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No Mn reading in SEM EDX composition analysis of plain carbon steel

No Mn reading in SEM EDX composition analysis of plain carbon steel

No Mn reading in SEM EDX composition analysis of plain carbon steel

(OP)
I have a surface composition reading (analysis using SEM EDX) for a thin steel plate which I expected to be a plain carbon or spring steel, such as CS70/1070. The results are showing no manganese to be present. I would expect to see a Mn reading for all plain carbon steels as Mn is always added to scavenge residual sulphur in the steel, so to prevent grain boundary embrittlement. I would also expect the EDX technique to pick up a Mn reading. The sample surface was ground, polished, etched and cleaned prior to examination under vacuum.

Has anyone come across a plain medium to high carbon steel with no manganese before, or had problems with the EDX technique in this way?

Many thanks in advance for your help.

RE: No Mn reading in SEM EDX composition analysis of plain carbon steel

Go for a chemical analysis, specially for Mn.

DHURJATI SEN
Kolkata, India

RE: No Mn reading in SEM EDX composition analysis of plain carbon steel

It could be very low, but you are correct to expect some.
Have someone do an OES (this will give you C also) or XRF analysis for you.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
P.E. Metallurgy, consulting work welcomed

RE: No Mn reading in SEM EDX composition analysis of plain carbon steel

Remember that EDX in an SEM is basically like PMI by XRF. It is semi-quantitative at best. And from experience (granted with older guns) PMI is quite poor with manganese.

I promise you, if it is steel, there is manganese there.

"Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts."

RE: No Mn reading in SEM EDX composition analysis of plain carbon steel

Even if you don't see Mn in your spectra, I would suggest to you to force the issue by including Mn along with Fe in semiquantitative analysis, plus any other peaks you see if present except for C and O, even if they are present. See how much carbon is computed under this scenario.

RE: No Mn reading in SEM EDX composition analysis of plain carbon steel

This could be an issue with surface prep. This is important.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
P.E. Metallurgy, consulting work welcomed

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