Spectrometer (OES) for Steel Plant & Foundries

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Sector Insights | Advance Metal Spectroscopy
Spectrometer (OES) for Steel Plant & Foundries

Spectrometer (OES) for Steel Plant & Foundries

The asks from an OES in a Steel Plant or Foundry

Large-scale production of high-grade steels, demand rapid, highly accurate & precise analyses. These controls span multiple intermediate stages, from raw material purchase to finished goods. At each stage, there are different tests to be conducted and actions initiated like segregation, correction etc. It is imperative, therefore, in large and medium sized steel plants to have rapid, accurate, precise & reliable elemental analysis. In many ways therefore, the analytical laboratory plays a critical role in controlling the quality of finished steel. From assessing conformity with the tightest of norms, to controlling elements carefully across delicately separated grades, Production spectrometers play a critical role in ensuring that the output is always of precisely the targeted composition.

Furthermore, there is also a saving in costs that spectrometers bring. Cost savings accrue each time a correction is made by the furnace operator in the addition of alloying elements prior to casting. In mini-steel plants, substantial cost savings start with the purchase of scrap when high-value alloying elements like Ni, Sn, Cu etc. can be determined. Any spectrometer that aspires to meet the requirements of steel industries therefore needs to be able to deliver:

  • Extremely rapid testing: High Productivity Steel Plants require extremely high throughputs and exemplify the adage, “Time is money”.
  • Exceptional accuracy, precision & reliability: Each test must enable decisions upon which large values depend.

Typical elemental range requirements

Virtually every manner of ferrous metal analysis starts with the most routine elements – including Carbon, Sulphur, Phosphorus, Manganese, Silicon, Chromium, Nickel, Molybdenum, Vanadium, Copper and Nitrogen… Then, there are specific rare earth elements such as Cerium that may be analysed given its usage for increasing corrosion-resistance in galvanized steels; there is also a wide range of micro-alloying elements that may be used for various purposes and yet more elements may be added at low concentration levels to act as impurities for nucleation of equiaxed grains ahead of solidification. Cerium based particles, for instance, have been tested in recent years as nucleation sites for heterogeneous nucleation for austenitic and duplex steels.

In heat-resistant steels there are various alloying elements like Nickel, Chromium, Titanium, Aluminum etc. and the rare earth elements like Cerium, Lanthanum and Yttrium. Cerium, for instance, can not only purify liquid iron but also refine ingots and the microstructures of continuous casted steel. The properties of steel are greatly improved when its grains are refined by Rare Earth elements, and the products from deoxidization and desulfurization are modified by the addition of RE elements to liquid steel. These elements improve the integrative properties of steels at elevated temperatures. While some elements are used for strength others are used mostly for oxidation resistance, process workability and microstructure stability.

Similarly, the presence of Lead in Grey Cast Iron is detrimental for its strength and so should be measured and controlled. An easy way to control lead is to analyze the scrap being added to melts. The properties of castings are directly affected by their chemical compositions. For grain refinement there are many elements that could be added like Cr, Mn, Si, Ni, Mo etc. As research continues, yet more elements get added to those tested for routinely. Nitrogen has recently emerged as a key element tested in SG Iron, for example.

Special requirements for steel plants

Apart from routine elements, the larger plants including those that are focused on ESR steels or killed steels and also the ones focused on customer groups like the Railways, Automotive, Defence etc. have specific additional requirements. These plants see an increased focus on steel quality and therefore have sterner demands – particularly when it comes to the analysis of gaseous elements, viz. Nitrogen, Oxygen and Hydrogen. Long considered feasible only on combustion analysers, these elements are now analysed down to extremely low limits (1 ppm) and with extremely high accuracy on OES! This adds a new dimension to what OES offer steelmakers.

Another key area for such users is inclusion detection. Spectrometers today offer inclusion detection simultaneously with analytical results, adding yet another dimension to the insights that the Analytical Laboratory can glean from the OES.

Metal Power OES for Steel Plants

The Metavision range of OES deliver rapid, accurate and precise analyses of every single element required for analysis in the Steels industry. The range spans both instruments designed to be the primary OES for the top-end steel plants as well as those designed for smaller foundries or to be used as back-up units in the large ones.

