Entry level High speed camera 1.6 megapixel camera (color and monochrome) SMR160

The high speed camera at astonishing low price!
High speed cameras are not that difficult to use.
Let’s start by using this entry level high speed camera and leave some evidence.



●Low cost slow motion camera
●240 fps (frames per second) at a resolution of 1440 x 1080 effective pixels
●Records slow motion videos in H.264 compressed or uncompressed format.
●You can control the start and stop of recording using a timer.
●Records directly to your PC’s M.2 SSD.
●A lens is required separately.





How to distinguish between coaxial lighting and ring lighting usage samples

Epi-illumination is suitable for observing diffusely reflecting objects.
Coaxial illumination is suitable for observing flat specularly reflecting objects.
(Even with specular reflective objects, tapered parts and large uneven parts cannot be observed.)


So what about things that aren’t completely diffuse reflectors?


We often explain to our customers that coaxial lighting is suitable for objects that are at a level where their faces can be seen.





<Iron block> <Aluminum plate>
(No plating, polishing, etc.) (Alumite processing, shot processing)
Ring lighting allows for clearer observation.
Using coaxial lighting
The image will be unclear.
This sample does not show faces.
Observation is possible with coaxial lighting or ring l ighting.
Both are usable boundary samples.
ring lighting ring lighting
coaxial lighting coaxial lighting



Objects unsuitable for coaxial illumination

1. Applications not suitable for coaxial illumination:


(1) Diffuse reflective objects (paper, resin, painted products, etc.)


Observing with coaxial illumination results in loss of color and creates images with no contrast.

●Business card




(2) Objects with gloss but uneven surfaces

Only the flat portions of the object will shine, while other areas will appear as images without contrast.










2. Suitable applications for coaxial illumination:


Coaxial illumination is suitable for objects with gloss and flat surfaces.

It is suitable for the following examples:


●Metal plating



●Silicon wafer



●Substrate gold electrodes



Differences in appearance between coaxial illumination and ring illumination.

Depending on the object, some are suitable for coaxial illumination, while others are more appropriate for ring illumination.

However, ring illumination is more versatile.

Coaxial illumination can only be used for objects that are “glossy” and “flat.”

■Features of Coaxial Illumination




Coaxial illumination is a suitable method for objects with specular reflection (glossy surfaces).

When oblique light, such as from ring illumination, is directed at a specular object, it reflects at the same angle as the incident angle, preventing light from returning to the lens and resulting in a dark image.

However, coaxial illumination is not suitable for glossy objects with uneven surfaces or curvature.

When used on diffusive reflective objects, coaxial illumination causes only the central part to become bright (hotspot), resulting in a foggy image without color contrast.



サンプル1   基板の金メッキ部分





The illumination method of a metallurgical microscope (coaxial illumination) is designed for nearly mirror-like, flat objects.

The appearance can significantly differ compared to conventional illumination (ring illumination).

サンプル2   1円玉





White and black completely invert.

(The closer the surface is to a mirror finish, the more pronounced this effect becomes.)



サンプル3  銀メッキのコイン





A silver-plated coin, like the one in the above photo, can be observed with both coaxial and ring illumination.

(Since it is not a perfect specular reflector, both methods are suitable.)



Sample 4: 10-yen coin (diffuse reflector)




A 10-yen coin cannot be observed with coaxial illumination.



Sample 5: Circuit board (observation of diffuse reflector)




Diffuse reflectors cannot be observed with coaxial illumination.



Sample 6: Observation of specular reflectors





Perfect specular reflectors (those close to mirror surfaces) cannot be observed with ring illumination.



Sample 7: Nickel processed product






When using coaxial illumination, please note that diffuse objects cannot be observed.

(Even with metals, black anodizing or paint may be better observed with ring illumination.)



Sample 8: Paper (printed material)





Sample 9: Other objects unsuitable for coaxial illumination





Visual Perception Differences Due to Varied Illuminations

**Ring Illumination**

This provides the most natural appearance, closely resembling the view perceived by the human eye.



For more details on ring illumination, please refer to the following:



**Coaxial Illumination**

When observing reflective objects (such as metals), black and white may reverse depending on the conditions.



For more details on coaxial illumination, please refer to the following:




**Low-Angle Illumination**

Edges appear sharper and more pronounced, resulting in a dark-field-like appearance. (Refer to “Dark-Field Observation” for more information.)




For more details on low-angle illumination, please refer to the following:



Method to Tune the Light of White LED Illumination to Specific Wavelengths

As a premise, it is assumed that the desired wavelength is included within the wavelength range of the white LED.

Below is the typical wavelength distribution of a white LED. It is believed to be applicable in the range of approximately early 400nm to 650nm.




By attaching a band-pass filter to this illumination, it will emit light at specific wavelengths.

For example, if you use the filter indicated by the red arrow below, the light will peak at around 490nm, resulting in blue light.



Although we do not have such equipment, there are general LED illuminations available that can accommodate filter attachments.

Below is a model of white LED illumination from Hayashi Repic Co., the HAD-TW3. (Filters can be attached to the tip of the illumination.)



Method for Using the Ultra-High Magnification Microscope (NSH500CSU) with Transmitted Illumination

The NSH500CSU comes with a standard simple XY table, but it does not support transmitted illumination. Here, we will introduce a method to attach transmitted illumination.

**Pattern 1**
Attach rubber feet to the RD-95T and place it on the standard included XY stage (TK100).




This method allows for the easy introduction of transmitted illumination without the need for modifications, but the size of the specimen is limited to the dimensions of the RD-95T (φ95).

While the rubber feet prevent slipping, the lighting unit may shift due to impacts such as accidental hand contact.

**Pattern 2**
Replace the rotating simple XY stage, remove the observation plate, and insert the RD-95T.




The RD-95T can be fitted into the XY table, providing a certain degree of stability. However, since the cable needs to be routed outside, it is necessary to drill a hole of approximately φ10 in the base. Our company can perform this drilling free of charge prior to shipment.


Bước sóng và màu sắc của ánh sáng

Ánh sáng có thể nhìn thấy được bằng mắt người được gọi là ánh sáng khả kiến. Thông thường, ánh sáng khả kiến nằm trong khoảng từ 380nm đến 750nm. Bước sóng ngắn hơn thuộc về tia cực tím, trong khi bước sóng dài hơn thuộc về tia hồng ngoại.




Màu sắc của ánh sáng thay đổi theo bước sóng. Vì không có nguồn sáng nào hoàn toàn đơn sắc, nên màu sắc thực tế thay đổi dựa trên bước sóng ánh sáng nào mạnh nhất trong phổ.




Các loại đèn không chỉ dùng để chiếu sáng mà còn dùng cho các thí nghiệm phát quang thường được bán với bước sóng đỉnh được quy định rất chi tiết.



Trong các thí nghiệm phát quang đơn giản hoặc kiểm tra dây chuyền sản xuất, đèn cực tím (blacklight) thường được sử dụng. Đèn cực tím phát ra tia UV sóng dài, chỉ có thể nhìn thấy được một phần nhỏ bằng mắt thường.

