Impurities are important

Print Friendly
Rectangular forms jut out of smooth surface.

Rectangular forms jut out of smooth surface. Courtesy Thomas Eiden, Undergraduate, UW-Madison Department of Nuclear Engineering.

Despite being merely microns thick, these impurity crystals jut like skyscrapers from the surface of NF 616 cast stainless steel, a specialized engineering material. All engineering materials contain small amounts of impurities, which play an important role in the mechanical properties of the material. This image was captured with a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM).