Sheet metals can have heterogeneous microstructures (crystalline structure) of their component materials. The degree of structural homogeneity reflects the amount of chemical and alloy diffusion throughout the material. Consistent and predictable behavior in your manufacturing process can occur only if the raw material you receive has a uniform homogeneous microstructure. Using a microscope, it is possible to determine the grain size, the size and distribution of inclusions, and the metallurgical phases present in your sample. Awareness of the degree of structural heterogeneity and inclusions in your sheet metal can be valuable to your failure analysis. Likewise, metallography can provide information about the effect cold and hot working will have on your material's microstructure.