As technology and materials continue to evolve and raw materials become scarcer, quality assurance and control is increasingly imperative in industrial applications. Accurate metal alloy identification is critical throughout the lifecycle of metals-based products. Alloying elements provide the foundation of a metal’s composition and determine its physical and mechanical properties. Therefore, accurate alloy identification is essential to any industry involved with manufacturing, integration or the recycling or reuse of metal-based products.
Numerous industries require accurate metal alloy identification. In industries where safety is mission critical, the elemental composition of all metal-based materials, products or components must be verified before being released for production or assembly. Regulatory and company safety policies often require reverification of the alloy grade after a product or component is installed or has been in place for a period of time. This will ensure that the specific elemental composition has not changed due to industrial processes or environmental factors, which may adversely affect the metal-based product and could result in a catastrophic failure that will harm people and/or the environment. Mission critical industries include conventional and nuclear power plants, oil refineries, aviation, and transportation, food and beverage production, chemical and pharmaceutical product manufacturing. This type of verification is known as positive material identification or PMI.
Recycling is another industry requiring accurate metal alloy identification. Alloy scrap recycling is a major industry with a large global economic and environmental impact as documented by the rise and fall of metals prices and diminishing natural resources required for metals production. Scrap recycling centers are most often the primary source for metal recycling efforts. Scrap yards accept metal-based products and components from a variety of sources. For maximum profit, recyclers must verify elemental composition in order to accurately separate scrap by alloy grade before it is resold to a foundry or steel mill. This type of operation is known as alloy scrap sorting.
In order to meet the ever increasing demands of modern metal production, the KT-100S handheld LIBS metal analyzer was purposefully engineered to provide the means for rapid and accurate alloy grade identification and elemental composition verification. This device utilizes the latest handheld technology trend, Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS). Exceptionally suited for measuring light alloying elements critical in many aluminum alloy grades, such as magnesium, silicon or lithium, KT-100S is at the forefront of technological development.