ASTM E1086 Spark Atomic Emission Spectrometry for Steel Analysis

ASTM E1086 test method involves the analysis of austenitic stainless steel with spark emission spectrometry for the elem ents like chrome, nickel, manganese, silicon, copper, and carbon. To ensure that stainless steels have the appropriate metallurgical properties, the chemical composition of those materials must be precisely specified. This test approach is appropriate for inspection and manufacturing control testing. It also provides fast analysis of solid metal samples including positive material identification, alloy grades, and material sorting.... Read More

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    The ASTM E1086 standard specifies a test process for identifying the chemical composition and desirable metallurgical properties of stainless steels with accuracy. It can be used for austenitic stainless steel production control and inspection tests. The ASTM E1086 test method is intended for regular analysis of cold cast discs, as well as for the examination and testing of stainless steel samples with a flat surface and a minimum diameter of 13 mm. Foundries, fabricators, metal recyclers, warehouses, and metal processing plants are benefited from this test.

    Test Procedure:

    In ASTM E1086, a controlled discharge is produced between the flat surface of the specimen and the counter electrode. The radiant energy of selected analytical lines is converted into electrical energies by photomultiplier tubes and stored on capacitors. The discharge is terminated at a predetermined level of accumulated radiant energy from the internal standard iron line or after a fixed integration time during the ASTM E1086 test. At the end of the integration period, the charge on each capacitor is measured and displayed or recorded as relative energy or mass fraction %. 

    Video 01: Optical Emission Spectrometers (Spark-OES)

     Specimen size:

    ASTM E1086 test specimen is homogenous and free from voids and pits in the region to be excited. This test procedure is intended for the inspection testing of stainless steel samples with flat surfaces that are at least 13 mm (0.5 in) in diameter or for the analysis of chill-cast discs. The samples must be of a similar metallurgical state and composition to the reference materials and be sufficiently large to prevent overheating during discharge.

    The composition of the specimen must be reasonably approximated by one or more of the reference materials. Additionally, interference effects and inaccuracies brought on by instrument drift can be corrected by employing the method of assessing the reference materials containing the unknowns and carrying out the suggested mathematical corrections (often known as type standardization).


    The chemical composition of stainless steel in the ASTM E1086 test must be determined accurately to ensure the desired metallurgical properties.

    Conclusion :

    ASTM E1086 test method involves the analysis of austenitic stainless steel with spark emission spectrometry for the elements like chrome, nickel, manganese, silicon, copper, and carbon.


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