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This article briefly discusses popular techniques for metals characterization. It begins with a description of the most common techniques for determining chemical composition of metals, namely X-ray fluorescence, optical emission spectroscopy, inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy, high-temperature combustion, and inert gas fusion. This is followed by a section on techniques for determining the atomic structure of crystals, namely X-ray diffraction, neutron diffraction, and electron diffraction. Types of electron microscopies most commonly used for microstructural analysis of metals, such as scanning electron microscopy, electron probe microanalysis, and transmission electron microscopy, are then reviewed. The article contains tables listing analytical methods used for characterization of metals and alloys and surface analysis techniques. It ends by discussing the objective of metallography.

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