Usage of Scanning Electronic Microscope for Helicopter applications.
Airbus Helicopters, Aéroport International Marseille-Provence, 13725, Marignane Cédex
Scanning Electronic Microscopes (SEM) are key means for Airbus
Helicopters Material & Processes laboratories. They are used at
different value chain steps of the helicopter (development,
certification, manufacturing, in-service). The objective of this
conference is to provide an overview of their usage.
KEY WORDS: Scanning Electronic Microscope, Material & Processes characterization, Reach, Fractography, EDX
After a reminder of the role of Material & Processes laboratory for
an helicopter manufacturer, the importance of Scanning Electronic
Microscopes and their interaction with other laboratory means will be
Different usages of SEM will be highlighted:
- Fractography analysis of coupons tests: Some
examples of failure analysis both on metallic materials (rotative
bending fatigue specimen) and composite materials (tensile and bending
static specimen) will be presented. In particular, it will be reminded
that SEM is a key equipment to ensure the validity of a mechanical test
- Development of new surface treatments in the frame
of Reach regulation: Presentation will focus on challenges for
laboratory in term of observations by SEM (low acceleration voltage,
- Part certification: The usage of striation counting
by SEM in this frame will be explained. In particular, the way to
proceed to perform this measurement and the result provided to Stress
Department will be described.
- Particle analysis performed with EDX (Energy
Dispersive X-ray spectroscopy) coupled with a SEM: the presentation
will explain how the chemical analysis of a metallic particle is done
by EDX but will also insist on the necessity to link it with an
analysis of the morphology
Finally, perspectives and industrial expectations (like more automation, usage of artificial intelligence) will be discussed.
Figure: Fracture Surface of a Fatigue specimen by SEM
programme juin 2022