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Electron Microscopy Solutions

Non-Metallic Inclusion Analysis

Discover automated inclusion analysis for steel and non-ferrous metal production

With the Thermo Scientific Explorer 4 Analyzer with Metals Quality Analyzer (MQATM) software, you have the power to make quality control decisions faster and more economically than ever before. You can automatically detect, analyze, classify and document thousands of inclusions per hour. A unique combination of SEM and EDX technology provides up-to-date inclusion composition information on lollipop, as cast, and final product samples so you can respond rapidly to various steel making issues such as nozzle clogging, casting problems, etc. that are caused by inclusions. The Explorer 4 Analyzer with MQA software provides the power and knowledge to make critical quality and process control decisions with confidence.

Production and Quality

Steel producers are concerned with inclusions that are present during the steel making process because these inclusions can significantly compromise the product quality and productivity of their process. Inclusion contamination in steel such as spinel, alumina, and slag impact product quality and productivity, ultimately resulting in lost revenue and time. The Explorer 4 Analyzer with MQA software is the only solution that can provide the size distribution, shape and composition of inclusions present during various stages of steel making.

Can be installed right on the production floor

The MQA Difference

The major advantage of the Explorer 4 Analyzer with MQA software is its ability to deliver the information in a rapid and concise manner. The Explorer 4 Analyzer with MQA software dynamically scans the sample by utilizing the electron microscope, not the EDX system for control. Our experts pioneered this principle almost two decades ago, and is still the world leader in automated SEM/ EDX instruments.  

The Explorer 4 Analyzer with MQA software is the only all-in-one reporting solution that provides completely automated reporting capabilities in a fully integrated SEM/EDX.  The combination of speed and automated reporting provides the complete solution to the steel industry with a faster return on investment. 


The Explorer 4 Analyzer with MQA software provides both process monitoring and non-metallic inclusion cleanliness rating to make critical decisions.  This software affords the operator of the SEM the ability to rapidly scan polished steel samples and characterize inclusions for their morphology and chemistry.

  • Ternary trending
  • Histograms
  • Colorized ternaries
  • Automatic pass/fail warnings
  • Data interpretation
  • Inclusion images/spectra
  • Batch processing
  • ASTM E2142
  • ASTM E45
  • JIS G 0555
  • ISO 4967

Researching the Physical Properties of Metals

To fully understand all of the properties of steel or alloys requires technology with workflows that provide visibility at multiple scales, to reveal structure and composition, as well as any possible defects, in the full context of the area in which they occur.

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An Overview of Steel Cleanliness from an Industry Perspective

Download the 2014 AIST Ladle and Secondary Refining award winning paper written by Eugene Pretorius, Helmut Oltmann, and Brian Schart from Nucor Steel. This paper will focus on how individual and combined analysis techniques are applied in a steel production environment to assess steel cleanliness and to measure the effect of process variables on steel cleanliness.

Download document

Products for Non-Metallic Inclusion Analysis

Explorer 4 Analyzer for Metals

The Thermo Scientific™ Explorer™ 4 Analyzer is the solution for monitoring the production process and the quality of finished product. From finding the extreme inclusion to monitoring morphology and composition of nonmetallic inclusions or populations, the Explorer 4 Analyzer has the answers.

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