TWI Industrial Member Report Summary 356/1987
By S M Stevens
Optical emission spectrometry (OES) is probably the most widely used technique for steel analysis by producers and fabricators, for both quality control and product analysis. However, the lack of a British Standard method for OES analysis means that laboratories operating nominally identical equipment can produce different results on the same samples. This has been previously demonstrated by round robin trials, one of which showed that interlaboratory agreement could be improved by using a uniform calibration procedure.
A standard method is desirable, and this study demonstrates the feasibility of a calibration method incorporating interference correction factors determined using binary alloys, for the analysis of C, S, P, Si, Mn, Ni, Cr, Mo, V, Cu, Nb, Ti, Al, B, Sn, Co, As, Pb and Zr in steel by direct reading OES. It also examines sample preparation and the suitability of a tungsten/argon arc remelting technique for inclusion in a standard method.