Ánh sáng phát ra từ thiết bị chiếu tia cực tím của công ty chúng tôi có giá trị đỉnh là 365nm, đèn LED màu vàng là 589nm, đèn LED màu đỏ là 624nm, và đèn LED màu xanh là 463nm.



About flat illuminance distribution



The equation is correct: E(θ)=E0(cos⁡θ)4E(\theta) = E_0 (\cos \theta)^4.

As you move away from the center, the illuminance drops steeply:

  • At 30°, it decreases to approximately half (12\frac{1}{2}).
  • At 45°, it decreases to approximately one-fourth (14\frac{1}{4}).




In practical lighting scenarios, the diffusion (or conversely, directionality) of light sources varies, resulting in diverse beam characteristics that may not perfectly align with theoretical values. However, they serve as rough guidelines.

To achieve uniform illumination over a certain area, efforts are made to utilize the central region (the “redder” area) as much as possible and to flatten out its characteristics as much as feasible. This can be achieved by using lenses, diffusers, or other optical elements.

It’s important to note that with point sources (such as small area illuminations), achieving completely uniform illumination across a large area is generally not possible.

How to use lumens (lm) and lux (lux)

●Lumen (lm)



Lumen is a measurement that indicates “how much light is gathered within a certain range from the light source.” It quantifies the luminous flux within a specified angle of emission, regardless of the measuring surface conditions. For example, when indicating the brightness of lighting fixtures like incandescent bulbs or fluorescent lamps, it represents the total luminous flux emitted in all directions. This measurement is commonly found on lighting devices designed to brighten spaces (such as household lighting). With the shift from incandescent bulbs to LEDs, lumens have become the preferred metric over watts. For instance, a 60W incandescent bulb is roughly equivalent to 800 lumens.


● Lux

Lux indicates the brightness of a “specific surface” illuminated by light and varies with the measurement distance. It is commonly used for lighting devices where brightness at a certain distance and on a specific surface (lux) is important. In industrial applications, it is used for devices like ring lighting for microscopes and industrial microscopes. In consumer applications, such as desk lamps used for lighting workspaces, lux is often used to express brightness, which aligns better with the intended purpose.

●The measurement method

Lux can be easily measured by placing a lux meter on the surface where you want to measure the illuminance.

To measure lumens (total luminous flux emitted in all directions), a sophisticated device called an integrating sphere is required.

積分球   <An integrating sphere>




**ルーメン (Lumen)**: Indicates “how much light is gathered within a certain range from the light source.” It quantifies the luminous flux within a specified angle of emission, regardless of the measuring surface conditions.

**ルクス (Lux)**: Indicates the brightness of a “specific surface” illuminated by light and varies with the measurement distance. It is commonly used for lighting devices where brightness at a certain distance and on a specific surface (lux) is important.

These metrics help in understanding and quantifying the brightness and efficiency of lighting sources and devices.

What is color temperature?

White LED products are available in a variety of chromaticity ranks.


Monochromatic LEDs are expressed by wavelength (peak wavelength), but white color is a mixture of colors, so chromaticity is expressed by
Color temperature (Kelvin (K)) is often used as an indicator.


There are various types of white, such as “bluish”, “yellowish”, and “reddish”.


For consumer products such as lighting, the standards established by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) are
It is used a lot.
For convenience, the ANSI standard divides white into eight types based on color temperature.
White with a low color temperature is a slightly reddish white (warm color) similar to that of a light bulb.
It is around 2700K.
White with a high color temperature has a slightly bluish tinge (cool color), like the sun at noon.
It is around 6500K. This period is classified into 8 types.


Although there is no regulation in ANSI for 6500K or higher, it is recommended for industrial use and LCD backlights.
There are many products.


The following is an excerpt from a catalog for a certain lighting device.
There is a runup up to 10000K.
White color is represented by color temperature, and monochromatic color is represented by wavelength.



What is dark field observation?

This method involves illuminating the sample and observing it solely through scattered and reflected light from the sample itself. The sample appears illuminated against a dark background. It is suitable for detecting scratches on glass, lenses, mirror surfaces, fine steps, and foreign particles.



<Dark-field illumination device>


If observing in a simplified manner,
purchasing a commercially available simple dark-field illumination device


Attaching it to a regular transmitted illumination stand allows for low-cost dark-field observation.


暗視野照明装置 暗視野照明装置


When using this setup to observe metal surfaces with unevenness (like a coin) and transparent objects (like lenses),


<1 yen coin>
With this method, the available light intensity is quite limited, and it becomes unusable at slightly higher magnifications.


<Low-angle LED illumination>


Therefore, a recommended method is to use low-angle LED ring illumination with a black background.

Low-angle LED ring illumination


ローアングル照明 ローアングル照明
I observed the same samples (1 yen coin & lens) using this lighting.



Images similar to dark-field illumination can be obtained. The illumination intensity is strong, and there is ample space to place the objects of interest.


I will display a photo of the lens that I actually took. On the left is a dark field illumination device, and on the right is an observation with a low-angle LED ring light.


<Dark-field illumination device> <Low-angle LED ring illumination>
暗視野照明装置 ローアングルLEDリング照明





Dark-field observation involves illuminating the sample and observing it solely through scattered and reflected light.

However, with dark-field observation, the available light intensity is quite limited, and it becomes unusable at slightly higher magnifications.

Therefore, a recommended method is to use low-angle LED ring illumination with a black background.


Dimension Measuring Microscope CT200HD-50TD/ CT200HD-H50TD

Dimension Measuring Microscope that can be used instead of a measuring microscope or projector

Calibration, misconfiguration, reproducibility…

Solve all your measurement problems!

● Built-in calibration data
● Calibration value is automatically switched in conjunction with the magnification change
-Equipped with “perfect measurement” that can be reproducible
● Rich functions such as multi-function measurement, Excel output of measurement data, line display function, etc.!


Magnification is 20~165x (CT200HD-50TD/ 40~330x (CT200HD-H50TD)
※ Calculated value for a 21.5-inch monitor


※ A monitor is not included.

Non calibration microscope CT200HD

No more calibration work required!
Measure immediately by connecting it to a monitor!

The camera and lens are integrated!
 ●You can measure without calibration
 ●You can see the magnification at a glance
Easy measurement!
 ●You can measure without a PC
 ●You can measure immediately even after the magnification is changed


Magnification 20x to 165x
(Value calculated and converted to apply to 21.5-inch monitors)

Highly functional integrated microscope TM200EX

You can do all without a PC!
Highly functional integrated microscope



Calibration, misconfiguration, repeatability……

Solve all your measurement problems!

●Built-in calibration data
●Automatically switches calibration values ​​when magnification is changed
●Equipped with “precise measurement” for reproducibility
●Includes 8-section ring lighting
●Full of features including multi-function measurement, Excel output of measurement data, line display function, and more!


Magnification is 25x to 145x
*Magnification is calculated based on a 21.5-inch monitor


*Monitor is not included.

Dome lighting

Dome lighting is an illumination device that illuminates objects with indirect light from various directions. Unlike ring lighting, which can cause irregularities, reflections, and halation on uneven objects such as convex and concave surfaces, dome lighting can provide soft indirect light.

