is increasingly challenging. Locating, imaging, analysing and understanding inclusions and other features requires a connected approach whereby multimodal submicron and nanometer-scale data is combined, from light, electron, x-ray and ion beam microscopy.
In this colloquium, we present powerful innovations in intelligent and connected microscopy for metals and other materials. We focus on a multitude of destructive and non-destructive techniques and connected workflows, which include Optical Microscopy, Electron Microscopy and X-ray Microscopy, but also image analysis solutions.