Low voltage imaging is useful in circumstances where coating with graphite or AuPd might destroy a component or device. Even though coating for SEM aims at depositing only ~ 10-12 nm of material, such a coating should be considered permanent. Also such energetic deposition as sputtering and flash coating can permanently damage delicate materials and devices.
In this case we had a novel Viton seal for a high vacuum application that was suspected of leaking. It was imaged at a beam voltage of 1 kV allowing us to see a break. If this part had been found to be undamaged it could have been returned to service with no concerns of it being damaged by conductive coating for SEM imaging.