– It can emphasize points you want to detect while maintaining uniformity on the surface.
– It also helps in reducing halation effects by averaging the brightness of the surface rather than eliminating halation itself.


ドーム照明 ドーム照明
Dome lighting DC-170W Dome lighting dedicated mounting angle LDM-A2
●● Illuminating the surface uniformly to emphasize detection points



1. Backside of spray can (R shape)) スプレー缶の裏(R形状)を観察


<Observation with regular ring illumination> <Observation with dome lighting>
リング照明で観察 ドーム照明で観察
2. Underside of a PET bottle cap



<Observed with regular ring illumination> <Observed with dome lighting>
リング照明で観察 ドーム照明で観察
3. Printing on aluminum sheet アルミシート上の印刷


<Observed with regular ring illumination> <Observed with dome lighting>
リング照明で観察 ドーム照明で観察
● Effectiveness in reducing halation





<Observed with regular ring illumination> <Observed with dome lighting>
リング照明で観察 ドーム照明で観察
2. Metal band of a watch 時計の金属バンド


<Observed with regular ring illumination> <Observed with dome lighting>
リング照明で観察 ドーム照明で観察
3. Threads inside a pipe


<Observed with regular ring illumination> <Observed with dome lighting>
リング照明で観察 ドーム照明で観察
4. Metal surface


<Observed with regular ring illumination> <Observed with dome lighting>
リング照明で観察 ドーム照明で観察

Transmitted illumination

It’s one of the lighting methods used in microscopes and digital microscopes. This method involves illuminating from behind the object, also known as backlighting.

There are different types such as edge-type (reflecting off the wall surface) and direct-type (directly illuminating in a vertical direction).


Edge lighting
Direct lighting
Edge lighting
  • It is slim and compact.
  • It minimally affects the working distance (W.D.).
Compared to direct lighting,
Illumination intensity decreases.
Direct lighting It can emit high-intensity light.
(Ideal for pinhole inspection, etc.)
Due to its substantial thickness, it often exerts influence on the W.D.


Transmitted illumination can be applied to the following observations:
– Emphasizing the edges of objects for dimensional measurements and defect checks.
– Pinhole checks on films and similar materials.
– Nozzle blockages.
– Confirming crystals in aqueous solutions.

Combining an XY table with transmitted illumination for dimensional measurements


<Instrumentation Used>
Transmitted illumination RD-95T, XY table TD100-25MX with digital micrometer


デジタルマイクロメータ付XYテーブル TD100


Using a transmitted illumination stand for detecting pinholes in films


<Instrumentation Used>
Transmitted illumination stand GR-STD8



透過照明付スタンド GR-STD8


・Nozzle clogging


Only incident illumination  

Combining incident and transmitted illumination

ノズルのつまり やじるし ノズルのつまり


We offer stand-type and surface illumination-type transmitted illumination systems at our company.

Stand-type (direct type)  
透過照明付きスタンド(ランプ式) Transmitted illumination stand (lamp type) GR-STD8
透過照明(面発光) 透過照明(面発光)





For simpler applications, a commercially available photo negative observation backlight can sometimes be substituted. These typically cost around 10,000 yen, but they have low light intensity and limited adjustability.





Transmitted illumination when combining a compact stand with an XY table

(1) When using the XY table,


Place the transmitted illumination (RD-95) underneath a compact stand.
On top of this, install a glass XY table (TK-100N).
This creates a simple transmitted illumination stand.




(2) When using a rotating XY table,


The size of the rotary table matches that of the transmitted illumination (RD-95).
By removing the observation plate from the rotary table and installing the transmitted illumination (RD-95), you create a simple transmitted light stand.





Of course, when using a rotating XY table, similar to (1), you can place the transmitted illumination underneath the stand. You can also use a glass plate on the rotating table to create a transmitted illumination stand.





TK100-N (点板:ガラス)   Transmitted illumination stand compatible type
TK100-N (Stage: Glass)
回転式簡易XYテーブルTK180-K   Rotating simple XY table T

About Coaxial illumination

Coaxial illumination is a lighting method designed for observing specular reflectors.

(It is not suitable for observing diffuse reflectors.)

When observing diffuse reflectors, hotspots (extremely bright areas) occur.

Furthermore, the effect becomes more pronounced at lower magnifications.

(In the case of diffuse reflectors, ring illumination is recommended.)









Even with glossy ceramics, slight hotspots may persist.

Objects ranging from surfaces reflecting surrounding scenery to specular reflectors are within the appropriate observation range.


■ Methods to Reduce Hotspots

If the camera has HDR (High Dynamic Range) capabilities, there is a method to reduce hotspots by sacrificing color vividness.

(However, generally speaking, for diffuse reflectors, it is recommended to use ring illumination rather than coaxial illumination.)



(HDR set to 0 for observing white paper)





(HDR 3 で白紙観察)


Coaxial illumination

Coaxial illumination is a unique lighting method integrated within the optical path of the lens.
(It is effective for observing silicon wafers, plated surfaces, polished metals, etc., and mirror-like objects.)


同軸照明とは 同軸照明とは


The differences in the obtained images can be discerned when comparing coaxial illumination with bright-field illumination (such as ring illumination).




Below is the image captured when photographing a test pattern chrome-deposited on a transparent glass plate (left photo).
(coaxial illumination) (ring illumination)
同軸照明 リング照明

Ring illumination provides a more natural appearance, but coaxial illumination offers higher contrast between the glass and pattern areas due to the chrome deposition’s high reflectivity. Depending on the inspection requirements, coaxial illumination can be advantageous. (In the case mentioned, I believe coaxial illumination would be easier for inspecting scratches or defects on the chrome deposition.)

<When coaxial illumination is effective>
It is primarily used when observing flat surfaces with specular reflection (mirror-like objects) or objects close to specular reflection. It enhances strong contrast due to differences in reflectivity.


– Plated metal surface



(coaxial illumination) (ring illumination)
同軸照明 リング照明
– Patterns on silicon wafers


(coaxial illumination) (ring illumination)
同軸照明 リング照明
– Electrodes on substrate (gold-plated section)


(coaxial illumination) (ring illumination)
同軸照明 リング照明

<Instances where coaxial illumination should not be used>
For highly diffuse objects (such as paper, wood, or resin with sandblasting), there is no difference in surface reflectivity (consistent appearance from all angles). Therefore, coaxial illumination would result in images without contrast. Additionally, due to the object’s complete diffuse (Lambertian) nature, hotspots occur in the image (where the center shines brightly).

– White paper (black text printing)


(coaxial illumination) (ring illumination)
同軸照明 リング照明

Height measurement USB microscope USH500CSU-H1-CNX

Capable of measuring height in microns!
High accuracy achieved through ultra-high magnification


● Comes with an indicator for measuring height

● Ultra-high magnification of up to 2700x!

● Minimizes chromatic aberration

● Sharper edges

● Japan’s top zoom ratio of 12

● Adopts a global shutter to prevent screen shaking at ultra-high magnification ranges

● 1/4 the price of conventional high-end machines

● Coaxial lighting type

● Comes standard with simple measurement software that can measure the distance between two points

Falling illumination

Falling illumination is a lighting method used in microscopes, digital microscopes, and similar devices. It involves illuminating the specimen from above. There are various shapes and types depending on the mounting method and application, such as ring illumination, twin-arm LED illumination, dome-style illumination, arch-shaped illumination, and coaxial illumination.