Top-end solution:
At the top-end, the Metavision-10008X offers analytical capabilities across 60+ elements, with each measured down to single ppm levels – including C, S, P, N, Cr, Ni and even O! This OES also offers:

  • Rapid analysis capability – for results in <10 seconds!
  • Inclusion detection
  • Oxygen analysis down to 1 ppm
  • Nitrogen analysis down to 1 ppm
  • Hydrogen analysis
  • Direct base element analysis – used for expensive elements like Ni, Cu etc.
  • Ultra-Fine wire analysis down to 0.1 mm diameter
  • Razor foil analysis down to 0.02 mm (20 micron) thickness
  • Integrated diagnostics.

The exceptional accuracy and precision, combined with the elemental range, detection limits and high throughput of the Metavision-10008X, make it the ideal solution to be the Primary unit for the largest steel plants and foundries. This model is typically used by large research laboratories, large steel plants as well as Government customers including establishments in Defence and Railways.

Mid-range solutions:
Positioned just below the Metavision-10008X, the Metavision-1008i3 OES offers a more budget-friendly solution and makes an astonishing value proposition. Featuring analytical capabilities across 55+ elements, including C, N, O, S, P etc., this OES is available with:

  • Inclusion detection*
  • Oxygen analysis down to 10 ppm*
  • Fine wire analysis down to 0.1 mm diameter
  • Razor foil analysis down to 0.02 mm (20 micron) thickness
  • Integrated diagnostics

*- Feature is variant-dependent
This exceptional array of features has made the Metavision-1008i3 a must-have in all manner of settings, ranging from Stainless Steel plants to investment castings manufacturers as well as in the Automotive sector, Railways, Defence and beyond.

Routine testing solutions
For routine analytical needs, the Metavision-1008i and the Metavision-108NN+ offer robust solutions to users; both include Nitrogen analysis by default and offer rock-solid performance in all manner of settings.

Entry-level solution
MOSS – Metal Power’s entry-level spectrometer offers the ideal solution for a wide range of ferrous industries. From those making routine TMT bars or structural steels to those manufacturing cast irons / SG Irons to rolling mills and the smaller casting units, MOSS offers a phenomenal proposition. The most compact and most economical OES in the world, MOSS still offer capabilities across 25 elements in steels. It is also fully scalable (including at-site) and offers Nitrogen analysis as well!

Mobile Solutions – Testing on Wheels
Steel plants also have extensive need for mobile testing solutions; these OES are needed for multifarious tasks including:

  • PMI (Positive Material Identification)
  • Sorting (typically needed in large yards)
  • Testing large parts that can’t be sampled for Laboratory testing
  • Testing materials at Entry gates

The Metavision-108M and the Metavision-1008M3 offer ideal solutions for such needs and are available with a range of probes – arc, spark, UV (for low C, N, B, S, P etc.) and various combined probe options too.

Unique MPA Solutions:

Metal Power has developed some truly unique and ground-breaking solutions which have key upsides for the Steel industry to tremendously enhance the value our spectrometers deliver:

Fine wire analysis
Our patented solution analyses (fully quantitatively) fine wires that as thin as 0.1 mm in diameter! This solution is unique to MPA and offers tremendous value to firms making fine wires, ultra-fine wires, meshes etc.

Foil analysis
For foils, we offer analysis of foils down to 20-micron (0.02 mm) thickness; a patented solution, this offers phenomenal value addition to makers of products such as razor foils.

For more information, product details and application-specific information,
please contact us at sales@metalpower.net.

Related products:

Rapid testing (<10 seconds):

With Oxygen analysis, TRS and inclusion analysis

Mid-level OES:


Mobile OES:

Special features:

  • Fine wire analysis down to 0.1 mm dia
  • Razor foils down to 0.02 mm (20 micron) thickness
  • Nitrogen analysis on all models

Related applications:

  • Steel plants
  • Steel foundries
  • Stainless steel manufacturing
  • Killed steels / De-gassed steels
  • ESR steel
  • Rolling mills
  • Forging units
  • Bearings steels
  • Investment castings
  • Fasteners
  • Boron steels
  • Defence, Aerospace and Aviation
  • Railways
  • Automotive components
  • Research & Development

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