Watch on-demand: Novel applications of advanced electron microscopy techniques in materials failure analysis

How do materials fail? How can we design materials to prevent failure and prolong component life? These are the types of questions that not only generate significant scientific interest but also have economic consequences and great implications for engineers.

Advances in electron microscopy are enabling scientists and engineers to understand stress corrosion cracking, fatigue, and, ultimately, failure in more detail, as well as across a range of scales. Here, we illustrate through case studies how scanning electron and focused ion beams can be used to analyze the early stages of initiation and propagation of cracks, both to better understand the safe lifetime of existing materials and to look toward ways of extending the life of engineering materials and components.

Case studies will include:

  • Crack tip analysis to understand the origin of failure
  • Multiscale imaging of the competition between pitting and intergranular corrosion leading to failure
  • Wear mechanisms and surface integrity with dry and lubricant environments

Learn more about Metals Research.

Presenters’ bios


Dr. Ali Gholinia is a Research Fellow working in the Electron Microscopy Centre, University of Manchester. He obtained his PhD from the Department of Materials at the University of Manchester. After post-doctoral positions at the University of Manchester in the UK and TU-Delft in the Netherlands, he worked at HKL and Oxford Instruments in Denmark, focusing on development of the electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) technique and its applications.


Prof. Philip Withers is Regius Professor of Materials and Chief Scientist at the Henry Royce Institute. Before joining the University of Manchester as a professor in 1998, he had been a lecturer at the University of Cambridge (from which he obtained his PhD). His work has focused on the use of neutron, X-ray, and electron beams to better understand the behavior of engineering materials, especially under demanding environments.