リング照明 GR10-N Ring illumination GR10-N
ツインアームLED照明 SPF-D2 Twin-arm LED illumination SPF-D2


It is effective to use different types of illumination depending on what you want to observe. When attaching to the lens part, ring-shaped illumination is often used.


マイクロスコープ Ring illumination is attached to the tip of the lens and used for illumination.


There are various angles and types of ring illumination available.



LEDの角度 LEDの角度

I will help you select the appropriate lighting according to your requirements. Please feel free to contact our technical support for assistance.

Polarized observation


(1) Observations are made using two polarizing filters,
(2) Adjusted to be orthogonal to each other.

This method allows obtaining contrast and coloration based on the sample’s polarization characteristics. It is also effective in reducing sample reflection and glare.


(1) Two polarizing filters are used.


In the case of our company’s metal microscope


(on the light source side) (on the lens side)
光源側 レンズ側
In the case of our company’s microscope (halation removal microscope)


(on the light source side) (on the lens side)
光源側 レンズ側

(2) Adjusted to be orthogonal to each other

One of the two polarizing filters can be adjusted for this purpose.

In the case of our company’s metal microscope,
(adjusted on the light source side.)
In the case of our company’s microscope (halation removal microscope),
(adjusted on the lens side.)
Rotating the polarizing filter gradually induces changes.
<An actual example with applied polarization>
● In the case of solder on a substrate  
偏光前 偏光後
<Before> <After>
偏光前 偏光後
<Before> <After>
● IC chip inside a storage stick  
偏光前 偏光後
<Before> <After>
● Printing on IC  
偏光前 偏光後
<Before> <After>
● Solder joint  
偏光前 偏光後
<Before> <After>
● Object with mixed areas of high and low reflectivity
偏光前 偏光後
<Before> <After>
● Printing on a film  
偏光前 偏光後
<Before> <After>
● Object inside a vinyl bag  
偏光前 偏光後
<Before> <After>
● White resin embossed characters  
偏光前 偏光後
<Before> <After>

(Note) Applying polarization can suppress reflection and glare to some extent. However, it may not completely eliminate them. The effectiveness can vary depending on the object.


Products from Shodensha for halation removal


マイクロスコープ用ハレーション除去セット GR-HL


By attaching polarizing filters to both the incident and emission sides, you can significantly reduce halation.

Microscope Halation Removal Set GR-HL

ハレーション除去マイクロスコープ HTG500CS


Attaching polarizing filters to the lens tip and LED ring illumination with a W filter significantly reduces halation.

Halation Removal Microscope HTG500CS

Brinell hardness (Brinell hardness testing)

  1. What is brinell hardness 
  3. (Brinell hardness)  is a method of measuring the hardness of metallic materials by pressing a steel ball into the material under a constant load, and measuring the size of the resulting indentation.

The surface area is calculated from the diameter of the indentation, and the Brinell hardness is obtained by dividing the applied load by the surface area, denoted as HB. HB represents the load per unit area.

The Brinell test is conducted using a Brinell hardness testing machine, where a tungsten carbide ball is pressed into the sample, and the diameter of the indentation (Brinell impression) is measured using optical equipment.

Brinell hardness testing is widely applicable to castings, non-ferrous metals, and other materials, and is known for its high reliability.


Sizes of steel balls: 1, 2.5, 5, 10 mm

Testing loads: 1 kgf to 3000 kgf

Maximum hardness: 650 HB



The Brinell hardness test is suitable for large samples such as castings and forgings, which have rough surfaces and heterogeneous particle structures, leaving relatively large impressions.

However, depending on the material, the clarity around the indentation may be unclear, leading to potential measurement errors. Moreover, the measurement process itself can be time-consuming.

Using the following software enables fast and highly accurate Brinell hardness measurements with minimal variability.




2. Introduction to efficient and high-precision Brinell hardness measurement software

ブリネル硬さ試験ソフトウェア(くぼみ径読み取りソフトウェア)BHN MESURE(日鉄テクノロジー株式会社製)  

Brinell hardness testing software

(Indentation diameter reading software)


(Manufactured by Nippon Steel Technology Co., Ltd.)




  • ● Conforms to JIS and ASTM Brinell hardness test standards
    ・ Compliant with JIS Z 2243 and ASTM E10-08 Standard Test Method for Brinell Hardness of Metallic Materials
    ・ Hardness value calculation and display conform to JIS standards





● Automatic Measurement

When the camera unit is set on the sample, measurement results are obtained immediately with a single action.

Automatic Brinell hardness measurement utilizes image processing technology to achieve fast and high-precision measurements according to predefined conditions.

Measurement results display the measured area on the original image.

This ensures reliable verification of measurement results.




– Supports two measurement calculation methods:

・Automatic Brinell hardness measurement
・Two-point measurement

Horizontal distance d1 and perpendicular distance d2 are determined.




Multi-point measurement [JIS・ASTM compliant]


Calculates the minimum and maximum diameters from 3 points to 180 points (adjustable) at equal angular intervals.





● Manual Measurement


For indentations where automatic measurement is challenging or where the indentation edges are unclear, use the manual measurement tool for straightforward measurement.


・ Manual measurement (parallel lines)




・ Manual measurement (X-Y intervals)




● Judgment Display

During measurement, real-time specification judgments are displayed.


ブリネル硬度測定について07   ブリネル硬度測定について08
正常値内の表示   異常値の表示(赤色表示)




  • ● Data Management
    ・ Measurement values and images are saved and managed by serial number, with the ability to load historical data.
    ・ Graph plotting and report generation can be automated.


ブリネル硬度測定について09   ブリネル硬度測定について10




3. Summary


We introduced software capable of Brinell hardness measurement with minimal human error and high precision and speed.

Various methods such as Brinell hardness, Vickers hardness, Rockwell hardness, Shore hardness, and Knoop hardness are used for hardness evaluation.

Each evaluation method has different inspection procedures and evaluation methods, but using the Brinell hardness obtained above, you can convert to each hardness using a “hardness conversion table.”

Automation and Efficiency Enhancement of Metallographic Grain Size Measurement

1. What is Grain Size?

The mechanical properties of metal materials, such as tensile strength and resistance to compressive shear forces, vary depending on the material, necessitating the use of metals appropriate for specific applications. Additionally, heat treatment alters the metallographic structure and, consequently, its mechanical properties. Therefore, the analysis of grain size is a critical inspection for quality assurance of products.





2. Methods for Measuring Grain Size


The commonly used methods to measure the grain size in metals include:

1. Visual comparison using standard charts and a metal microscope (Comparative Method).
2. Incorporating an eyepiece micrometer into the metal microscope for simultaneous observation and comparison (Comparative Method).
3. Incorporating an eyepiece micrometer into the metal microscope for simultaneous observation and calculation (Line-intercept Method).
4. Using a camera and software for grain size measurement (Counting/Planimetric Method, Line-intercept Method).

These methods allow for the analysis of the crystal grain size in metallographic structures.



