- Use Single Spark Evaluation with the SPECTROLAB as an economical alternative to microscopic determination
- New whitepaper and webinar available
With the SPECTROLAB stationary metal analyzer and Single Spark Evaluation (SSE), SPECTRO Analytical Instruments now offers a real alternative to microscopic determination of inclusions in steel.
Inclusions in steel greatly influence its mechanical properties. In free-cutting steel, for example, inclusions of manganese sulfide (MnS) are desired, as they ensure that filings break easily during processing. In other steel alloys, however, inclusions can negatively influence the value of the material. This is why monitoring the concentrations of the alloying components during steel production is not enough. It is just as important to obtain information about type, size and distribution of inclusions as quickly as possible.
Conventional microscopic testing for inclusions provides accurate results, but the samples must be ground extensively and polished before they can be examined. Use of a top quality optical emission (OE) spectrometer, such as the SPECTROLAB—SPECTRO’s flagship OE spectrometer, is a practical alternative with several key advantages. With SPECTROLAB, for example, it is possible to exactly determine the concentrations in alloys and to draw possible conclusions about correlations among the elements.
With Single Spark Evaluation, a sample is bombarded with single sparks in a “mapping” measurement. Most of the sparks hit the normal metal matrix, which results in a picture of the alloy composition. However, when a spark hits an inclusion, the measured values are different. From this deviation in measured values, it is possible to determine the presence and chemical composition of an inclusion and to even calculate its size. In this way, OES-SSE technology is able to quickly deliver qualitative and semi-quantitative results.