Atom Probe Tomography for advanced materials studies in 3D

Quantitative nano-information is nowadays required for the understanding of various mechanisms occurring in steel manufacturing.
Atom Probe Tomography (APT) is the only material analysis technique offering extensive capabilities for both 3D imaging and chemical composition measurements at the near atomic scale.

Understand the mechanisms behind materials’ properties

As APT is a unique tool visualising the nanoscale structure of a metal, it allows to understand in much more detail the metallurgical mechanisms leading to corrosion protection, ductility and bendability improvement, temper and precipitation strengthening, toughness maximization, hydrogen trapping, etc.

As such, it will massively contribute to the understanding of:

  • Precipitation in high-strength steels
  • Residual austenite understanding in TRIP and Q&P steels by enhanced C segregation monitoring
  • Initial tempering stages of martensite containing alloys (DP, Q&T,…)
  • Fe-based bulk metallic glasses and nano-crystalline metals
  • Nano clustering and segregation specialty steels

Watch the video on iso-surfaces.

OCAS has structurally reserved access to a Cameca LEAP 5000 X HR Atom Probe at the KU Leuven. A consortium of three Universities (Leuven, Hasselt and Gent), together with OCAS, set up this APT user facility with the Flemish Hercules foundation for large scale research infrastructure.



“For OCAS, APT is essential in product development for future generations of e.g. wear resistant, electrical, high-strength structural and sour service steel grades”.

Hui “Maggie” Shi, Research Engineer Materials Characterisation & Testing Department, OCAS