3. Automatic measurement of metal grain size using software


With method ④ above, the grain size can be measured automatically using software, increasing efficiency.






粒子解析ソフトウェア G-S Measure(日鉄テクノロジー株式会社製)


G-S Measure(日鉄テクノロジー株式会社製)



4. Additional Convenient Features of Grain Size Measurement Software: Comparative Method


This is a visual inspection method. A sample, such as a metallographic structure, is placed under a microscope. The process involves simultaneous observation of the sample under the microscope and comparison with a “Grain Size Standard Chart (×100) JIS G 0551” or an “eyepiece micrometer (reticle)” printed with the standard chart. The grain size is determined by matching the closest standard chart.

This software facilitates the calculation of grain size by simply selecting the appropriate standard chart while observing the microscope camera’s live video feed. It allows for the superimposition of the standard chart over the live video feed from the microscope camera, providing a highly convenient and efficient feature.





② Counting / Planimetric Method, Line-intercept Method


The Line-intercept Method involves drawing a test line (pattern) on a captured microscopic image. The grain size is calculated by measuring the average line segment length that crosses through each crystal grain when the pattern intersects with the grains. This technique provides an accurate measure of the grain structure’s dimensions by quantifying the interactions between the line and the microstructure.


**Measurement Display Example: ASTM (Line-intercept Method, Line Length Comparison Method)**

After the measurement, areas where the grain boundaries intersect with the test pattern are highlighted in blue.
*Note: The example image measures an area at a microscope magnification of 100 times, within a 1000×1000 dot range.*




5. Conclusion

If the frequency of grain size measurements is high, utilizing the convenient features of this grain size measurement software for automated measurements is key to reducing labor and enhancing efficiency.

Measurement of weld bead length

・What is welding?


Welding is “joining two metal base materials together using heat or pressure.”

Or “joining by adding filler metal and using heat or pressure.”





The main methods used are heating with electricity, arc discharge, gas, plasma, laser, etc.

The length of the weld leg (bead) formed at the weld (weld overlay) at this time has a large effect on the strength of the weld joint.





Evaluation of welding



The part with the red arrow in the image is the weld bead.

The external shape and dimensions (width, length, height) of this weld bead vary depending on the welding conditions.

Depending on the shape of the weld bead, it is possible to evaluate whether proper welding was achieved and whether there are any welding defects.


There are following types of welding defects:

・Insufficient surplus
·   Overlap
·   undercut
·   pit
・Crack etc.


To evaluate this weld bead, it is necessary to measure its three-dimensional shape.






・What is inspection in welding?


The dimensions specified in the cross section of the weld are the “throat thickness,” which is the minimum thickness of the weld bead, and the “penetration amount” and “penetration depth,” which are the length from the molten peak of the metal base metal to the metal base metal surface. etc. are stipulated.


⇒Click here for information on welding penetration measurement


Dimension regulations include the minimum length from the weld root, which is the base of the joint, to the toe of the weld bead, “leg length.”

This leg length is one of the criteria for determining the optimal bead width







・Improved efficiency in measuring the shape and length of weld leg length (bead)

Bead inspection is required to ensure welding quality.

The common testing methods are:


・Visual comparison with good sample
・Method of visually comparing with welding gauge


However, these require a high level of skill and time from the person in charge of the inspection, and judgments vary depending on the person.

Additionally, the welding-specific gauge measurement method requires measurements at multiple locations, which is inefficient.


<Image of welding gauge measurement>





By using the products below, you can solve these weld bead measurement problems.


・Recommended products for measuring weld leg length (beat)

[Welding leg length handy 3D scanner CSM-HS10WL]





This product is a 3D handy scanner that can instantly measure the cross section of a weld bead in a non-contact, non-destructive manner by simply shining a laser on the weld area you want to measure.

* Penetration inside the weld and blowhole inside the weld cannot be measured.

Non-contact optical cutting method that operates a trigger switch eliminates the need for measuring with a straight scale or welding gauge.




You can 3D scan the area where the laser is irradiated onto the welded part, allowing for high-precision measurement of its three-dimensional shape and displaying cross-sectional views. This method enables instant, non-destructive measurement of weld bead (bead length) without human error or variation.



~Features of this equipment~

Feature 1: User-friendly handheld 3D scanner
– Easy to handle as a handheld device, the 3D handheld scanner
– Simply connect to a PC or tablet via USB. Once the welding measurement software installed inside the unit is installed on your computer, it can be operated immediately.
– Easy to handle as a handheld device, it can measure even large or heavy objects and fit into narrow spaces, making it suitable for previously difficult-to-measure targets



Feature 2: Simply aim and pull the trigger at the desired measurement position to initiate measurement.


  • – When measuring weld beads, traditional methods require the use of calipers or specialized welding gauges, but with this equipment, pinpoint measurements are possible with a single laser shot.
    – Simply aim at the weld bead (raised area of the weld mark) and trigger the switch to measure.
    – Includes a detachable guide rod for convenient adjustment of distance and angle during measurement.
    – Using optical sectioning, you can easily perform 3D measurements of 12 points on the weld bead, including “leg length,” “undercut,” “joint angle,” and “excess weld metal.”



  • Feature 3: Instant display and saving of leg length measurement results on the PC screen
  • – Measurement results can be saved as files and utilized in Excel®.
    – Numerical values are displayed simultaneously during measurement, allowing for accurate and error-free records.
    – Eliminates the need for error-prone handwritten records and enhances tamper-proofing.
    – Ensures traceability of measurements.

~Even more convenient features~



Function 1: Equipped with a measurement mode convenient for welding bead (leg length) inspection as standard.


・Measurement of fillet welds





Measurement of corner radius





Measurement of butt welding





Feature 2: Display of camera images, laser cross-sectional views, and measurement results on a single screen




  • – Camera Image:
    Display of the captured video from the camera.

    – Laser Cross-sectional View:
    Clear display of measurement results with numerical values and cross-sectional diagrams.

    – Measurement History:
    Display of numerical results from measurements.



Function 3: Measurement history can be output in EXCEL®


Feature 3: Measurement history can be exported to Excel®.





Feature 4: QR code scanning

By scanning QR codes or barcodes, you can easily link them with measurement items and manage measurement results through QR codes. Additionally, combining QR codes with cloud services enables visualization and digital transformation (DX) of welding operations.








If you want to significantly improve and streamline the challenging task of accurately measuring weld bead shapes,

the **Weld Leg Length Handy 3D Scanner CSM-HS10WL** is extremely convenient.

– Eliminates variability in measurements by humans, enabling quantitative measurements.
– Capable of reading QR codes and linking with product data.
– Non-contact measurement for precise 3D shape measurement of objects.
– Visualizes anomalies in weld beads using color mapping.



Measurement of weld bead length (leg length).

・what is welding?


Welding is defined as the process of joining two metal substrates at their junction using heat, pressure, or other methods, or alternatively, joining them by incorporating filler material under heat or pressure.




The primary methods commonly used for heating in welding include electricity, arc discharge, gas, plasma, and laser techniques.

In this process, the weld bead length formed in the weld (weld deposit) significantly affects the strength of the weld joint.




