Impurities can accumulate in products or process equipment either on the outside or within. One example is metal defects in electronics that change electrical conductivity and destabilize product properties. A better understanding of the formation and accumulation of impurities can be realized by 3D techniques based on X-rays. They operate much in the same way as a microscope, but have the power to reveal interior changes to materials at microscopic or even molecular level. They form a “toolbox” what may help guide efforts to remedy impurity formation by revealing the underlying formation mechanisms and locations. The outcome would be a more durable and stable product or production process.