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Electron Microscopy Sciences

Technical Data Sheets

Application: Crack and Failure Analysis with Fluorescence

EMS Catalog #SFA Nightsea

Fluorescence is a valuable tool for failure analysis, helping investigators see what they might otherwise miss. Fluorescence indicators of various types – including fluorescent penetrants, magnetic particles, and other fluorescent dyes – are commonly used to highlight cracks or defects that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to see. The fluorescence makes them stand out in high contrast. The NIGHTSEA™ fluorescence adapter systems can be used with microscopes at a variety of scales for detailed examination of these features. Here we show images made with a stereo microscope and with a Keyence digital microscope.

Note that all of the images below were made using the Royal Blue excitation/emission option. While this kind of analysis is normally associated with Ultraviolet, we find that the Royal Blue option is an excellent choice for working with a wide variety of fluorescent indicators.

First, some small cracks highlighted with fluorescent penetrants and fluorescent magnetic particles.

  • Cracks in Sonaspection test plate, fluorescent penetrant
  • Crack feature, fluorescent penetrant
  • Crack feature, fluorescent penetrant
  • TAM panel starburst with fluorescent penetrant
  • TAM panel starburst with fluorescent penetrant
  • Crack feature on Sonaspection test plate, fluorescent magnetic particles

Next we show some cross sections of electronic components that were embedded in epoxy, cross-sectioned, and polished, after which indications were highlighted with an epoxy-like dye with Morton Fluorescent Yellow G as the fluorescent ingredient.

  • Component 1
  • Component 2
  • Component 3
  • Component 4

Now the same samples at higher magnification, imaged with the Keyence VHX-5000 with the NIGHTSEA™ fluorescence adapter.

  • Component 1
  • Component 2
  • Component 2
  • Component 2
  • Component 3
  • Component 3
  • Component 3
  • Component 4
  • Component 4
  • Component 4
  • Component 4

Stereo microscope images made with the Unitron Z650HR Stereo Zoom microscope
and Excelis AU-600-HD digital camera.

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