・Evaluation of welding



The portion of the weld where material has been deposited, indicated by the red arrow in the image, is known as the weld bead.

Depending on the welding conditions, the appearance and dimensions (width, length, height) of this weld bead can vary.

The shape of the weld bead allows for the evaluation of whether the welding was performed correctly and if there are any welding defects.

Common welding defects include:

– Insufficient reinforcement
– Overlap
– Undercut
– Porosity
– Cracks

To evaluate this weld bead, it is necessary to measure its three-dimensional shape.


– Inspection in welding involves specifying dimensions in the weld section. This includes the minimum thickness of the weld bead, known as the “throat thickness,” and dimensions such as the “penetration” and “fusion depth,” which measure from the melted metal peak to the surface of the parent metal.

– For more information on measuring weld penetration, click here.

Among the specified dimensions is the “leg length (kyakuchou),” which extends from the weld root section to the end of the weld bead. This leg length serves as one of the criteria for determining the optimal bead width.






Efficiency in measuring the shape and length of weld bead legs.

To ensure welding quality, it is necessary to inspect the weld bead.

Common inspection methods include:

– Visual comparison with a reference sample
– Comparison using a welding gauge and visual inspection

These methods often require high skill from inspectors and can be time-consuming. Moreover, judgments may vary depending on the individual.

Additionally, using welding-specific gauges for measurements requires multiple measurements at various points, which is inefficient.

<Image of welding gauge measurement>





Utilizing the following product can resolve issues related to measuring weld bead lengths:

Recommended product for weld bead length (bead) measurement:

【Weld Bead Length Handy 3D Scanner CSM-HS10WL】





This product is a 3D handheld scanner that allows instant, non-contact and non-destructive measurement of weld bead cross-sections simply by aiming a laser at the weld area to be measured.

*Note: It cannot measure penetration depth inside the weld or internal blowholes.

No need for rulers or welding gauges; it operates using a non-contact optical cutting method triggered by a switch.



You can scan the 3D shape of the laser irradiation line applied to the weld area and measure the cross-sectional view with high accuracy. This allows for instant, non-destructive measurement of weld bead (leg length) without human error or variability.


~ Features of this device include:



Feature 1: Easy-to-use handheld 3D scanner
– Simply connect to a PC or tablet via USB. Once the welding measurement software built into the device is installed on the PC, it can be operated immediately.
– Being handheld makes it easy to handle, allowing measurement of targets that were previously difficult to measure, including large or heavy objects and narrow spaces.

Feature 2: Measurement by simply aiming and triggering
– When measuring weld beads, conventional methods require the use of a square or welding-specific gauge. With this device, precise measurement with pinpoint accuracy is possible with a single laser shot.
– Simply aim at the weld bead (weld protrusion), pull the trigger switch, and the measurement is done.
– Comes with a detachable guide rod for convenient adjustment of distance and angle during measurements.
– Easily perform 3D measurements of 12 points including “leg length,” “undercut,” “joint angle,” and “excess buildup” using the optical cutting method.



Feature 3: Instant display and saving of leg length measurement results on PC screen
– Measurement results can be saved as files and the data can be utilized in Excel®.
– Numerical results are displayed simultaneously during measurement, ensuring accurate and error-free records.
– Eliminates the need for handwritten records that can be prone to errors and enhances security against tampering.
– Allows for traceability assurance.



~ Additional Convenient Features ~


Feature 1: Equipped with a standard measurement mode convenient for inspecting weld bead (leg length)








・Measurement of butt welding






Feature 2: Displaying camera images, laser cross-sectional views, and measurement results on a single screen





  • ・Camera Image:
    Displays the captured video of the section through the camera.

    ・Laser Cross-sectional View:
    Clearly displays measurement results with numerical data and cross-sectional diagrams.

    ・Measurement History:
    Displays numerical results of measurements.




Feature 3: Measurement history can be exported to Excel®.





Feature 4: QR Code Reading


Allows easy linkage of measurement results with target items by scanning QR codes or barcodes. This enables the management of measurement results via QR codes.

Additionally, combining QR codes with cloud services enables visualization and digital transformation (DX) of welding operations.








If you want to significantly improve and streamline the challenging task of measuring weld bead shapes accurately,

The 【Weld Bead Length Handy 3D Scanner CSM-HS10WL】is incredibly convenient.

・Eliminates variability in measurements by individuals, ensuring quantitative measurement.
・Capable of reading QR codes and linking with product data.
・Enables instant and accurate 3D shape measurement of objects without contact.
・Visualizes anomalies in weld bead areas using color maps.



Measurement of Dendrite Arm Spacing (DAS Measurement)








1. What is Dendrite Arm Spacing?


Dendrite arm spacing is a measurement method used to evaluate the microstructure of aluminum alloys.

A dendrite refers to a tree-like crystal structure that forms as metal solidifies.

This structure features a primary arm along the main axis and secondary arms that develop laterally, both observed in a branched pattern.

Measuring the distance between the centers of these arms provides an index of dendrite density and morphology.

This measurement is influenced by factors such as the metal’s solidification rate and cooling speed, as well as the distribution of crystalline precipitates.


Measuring dendrite arm spacing has become increasingly important in recent years as it reveals the quality and mechanical properties of castings.




2. Measurement Method of Dendrite Arm Spacing

1. Like typical metallographic observations, it involves preprocessing and can be performed using microscope images.

The main steps of preprocessing are:

1. Cutting
2. Embedding in resin
3. Polishing
4. Mirror finishing
5. Etching with chemicals
6. Rinsing with water
7. Drying with a dryer

→ For more information on preprocessing for metallographic observations, click here.

The preprocessing steps alone require significant effort and time.

Following the preprocessing steps mentioned above, dendrite arm spacing measurement is conducted using microscope or microscopy images.

There are two methods for measuring dendrite arm spacing:

– Secondary Arm Method
– Line Intercept Method

The Secondary Arm Method involves selecting sections where secondary arms are aligned and calculating the average spacing between them.

The Line Intercept Method is used for structures with low directional alignment, such as granular crystals, where it is difficult to select aligned secondary arms. This method involves drawing straight lines across dendrite arm boundaries and calculating the spacing based on the number of intercepts.

Manual measurement of these operations requires considerable effort and time.

Therefore, we will now introduce an efficient method for measuring dendrite arm spacing using the following software.




3. Efficient Method for Measuring Dendrite Arm Spacing Using Software


We introduce an efficient measurement method using the “Image Analysis Software WinROOF Material Option.”

This software can calculate measurement results using the “Secondary Branch Method” mentioned above.

Our microscope cameras are compatible with the “Image Analysis Software WinROOF Material Option,” allowing for measurements within live images.

(Of course, it is also possible to load multiple pre-captured images.)





Step 1


Open the interface for dendrite arm spacing measurement and load the image.

It is common to perform this measurement across multiple fields of view (images).





Step 2


On the loaded image, use the mouse to set a “measurement line” (shown in the diagram below, within the yellow frame) at the area where you will measure the arm spacing.

Designate the boundaries of the secondary arms as intersections along the set measurement line.





Step 3


Click on the boundary between the measurement line and the secondary arms to add intersections. (Automatic detection feature for intersections available.)





