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South Africa - New technology supports product certification

Continuing its drive to enhance its service capability, local foundry group Steloy Castings has invested in a new spectrometry technology and extended its range of certified calibration standards to further support the certification of its products.

The new-generation ARL 3460 optical emission spectrometer, from Swiss industrial analysis company Thermo Electron, is considered the most advanced in the South African foundry industry. Steloy group metallurgist Leon Jonker says: “It will enable us to analyse, in-house, an unequalled variety of alloys across a far wider spectral range, delivering greater accuracy and ensuring product integrity.”

First launched in 1982, the ARL 3460 metals analyser has become the most widely used optical emission spectrometer in the world. In the latest version, the optical emission technique has been extended into analytical tasks previously only handled by combustion analysers, with over one thousand systems having been installed for the analysis of nitrogen in steels. It also uses the latest analytical software.

The acquisition of the spectrometer was the result of the growing demand for high-specification components for the petrochemicas industry and desalination plants. Steloy supplies tube support components, as well as reformer and catalyst tubes to the international petrochemicals industry, necessitating compliance with the most stringent American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ American Society for the Testing of Materials, or API, specifications.

“The spectrometer will be used to control the levels of crucial microalloys, such as zirconium and titanium, in new-generation alloys such as HP45 micro, and we will also be able to limit and control ‘poison’ trace elements, such as lead, tin antimony, bismuth and zinc,” says Jonker.

“The increased use of superduplex stainless steels in desalination plants allows for the control and analysis of nitrogen, which promotes pitting resistance, which is of paramount importance.”

Steloy supplies components to a wide range of industries, including the chemicals, petrochemicals, pulp and paper, cement, steel manufacturing and glass industries, as well as pump and valve manufacturers. The company is ISO 9001:2000 certified, and is the only local foundry operation to have accreditation to the European Pressure Equipment Directive. Its quality management system has also been audited and confirmed by customers such as Selas Linde, Foster Wheeler, ExxonMobil, Tomoe Valves, KTI, Heurtey-Petrochem, Fluor, Sulzer and Spirax Sarco.

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