Archiv – Instrument specialist Spectro has launched a new application package for examining iron-based samples using the Spectrotest mobile metal analyser. The application is claimed to reduce the measurement time for analyses with spark excitation from 15 to five seconds. Instrument specialist Spectro has launched a new application package for examining iron-based samples using the Spectrotest mobile metal analyser. The application is claimed to reduce the measurement time for analyses with spark excitation from 15 to five seconds.
For the first time, says the company, steel and specialty steel manufacturers can conduct 100% sorting control that takes all of the relevant elements into consideration, even for large lots. The application report is available on the Internet (www.spectro.com).
The new application package has been specially developed for Spectrotest users with high sample throughput requirements. This includes steel and specialty steel producers as well as metal processors manufacturing components such as flanges, tubes and pipes. The package offers users the scope to complete very exact sorting control – including the determination of carbon – within five seconds.
’Quality management frequently requires sorting control for the entire production run,’ explains Marcus Freit, Product Manager for Spectro mobile metal analysers. ‘€˜Until now, it has been very difficult for these customers to economically conduct such comprehensive sorting or quality control. With these special requirements, arc and spark excitation reach their limits.’€™
He continues: ‘€˜Arc excitation quickly delivers measurement results; only two to four seconds are required for each sample. However, the disadvantage with arc excitation is that it is not possible to analyse all of the elements required. The determination of carbon is especially difficult. Carbon molecules in the air falsify the results of measurements that are not conducted in an argon chamber (sample probe). This is a serious problem for the steel industry, where many alloys differ only in the carbon content.’€™
Spark excitation has never been a commonly-used alternative, according to Mr Freit. ‘€˜It is possible to examine all of the elements, but up to 15 seconds per sample are required for conventional applications,’€™ he says. ‘€˜Piece-by-piece sampling must be done quickly for large lots – ten to 15 samples per minute. Until now, spark couldn’€™t keep up. Steel producers with high sample throughput requirements had to decide what was more important: speed or analytical accuracy. Many decided for a compromise. Every product was tested with arc, and spot checks were conducted with spark excitation, in order to have an overview of the carbon content.’€™
The new application package eliminates the need for double sampling while reducing the analysis time using spark excitation for iron-based samples to just five seconds. Measurement accuracy has been only slightly reduced. Steel alloyed with approximately 0.2% carbon displays a standard deviation of 0.01% with the Spectrotest. Similar precision values are obtained for other elements, the company adds.
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