Step 4


Once intersections are specified for one group of arms, repeat the process by setting measurement lines and specifying intersections for other groups of arms within the field of view.

Real-time measurement information is updated on the screen, allowing you to monitor current dendrite arm spacing values. Switch between images (fields of view) to ensure an adequate number of intersection points are specified.







Additional Information


Measurement results can also be exported to Excel for further analysis and documentation.






4. Conclusion


Specialized inspections like Dendrite Arm Spacing (DAS) measurement often require skilled personnel to conduct visual inspections over extended periods.

By introducing this software,

– Reduction in inspection time due to alleviated inspection burdens
– Standardization of inspections
– Improvement in the repeatability of inspections

These aspects significantly enhance efficiency. Moreover, the software enables smooth generation of evaluation reports, facilitating streamlined result reporting.

Graphite Spheroidization Ratio Measurement






1. Graphite Spheroidization Ratio


Metal materials are used in various fields, and there are many types of metals. It is essential to select the appropriate material according to the application and purpose. One such metal material is cast iron.




Cast iron is a composite material in which graphite (a non-metal) is three-dimensionally dispersed within steel. The mechanical properties, such as tensile strength and elongation, as well as physical properties like thermal conductivity, vary depending on the shape of the graphite present. Notably, mechanical properties such as tensile strength and elongation require a graphite spheroidization ratio of at least 80% on average, as observed under a microscope at 100x magnification. Therefore, the graphite spheroidization ratio is a crucial evaluation criterion to ensure tensile strength and elongation.





2. Methods of Analyzing Graphite Spheroidization Ratio

The procedure for analyzing the graphite spheroidization ratio involves the following steps:

1. Preprocessing step: Rough cutting for large samples
2. Preprocessing step: Embedding in resin
3. Preprocessing step: Cutting the sample
4. Preprocessing step: Coarse polishing of the cut surface
5. Preprocessing step: Fine polishing of the cut surface
6. Preprocessing step: Buff polishing for a mirror finish on the cut surface
7. Preprocessing step: Etching treatment with chemicals (burning the surface with chemicals)
8. Microscope observation
9. Classification, counting, and calculation

The preprocessing steps are numerous and time-consuming. For observation, a metallurgical microscope is used, and microscope observation is conducted at 100x magnification. Classification and numbering are performed using the roundness factor standardized by JIS industrial standards.

Using these methods, the area calculation and counting are performed to determine the graphite spheroidization ratio.




The calculation of the graphite spheroidization ratio in the microstructure is performed as follows:

1. The magnification is set to 100x in principle, and the analysis is conducted over five fields of view to determine the average value.
2. Graphite and inclusions less than 2 mm (actual dimension 20 μm) are excluded from the analysis.
3. Comparison is made using a classification table.
4. The graphite spheroidization ratio is calculated as the percentage (%) of graphite particles with shapes V and VI relative to the total number of graphite particles.

This method is analog, requiring complex and time-consuming tasks. Including preprocessing steps, the process demands significant time and effort, is prone to human error, and makes evaluation challenging.



3. Improving the Efficiency of Graphite Spheroidization Ratio Analysis

We propose a method using graphite spheroidization software. This approach involves capturing clear images of spheroidized graphite under a microscope and analyzing them with software. The analysis adheres to the aforementioned calculation methods through image processing. Various shapes and sizes of spheroidized graphite can be identified in the images. Additionally, the software can automatically measure the area and count the graphite from these high-resolution images. Moreover, the software can export the static images and precise values in an Excel format, streamlining the entire process of report creation.

For more details on the graphite spheroidization ratio measurement software, please refer here.


Graphite Spheroidization Ratio Measurement Software (Nippon Steel Technology Co., Ltd.) KKS04



4. An Efficient Set for Analyzing Graphite Spheroidization Ratio

Recommended for those who need to analyze large cast iron samples, prefer portability, and want a simplified method for measuring the graphite spheroidization ratio!
● Set includes a compact, easy-to-use metallurgical microscope with a camera, and graphite spheroidization ratio measurement software.



Compact and Portable Metallurgical Microscope KKKI-STD6-130DN

● Easy observation of large cast iron samples
● Compact and portable design for convenient use





Graphite Spheroidization Ratio Measurement Software (Nippon Steel Technology Co., Ltd.)



Highly recommended for those who want a more comprehensive approach to measuring the graphite spheroidization ratio!

● Set includes a metallurgical microscope, a microscope camera, and graphite spheroidization ratio measurement software.


倒立型金属顕微鏡 (超高倍率顕微鏡) Inverted Metallurgical Microscope (Ultra-High Magnification) GR-29J-C3J


USB 3.0 Camera for Microscopes (5 Megapixels) HDCT-500DN3




Graphite Spheroidization Ratio Measurement Software (Nippon Steel Technology Co., Ltd.)



5. Conclusion


Using software for measuring the graphite spheroidization ratio is highly efficient. We offer both convenient, simplified sets and comprehensive, advanced sets to meet your needs.


Observation of metal composition

When observing metal surfaces with a microscope, it is common to use a high-magnification microscope paired with coaxial illumination.

However, specifically for metal observation, there are microscopes specialized in this field known as metal microscopes, which are designed for this purpose. It is also possible to attach a camera to these microscopes for observation.

(The metal microscope has a large body size of 203x255x421 (H) mm.)




超高倍率USB マイクロスコープ NSH500CSU The high-magnification USB microscope NSH500CSU achieves magnification exceeding 1000x and features a 35mm long focal length.
	金属顕微鏡 GR3400J

The metal microscope GR3400J, coupled with the microscope USB3.0 camera HDCT-501DN3, includes various filters, enabling a wide range of observations including metal structures.


The ultra-high magnification microscope and the metal microscope each offer slightly different views, even when using the same coaxial illumination. We will help you select the model that best meets your requirements. Please contact our technical support for assistance.

Preparation for Metal Structure Observation and Measurement

1. Prior preparation for observing and measuring metal structures


To observe metal structures under a microscope or a macroscope, prior preparation is necessary.
Generally, the following four types of preparatory methods are commonly used.”

①Sample sectioning 

②Resin embedding (embedding)


④Etching process 




2. Methods for each preparation step

① Sample sectioning


Large sample specimens are cut into smaller pieces using a cutting machine.



2. Methods for each preparation step

② Resin embedding


The cut sample specimens are solidified with resin.

The reasons and purposes for embedding in resin are as follows:

– Preservation of the edge shape of the sample specimen
– Maintenance of the shape to prevent deformation of the sample specimen
– Formation of a flat shape for easier observation



Various types of resin are available for curing, selected based on the material and characteristics of the sample specimen.


<Representative types of resin>



– Acrylic resin
– Bakelite resin
– Epoxy resin
– Melamine resin





Each resin has different properties and colors, and their curing methods vary as well. There are various types such as thermoplastic, thermosetting, natural curing, UV light curing, and two-component mixing curing.


The sample is placed in a cylindrical case and solidified with resin. For heat curing, a heating embedding device is used, while for UV curing, UV light is irradiated.

Some observations may omit this step depending on the subject.


