High-Throughput Element Mapping of Zr-steel Welding Seam

High speed elemental mapping can be used to evaluate the welding of zirconium with stainless steel and to identify any points of failure.

This application example demonstrates how high speed EDS elemental distribution mapping provides information on the microstructure of zirconium and stainless steel welding seams in a short analysis time. The presented EDS maps were acquired at a high beam current to produce a very high X-ray yield, detected and processed by XFlash® 7 detector.

The map data was measured at an input count rate (ICR) above 2 million counts per second and output count rates above 900 kcps. The preserved spectra quality at these high count rates enables visualization of the complex structure of the weld seam region: gradual diffusion of Cr, layer formation of Fe, presence of intermetallic or eutectic phases as shown by composite elemental maps of Cr, Fe and Zr. Mapping at higher magnification shows the element distributions with a lateral resolution close to the physical limit of EDS analysis of the given material and excitation conditions.

High input count rate EDS map of a failed welding seam of zirconium and stainless steel. EDS results reveal the formation of eutectic phases. OCR: 900 kcps, ICR: 2.25 Mcps, HV: 15 kV, measurement time: 11min
EDS map of the same weld seam at higher magnification. The map reveals a gradual submicron intrusion of Cr into the upper layers. OCR: 550 kcps, ICR: 1.375 Mcps, HV: 15 kV, measurement time: 5 min.