Advanced Microscopy Applications

Cutting Tool

Model: Lucent

Modes used – AFM – Tapping mode, Phase imaging; LSM

The edges of a cutting tool are made of alloys to withstand large forces. Moreover the grain size and orientation play a role in the longevity of the edge. AFM images show a clear contrast between the edge region and the body region. Away from the edge, the grains are randomly arranged. But at the edge, as seen from the topography images, there are wide steps (>20 µm width, µm height)  reducing the cutting thickness (making it sharper). The steps themselves are made of nanometer scale layers. The phase images of the tool edge show a 2 phased material with large connected regions. Compared to this the material composition of the body region of the tool is considerably more diverse with much smaller connected areas. The LSM images shows clear difference between the body and edge regions too, making it easy to position the AFM tip on the region of interest.