Corrosion of metals is a costly problem that is often caused by environmental or chemical contamination. Constellation has extensive resources for the evaluation of corrosion residues; the first step in determining the source of the corrosion and determining possible solutions. Localized corrosion on the surface of components can be evaluated using surface techniques, such as Auger and XPS. These provide depth profiling that can not only measure the thickness of the corrosion, but also give insight as to the chemical reactions taking place on the surface of the base metal. The presence of potentially corrosive salts can be detected by ion chromatography. The residue chemistry can be determined using SEM-EDS with trace impurities detected by ICP-AES and ICP-MS. The compounds produced by the corrosion can be identified by x-ray diffraction (XRD). This information allows the customer to identify the source and eliminate the cause of corrosion.
Contamination in the manufacturing process often leads to costly production losses. Identifying the contaminant can help pinpoint the source of the problem and minimize negative effects. Constellation has the tools to effectively analyze and identify many types of contamination.
Incoming material inspection and verification is an important part of quality control in the aerospace, automotive and defense industries. Materials used in manufacturing processes are routinely analyzed for adherence to quality specifications, including SAE-AMS and military specifications (MIL-Spec). With an extensive array of analytical instrumentation and experienced chemists and scientists, Constellation can perform incoming chemical and physical tests on a wide range of materials. The laboratory provides testing using US Pharmacopeia, Reagent Chemical, and ASTM methodologies, as well as procedures developed to meet the customer’s
Manufacturers often encounter unknown materials in their processes. Such materials include an unknown substance discovered in the manufacturing process, a suspect material from a new supplier, or a poorly-performing material. Constellation specializes in the identification of most types of materials, including metals, plastics, minerals and liquids. Most materials can be identified based on chemical composition and physical properties. The material identifications can range from extensive analyses to ensure high-quality materials to positive material identification (PMI) screening methods for rapid comparison of unknown materials to known samples.
Constellation can provide analysis of the first several atomic layers of a solid sample using x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and/or Auger electron spectroscopy (AES). These techniques provide semi-quantitative analysis of the composition of the solid surface. These techniques are the instrumental methods of choice for characterization of such things as surface contamination, chemical imperfections and corrosion. Coupling the techniques with inert ion sputtering provides a semi-quantitative composition of the solid sample as a function of depth.