Question on microsegregation in metals

Hi,
I have a question about the chemical analysis of an alloyed metal, one that had such elements as copper, antimony and arsenic added as
hardening agents. My understanding is that if one examines very small samples, the grain boundaries that accumulate those elements (Cu, Sb, etc.) could skew the results: in other words, using a small sample would amplify your chances of mischaracterizing the chemical content of the overall piece of metal. This is a result of microsegregation. My question is this: within each sample, would the "spike" in antimony or copper correlate with each other? If there was a jump in copper in one sample, should there be a close/promixate jump in antimony in the same sample, or would their (Cu and Sb) relative accumulation in the grain boundaries have nothing to do with each other?
Thanks, Stu
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I would say the accuracy of your analysis strongly depends on the method you are using. Which kind of chemical analysis method are you using? If you are really using the tranditional titration method, you just dissolve whatever you have in your block of material in some acid, then there is nothing to do with segregation, you have always the overall concentration of the material. But if you are using surface sensitive technique such as EDX or even XPS, you would have problem. How large is your sample? How large is your grain? What is the probing size and depth of your analysis technique? I think this should be considered at first.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.