Inclusions have a large impact on the mechanical properties of steels and other metals.In applications where inclusions play a role, it is important to control size, shape and homogeneity of the inclusions.
In the last fifteen years OES technology has made significant progress with respect to fast readout of single sparks.
This development enabled the fast detection of inclusions using the Single Spark Evaluation (SSE) technology with SPECTROLAB, which has to be regarded as complementary to the traditional optical and scanning electron microscope methods.
The advantage of the SSE technology lies in the speed and multi-element analysis possibility.
Although the traditional technologies are more quantitative methods, they are time consuming and expensive.
The qualitative or semi-quantitative OES-SSE technology balances out against the traditional technologies with respect to the speed, simultaneous multielement correlation counting and simplicity of the detection method.
Explosions, fires and other incidents at oil refineries, petrochemical plants and similar installations receive wide and often sensational publicity, particularly when there is loss of life or personal injury.Apart from the human cost, the financial losses to operators and insurers can run to many millions of dollars.Often described as “accidents”, these incidents are not infrequently traced to the use of piping, valves, and similar components made of inappropriate materials.Often the presence or absence of a particular alloying element in a steel component can be critical to its performance, but can be impossible to detect by a physical inspection of the item.Over the last 20 years Positive Material Identification (PMI) or Verification has become accepted practice in the process and equipment supply industries.Modern spectroscopy- based analyzers are the answer to PMI in the demanding process plant environment.