Accurate metal alloy identification is critical throughout the lifecycle of metals-based products. As technology and materials continue to evolve, quality assurance (QA/QC) is increasingly imperative in industrial applications. Alloying elements provide the foundation of a metal’s composition and determine the physical and mechanical properties. Therefore, accurate metal alloy identification is essential to any industry involved with manufacturing, integration or the recycling or reuse of metal-based products.
Metal Alloy Identification in Scrap Metal Recycling
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.
Metal Alloy Verification as Part of a QA/QC Program
Numerous industries require accurate metal alloy verification. 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 grades after a product or component is installed or has been in place for a period of time to ensure that the specific elemental composition has not changed due to industrial processes or environmental factors. Examples of such industries are:
The Need for Metal Alloy Verification
There are many reasons metal alloys need to be verified throughout its lifecycle. Most batches of metal material have at some point been associated with a Material Test Report (MTR). Quite often, if an MTR is still available, it may not be associated with the correct batch of material, and so has caused mix-ups or mislabeling along the way. Another common situation is that the MTR is missing. Manufacturers or suppliers are putting themselves at risk if they are handling metal alloy material that has not been properly verified. The business’ reputation and operation is at stake.
For some industries, metal alloy verification is required at some point in the process. The handheld Rigaku KT-100S LIBS analyzer provides the latest trend in handheld metal analysis. By utilizing LIBS technology, the KT-100S provides fast, accurate and safe analysis to ensure quality of metal-based components throughout any manufacturing process.