Micro and macro examinations assess the structure, quality and properties of material.

Intertek’s qualified technicians can perform micro and macro examinations at our accredited UKAS and ISO-17025 materials testing laboratories.  We support all industry sectors and our testing is provided for all stages of production – from analysis of raw materials and assistance in the research and development phase of product development to quality issues in the production process, in-service failure of components and compliance with national and international standards.
We can prepare specimens for micro and macro examinations at our well-equipped on-site machine shops.

Micro Examination
Micro examination is performed for a number of purposes, most commonly it is carried out to assess the structure of material for quality purposes:

  • Ensures correct heat treatment is employed
  • Detects unwanted phases and inclusions
  • Ensures castings are free from cracks or voids and segregations
  • Identifies where excessive grain growth has occurred
  • Determines fracture modes and corrosion damage in failure investigations

To carry out the microscopic examination a sample is either cut to size or mounted in a resin mould and then polished to a mirror finish and usually etched in an appropriate chemical solution before examination on a metallurgical microscope.  Magnifications of x50 and above are used for micro examinations. Intertek has camera and microscopes that cover a range from x1 to x1,500 magnification.
We also provide scanning electron microscopy (SEM) services.
Macro examination
Macro examination is principally used for checking the quality of welds. A cross section of welded material is polished and etched for examination. Porosity, lack of weld penetration, lack of side wall fusion, poor weld profile and other important defects are checked in accordance with the relevant welding standard.
This examination is a requirement of international welding standards such as:

  • BS EN ISO 5817
  • AWS D1.1

Usually, macro examinations are performed at less than 20x magnification.

Intertek’s quick turnaround times for micro and macro examinations means we can support you with the minimum of disruption to your processes. Our Total Quality Assurance expertise can ensure you comply with national and international codes and standards, and receive accurate evaluations for your materials.  


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