Chemical Analysis for Metals

MechTest is one of a small number of laboratories that have gained NATA accreditation for OES, which stands for Optical Emission Spectroscopy Optical Emission Spectroscopy relies on the principle that when a sample is subjected to a high-energy heat source (typically a plasma or an electric arc), it emits light at specific wavelengths that correspond to the elements present in the sample. This emitted light is then analysed to identify and quantify the elements.

Analysis Process

The sample is introduced into the high-energy heat source, causing it to vaporize and form a high-temperature plasma. As the sample atoms or ions return to lower energy states, they emit light at characteristic wavelengths. The emitted light is passed through a spectrometer, which disperses the light into its individual wavelengths. The intensity of the emitted wavelengths is measured by a detector. A computer analyses the emitted wavelengths and their intensities to identify the elements present and determine their concentrations. Quantification: Quantification is typically achieved by comparing the intensity of the emitted lines to known standards or calibration curves. This allows for the determination of the concentration of each element in the sample. OES is widely used in various industries, including metallurgy, environmental monitoring, quality control in manufacturing, and research. It is especially valuable for detecting trace elements and contaminants in materials and environmental samples.

Ametek SpectroMAXx M

Ametek SpectroMAXx M

MechTest has a SpectroMaxX M OES chemical analysis instrument .We are one of a few laboratories with NATA accreditation for this procedure. We test and analyze Carbon Steels, Stainless Steels and other Alloys. The instrument can provide chemical analysis of a range of elements including: iron, aluminium, carbon, boron, silicon, sulfur, manganese, nickel, chromium, copper, etc.

The spectrometer sparks an item via a high voltage discharge which vaporises a small amount of the metal. This allows spectrum analysis of the vaporised discharge to determine chemical composition. Results from the analysis can then be used to determine conformance with a specified published standard, or entered into a metals database to determine the nearest matching grade.


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