Steel analysis

Rigaku has published a new application report describing the analysis of low-alloy steel using a benchtop wavelength dispersive X-ray fluorescence (WDXRF) spectrometer. Rigaku Application Note # XRF 1042 details the quantitative analysis of elements in low-alloy steels, with complete information regarding sample preparation, method calibration and repeatability. Alloy steel is amalgamated with various elements to improve its mechanical properties. Steels comprised of up to 8% alloying elements are called low-alloy steels. Low-alloy steels are typically designed to achieve better hardenability. Their mechanical properties are determined by the concentrations of the different elements added to the steel, some of which are at very low levels. The concentrations of elements in molten steel are adjusted during the steel making process, typically in electric furnaces. Rapid analysis of the elemental composition is therefore essential. As part of the control process, analyses of slag and raw materials such as quicklime and ferroalloys are also required. X-ray fluorescence spectrometers are routinely employed due to their rapid analysis capabilities and their ability to measure both bulk metal and powders. For the analysis detailed in the report, certified standard reference materials of low-alloy steel provided by NIST and JSS (Japan Steel Standard) were used to establish the calibration, and measurements were performed using the Supermini200 with a 200 W Pd target X-ray tube.


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