chemical analysis

Gas Analysis

Gas Analysis reveals the hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen content as a percentage of the material tested. This is an important measurement as higher than average percentages may be detrimental to the material characteristics. For instance, a high oxygen content in Titanium will make the material more prone to Alpha case.

Optical Emission Spectroscopy

Optical Emission Spectroscopy

Optical Emission Spectroscopy can determine the specific elemental constituents of an alloy by showing the exact percentage of each element present in the test sample.

OES is performed by heating the surface of the test material until it emits light. The emitted light is collected and then dispersed via prism. The resultant spectrum reveals the presence of specific elements by their characteristic wavelengths. The intensity of the elemental wavelength is measured to determine the ratio of the element to the rest of the alloy.

Materials Analyzed:

  • Cast Iron
  • Stainless Steel
  • Tool Steel
  • Carbon and Low Alloy Steels
  • Aluminum Alloys
  • Copper Alloys
  • Titanium Alloys
  • Nickel Alloys
  • Cobalt Alloys

ICP (Inductively-Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectroscopy, ICP-OES)

ICP can determine the elemental constituents of an alloy for per cent abundance. A wider variety of sample shapes and sizes can be employed than in spark OES. Fine sample shavings are dissolved in an acid solution. The solution is injected into a high-temperature argon plasma and analyzed by the emitted atomic spectra of the constituent elements from the ultra-hot plasma.

Trace elements (typically, less than 0.2%) cannot be certified. Carbon and sulfur in steel are separately analyzed with the Leco carbon-sulfur analyzer.

Materials Analyzed

  • Cast Iron and Steels: (Iron as remainder), Manganese, Nickel, Chromium, Copper, Silicon, Vanadium, Molybdenum and Phosphorus.
  • Additional elements by extra analysis added: niobium (columbium), tungsten, cobalt, zirconium, titanium (>0.02%).
  • Aluminum: (Aluminum as remainder), Magnesium, Zinc, Iron, Silicon, Manganese, Copper, Chromium, Titanium.
  • Copper, Brass: (Copper as remainder), Zinc, Tin, Lead, Aluminum, Iron, Manganese, Nickel.

Leco Carbon-Sulfur Analysis

The analyzer is a dedicated carbon and sulfur analyzer for high-precision determination of carbon and sulfur in iron, steel, and other metals. A gram of shaving material, about a cubic inch, is ignited by heating in a radio frequency coil to undergo combustion in a stream of pure oxygen. Foreign substances are removed from the gas stream through a series of absorbers, and the carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide measured by infra-red absorption to give per cent abundance of carbon and sulfur in the original sample.

Measurement Range:

  • Carbon, 0.005%-3.50% by weight.
  • Sulfur, 0.001%-0.4% by weight.


High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) is used to separate and detect organic compounds. The sample is injected into a high pressure solvent stream and passed through a column packed with material that the compounds interact with, separating them by molecular weight and chemical characteristics.

Trace Detection of Formaldehyde in Wood Products

A small sample is placed in a chamber through which air is pumped. Any volatile formaldehyde is collected from the exhaust air into a cartridge which reacts with the formaldehyde. The reaction product is removed from the cartridge with organic solvent and injected onto the HPLC for detection.

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Performed according to ASTM A751 Chemical Analysis of Steel Products.

Applicable Specifications
ASTM 751

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