Spectroscopy solutions for advanced metals characterisation

1st April 2013

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Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc will highlight its offering of spectroscopy solutions for advanced metals characterisation in the steel and metal industries during CETAS 2011, being held May 17–19, in Luxembourg.

Thermo Fisher will showcase a range of solutions to substantially improve automation and workflow within production and process control laboratories. Among the instruments highlighted will be the Thermo Scientific ARL SMS-2500 automation system, which provides increased power and flexibility for the automatic operation of Thermo Scientific optical emission and X-ray fluorescence spectrometers (OES and XRF). The company will also present an improved method for fast analysis of inclusions in metals using the Thermo Scientific Spark-DAT option.

The Thermo Scientific ARL SMS-2500 automation system provides an integrated, workflow-orientated solution that is specifically designed for high-speed production control laboratories in the metals industries. The system ensures increased sample turnaround by tightly integrating sample preparation with a larger, stronger and faster robot. By enabling direct access to the milling machine for the preparation of samples, processing time is reduced and expensive electromechanical sample transfer systems are eliminated. In addition, a choice of different milling machines allows customers to select the best solution depending on their preferences, needs and budgets, including the newly launched Haas Mini Mill with Thermo Scientific ARL repControl.

The Mini Mill milling machine with ARL PrepControl addresses the requirements of modern process control laboratories for rapid and reliable metals sample preparation. The system produces high-quality, reproducible prepared sample surfaces for XRF and OES analyses and for samples introduced manually via the front door, the solution operates semi-automatically. The system easily integrates with automated Thermo Scientific ARL metals analysers and XRF spectrometers without requiring modification, offering unattended, reliable and fast sample preparation and analysis. To provide further details on the solution, Thermo Fisher will present a lecture during CETAS entitled “The Importance of Sample Preparation as Part of Laboratory Workflow Automation Solutions (66)” on Wednesday, May 18.

Inclusions can affect the properties of metals, including mechanical strength, machinability and surface quality, making their control vital. The Thermo Scientific Spark-DAT option significantly enhances the capabilities of the Thermo Scientific ARL 4460 metals analyser beyond those of quantitative elemental analysis. The Spark-DAT option enables ultra-fast counting of inclusions and identification of their type in a few seconds, making it highly effective for quality control during metals production. The latest applications of the Spark-DAT option allow inclusion size determinations in low alloy steels and quantitative total oxygen determination even below 30 pp in killed steels. The ability to obtain elemental analysis information and inclusion contents simultaneously with a single OES instrument greatly reduces investments costs, requiring only a few seconds of additional time as compared to standard elemental analysis.

For more on this topic, Thermo Fisher will present “Advances in the Ultra-fast Inclusion Analysis in Steel by Spark OES - Phenomenology, Improvements and Calculation of Inclusions’ Composition and Size (57)” during CETAS on Tuesday, May 17.

The Thermo Scientific ARL PERFORM’X XRF spectrometer integrates bulk elemental analysis capabilities with mapping and small spot analysis, creating a solution that offers unmatched versatility and performance for the analysis of metal samples. The system enables analysts to pinpoint focus on specimen sections as small as 0.5 mm, significantly improving the versatility of analyses. The instrument’s advanced x-ray mapping and sample visualisation capabilities also enable users to identify and characterise inhomogenities, such as elemental inclusions, defects and gradients, in samples previously unidentifiable. A poster will be presented at CETAS entitled: “Applications of High Performance XRF in Metals and Mining Laboratories (P06)” on Tuesday 17 May.

The number of laboratories that use OES spectrometers and are also ISO 17025 accredited is increasing every year, and the need to comply with this standard makes estimating and reporting measurement uncertainty for all instrumental, including OES, more important. For attendees interested in learning more about measurement uncertainty, Thermo Fisher will host a webinar entitled “Expressing measurement uncertainty in Spark-OES analysis with application for the material conformity probability calculation” on Wednesday, May 18.

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