③ Polishing and mirror finishing


The surface of the metal sample specimen is polished.
Generally, a polishing machine is used.
There are manual and automatic types of polishing machines, with the former being suitable for experts and the latter for beginners.
Manual types tend to create uneven polishing due to variations in the pressure applied by hand to hold the sample, making them suitable for experts.
Automatic types, on the other hand, fix the sample specimen on a fixture and automatically polish it, resulting in more consistent polishing and making them suitable for beginners.


Using waterproof sandpaper, the sample specimen is polished from coarse to fine using a wet method (sprinkling water).

In precision polishing, cloth or buff polishing is used along with diamond slurry or alumina powder to achieve a mirror finish. Therefore, it’s necessary to change the grit of the waterproof sandpaper several times.


Polishing machines come in single-layer and two-layer types, with the latter being more expensive but more convenient.



④ Etching process (surface corrosion)

The polished surface of the sample specimen is immersed in etchant (corrosive liquid) suitable for its material and properties. Etching is performed for a specific time based on the concentration of the etchant and the material and properties of the sample specimen.


For example, in the case of graphitization, a 3% nitric acid alcohol solution (Nital solution) is used.


After etching, rinse the sample with water to remove the etchant, then clean with ethyl alcohol or similar solvent, and finally dry using a dryer or similar method.


Graphitization rate before etching  

Graphitization rate after etching




3. Microscopic Observation of Metal Structures


After undergoing the aforementioned preparation processes, metal structures can finally be observed. The polished surface of properly pre-treated sample specimens is observed under a microscope. By enlarging the structure and adjusting the focus, metal structures are examined.

At our company, we offer “metal microscopes,” “USB cameras for microscopes,” and packages combining metal microscopes with cameras.

For product details, please refer to the following.


Analysis of metallographic grain size

1. Crystalline Grain Size


There are various types of metals, and it is necessary to select appropriate metal materials based on their intended use and purpose. For instance, the metal materials used in automotive engine parts differ from those used in general metal parts. This is because different metals exhibit significantly varied mechanical properties (such as resistance to tensile, compressive, and shear forces).


To evaluate these mechanical properties of metal materials, it is essential to observe the crystalline structure of metals.

Metal structures consist of polycrystalline structures composed of crystalline grains. There are regions between these grains where the arrangement is disordered, and these boundaries are known as grain boundaries. The size of these crystalline grains (grain size) is a crucial factor that determines the mechanical properties of such metal materials.

Generally, crystalline grain size refers to the “size of the grains” in materials like metals.

Furthermore, metal structures change with heat treatment, not just based on the type of metal material like aluminum, iron, or alloys. Even within the same type of metal or alloy, heat treatment arranges the crystalline grains into specific patterns, forming grain boundaries different from those before heat treatment. Therefore, heat treatment alters the crystalline grain size, thereby changing the mechanical properties and characteristics of metals.


Consequently, the analysis of grain size is a critical inspection for ensuring the quality of metal products.


 ・Austenitic Crystal Grains


Face-Centered Cubic (FCC) crystal grains containing annealing twins


 ・Ferrite Crystal Grains


Body-Centered Cubic (BCC) crystal grains without annealing twins





2.Methods for analyzing crystal grain size


1. Visual Comparison between Standard Chart and Metallographic Microscope


The metal surface is prepared by polishing, followed by observation under a metallographic microscope. The grain size is estimated by visually comparing the enlarged metal structure observed through the microscope with the “Austenite Crystal Grain Size Standard Chart for Steel (×100) JIS G 0551.”






金属顕微鏡  金属顕微鏡の詳細はこちら


However, it is cumbersome as it requires temporarily looking away from the metallographic microscope.



②Integration of Eyepiece Micrometer into Metallographic Microscope for Simultaneous Observation and Comparison (Comparison Method) 

Insert an eyepiece micrometer (reticle) with grain size patterns printed on it into the eyepiece of the metallographic microscope. This allows for simultaneous visual comparison between the enlarged sample and the grain size standard pattern. By observing them concurrently without needing to look away from the metallographic microscope, the grain size can be estimated comfortably.



Shibuya Optical Co., Ltd.’s R1901 Particle Size Scale





3. Incorporating an eyepiece micrometer into a metal microscope for simultaneous observation and comparative measurement (counting / planimetric method, intercept method).


Insert the eyepiece micrometer (reticle) with the pattern printed as shown below into the eyepiece of the metal microscope. Determine the average line segment length per crystal grain crossing through enlarged samples and their patterns, calculating the grain size in accordance with JIS G0551/ASTM E112 standards.


Shibuya Optical Co., Ltd.’s R2010-24 Steel – Grain Size Testing Scale (Sectioning Method)





④ Using a camera to perform particle size measurement with software (comparative method, counting / planimetric method, intercept method)


Furthermore, attaching a microscope camera to the metal microscope and performing automatic measurements using the following measurement software.

This method enables automated measurements, significantly enhancing efficiency.


顕微鏡用USB3.0カメラ For details on the USB3.0 camera for microscopes (5MP), click here.


粒子解析ソフトウェア G-S Measure(日鉄テクノロジー株式会社製)

For details on the particle analysis software G-S Measure (manufactured by Nippon Steel Technology Co., Ltd.), click here.

◆ Particle Analysis Software G-S Measure for Grain Size Measurement

【Compliance with JIS and ASTM Standards!】


This tool evaluates grain size based on the following standards:
– JIS Standard (JIS G 0551:2005)
– ASTM Standards (ASTM E 112-96, ASTM E 1382-97)


【Up to 12 Different Grain Size Measurements Possible!】


– Evaluation methods allow simultaneous measurement of up to 12 patterns using combinations of cutting patterns, enabling calculation of grain size numbers.


【Choose from 5 Cutting Patterns!】

– In the sectioning method, you can select from 5 cutting patterns and adjust intervals and line lengths.

【Convenient for Report Generation! Excel Output】

– Measurement results for grain size can be exported to Excel (CSV format), facilitating report creation.



粒子解析ソフトウェア G-S Measure 結晶粒度測定


<Measurement Display Example> ASTM (Intersection Sectioning Method, Slice Length Comparison Method)

After measurement, the display highlights grain boundaries in blue where they intersect with the cutting pattern.
* The image example measures within a microscope magnification of 100x and a range of 1000×1000 dots.











Regarding the illumination of the borescope

Borescopes typically utilize coaxial illumination, such as the following.



However, for highly reflective objects, using a ring light designed for borescopes is also an option.
(Conditions such as “diameter greater than 10mm” or “shallow depth” may apply.)
This involves replacing the coaxial illumination with a dedicated ring light.




However, since direct connection to the borescope’s rod section is not possible, it is necessary to fabricate a fixture.
(The rod section of the borescope contains lenses and is sensitive to external forces.)


Its lightweight nature allows for observation even with a simple chuck fixture. The fixed holes of the ring light can also be used for secure fixation.
■Key Observational Points  
 There is not much difference with direct-view borescopes.  

<Coaxial Illumination>

<Ring Illumination>


In oblique or side-viewing borescopes, there is an effect to prevent halation.

<Coaxial Illumination>

<Ring Illumination>