Customer Focus: Optical Emission Spectroscopy, or OES, is a well trusted and widely used analytical technique used to determine the elemental composition of a broad range of metals.  The part of the electromagnetic spectrum which is used by OES includes the visible spectrum and part of the ultraviolet spectrum. In terms of wavelength, that is from 130 nanometers up to around 800 nanometers.

All OES analyzers contain three major components.  The first is an electrical source to excite atoms within a metallic sample so that they emit characteristic light (or optical emission).  A small part of the sample is heated to thousands of degrees Celsius.  This is done using an electrical high voltage source in the spectrometer via an electrode. The difference in electrical potential between the sample and electrode produces an electrical discharge, this discharge passes through the sample, heating and vaporizing the material at the surface and exciting the atoms of the material, which then emits the element-characteristic emission lines.

The second component is an optical system.  The light, the multiple optical emission lines from the vaporized sample known as a plasma pass into the spectrometer.  A diffraction grading in the spectrometer separates the incoming light into element-specific wavelengths and a corresponding detector measures the intensity of light for each wavelength. The intensity measured is proportional to the concentration of the element in the sample.  The third component is a computer system. The computer system acquires the measured intensities and processes this data via a predefined calibration to produce elemental concentrations.

Compared to other analytical techniques, OES has many advantages: it’s fast and relatively easy to use, it measures a wide range of elements and concentrations in many different types of materials.  It is extremely accurate when measuring low levels of trace and tramp elements, and it’s fairly low-cost compared to other techniques.

At Secat, chemistry testing is conducted on our impressive OES.

ARL 3460 multi-channel optical emission spectrometer was optimized to perform chemistry analysis of Al-based alloys at Secat. We offers fast, accurate metals analysis at reasonable price. The facility at Secat is custom designed for meeting your specific requirements in aluminum and aluminum alloys in all production areas including castings, extrusions, wrought alloys, etc, based on AA specifications and ASTM standards. The OES chemistry analysis is covered by the Secat scope for ISO 17025 certification according to ASTM 1251 Standard Test Method for Analysis of Aluminum and Aluminum Alloys by Spark Atomic Emission Spectrometry. ARL 3460 contains lines for all major alloying elements for aluminum alloys. Secat also holds a variety of industry approved standard samples of different series of aluminum alloys to increase the accuracy and stability of our measurement. The analysis can be applied to bulk, plate, sheet, extrusions, and irregular shape samples.

Main advantages of the ARL 3460

  • Stability and precision
  • Low detection limits and accuracy
  • Configured and calibrated in the factory
  • Continuous up-grade from manufacturer
  • Rapid response increase productivity