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This chapter describes some of the most effective tools for investigating boiler tube failures, including scanning electron microscopy, optical emission spectroscopy, atomic absorption spectroscopy, x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, x-ray diffraction, and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. It explains how the tools work and what they reveal. It also covers the topic of image analysis and its application in the measurement of grain size, phase/volume fraction, delta ferrite and retained austenite, inclusion rating, depth of carburization/decarburization, scale thickness, pearlite banding, microhardness, and hardness profiles. The chapter concludes with a brief discussion on the effect of scaling and deposition and how to measure it.

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