Analyze Cu Alloys with Optical Emission Spectroscopy

For more than 80 years, Thermo Fisher Scientific has set the benchmark of quality for optical emission spectrometer used for the analysis of metals. Performance, reliability and stability have been the main features of the company’s instruments, mainly designed for labs and metals producers. The Thermo Scientific™ ARL easySpark™ metals analyzer is on the same track with experience and technical innovation to offer customers the best value based solution.

ARL easySpark

The ARL easySpark is capable of determining all the elements required in current and future applications, in all types of copper alloys. It is the answer to every user’s analytical needs, whether for incoming goods control, process QC, final product QC, metal sorting, certification or investigation. With highest uptime, the ARL easySpark metals analyzer provides dependable performance time and again. Specific performance is provided in detail this article.

Copper Alloys

ARL easySpark - Revolution in Benchtop OES

The ARL easySpark is a compact bench-top spectrometer based on an innovative multi-grating / CCD optical design operated under argon environment at regulated temperature. It offers complete elemental coverage, best resolution and stability, and provides high performance for all the critical elements.

The ARL easySpark gains also from the same innovative features already used in larger floor standing instruments of the Thermo Scientific OES product series, among which:

  • Advanced CCD signal acquisition and processing for better accuracy and performance
  • Compact version of the intelliSource, a digital spark source with enhanced flexibility and efficiency
  • ECOmode and super ECOmode allowing substantial argon savings when the instrument is idle
  • Spark stand with optimal operator safety and minimize argon consumption during the analysis
  • Optimal design increasing the instrument functionality

ARL easySpark - Typical Precision Values (1 sigma) for Copper Matrix

Elements Ag Al As Be Bi C Cd Co Cr Fe Mg Mn
Level % Precision
0.0001
0.0002
0.0005 0.00002 0.00012
0.001 0.00010 0.00017 0.00023 0.00004 0.00007 0.00010 0.00017 0.00013
0.002 0.00013 0.00022 0.0003 0.00005 0.00017 0.00006 0.00017 0.0001 0.00017 0.00023 0.00018
0.005 0.00017 0.00033 0.00044 0.0001 0.0003 0.00013 0.0003 0.00020 0.00030 0.00035 0.00030
0.01 0.0002 0.0005 0.0006 0.0002 0.0004 0.0006 0.0002 0.0005 0.0003 0.0005 0.0005 0.0004
0.02 0.0003 0.0006 0.0008 0.0003 0.0007 0.00010 0.0004 0.0007 0.0005 0.0007 0.0007 0.0006
0.05 0.0004 0.0009 0.0013 0.0006 0.0012 0.0017 0.0008 0.0011 0.0008 0.0012 0.00010 0.00010
0.1 0.0008 0.0013 0.0025 0.0010 0.0018 0.0015 0.0017 0.0014 0.0023 0.0014 0.0015
0.2 0.0022 0.0017 0.0040 0.0018 0.0027 0.0023 0.0043 0.0019 0.0024
0.3 0.0030 0.0023 0.0055 0.0025 0.0035 0.0026 0.0057 0.0032
0.5 0.0047 0.0033 0.0083 0.0037 0.0040 0.0083 0.0047
1 0.0083 0.0055 0.0062 0.0070 0.0130 0.0075
2 0.0150 0.0090 0.0100 0.0110 0.023 0.0128
3 0.0120 0.0150 0.0160 0.030 0.0165
4 0.0150 0.020 0.037 0.020
5 0.0180 0.043 0.024
10 0.030 0.070
20 0.050
30
40
50

Elements Ni P Pb S Sb Se Si Sn Te Zn Zr
Level % Precision
0.0001
0.0002
0.0005
0.001 0.00030 0.00013 0.00010
0.002 0.00015 0.00017 0.0002 0.0005 0.00033 0.00018 0.00022 0.00023 0.00017
0.005 0.00025 0.00030 0.00050 0.00040 0.00080 0.00038 0.00029 0.00036 0.00070 0.00038 0.00032
0.01 0.0004 0.0005 0.0008 0.0006 0.0010 0.0005 0.0004 0.0005 0.0009 0.0006 0.0005
0.02 0.0005 0.0007 0.0012 0.00010 0.0016 0.0008 0.0006 0.0008 0.0011 0.0008 0.0008
0.05 0.0008 0.0014 0.0020 0.0018 0.0025 0.0011 0.0009 0.0013 0.0015 0.0014
0.1 0.0012 0.0020 0.0032 0.0029 0.0035 0.0015 0.0020 0.0020
0.2 0.0020 0.0032 0.0056 0.0045 0.0050 0.0028 0.0036 0.0028
0.3 0.0030 0.0042 0.0075 0.0065 0.0036 0.0048 0.0037
0.5 0.0046 0.0059 0.0110 0.0090 0.0050 0.0068 0.0056
1 0.0083 0.0090 0.020 0.0140 0.0075 0.0100 0.0098
2 0.0130 0.035 0.022 0.0120 0.0170 0.0160
3 0.0190 0.047 0.023 0.022
4 0.023 0.060 0.028 0.027
5 0.028 0.070 0.032 0.032
10 0.049 0.12 0.050 0.053
20 0.083 0.21 0.083 0.090
30 0.112 0.12
40 0.14 0.15
50 0.18

  • Homogeneity of the elements relies on the metallurgical structure acquired through the sampling procedure and on the metallurgical history including mechanical deformation. These values are useful when homogeneously distributed elements exist in samples which are prepared by recommended sample preparation methods. A measured precision higher than the ensured precision indicates, with a probability higher than 95% that the element is separated or has an inhomogeneous distribution over the sample’s surface.
  • The precision values (given in percent) are representative instrumental repeatability. The definite precision values are twice higher
  • The precision values are established on ten repeated measurements

Innovative CCD Optical System

On the ARL easySpark, the new multi-grating / CCD optics allows a nonstop spectral coverage integrating ideal performance for every element as well as high flexibility for spectral studies or future applications. It features a select UV resistant CCD detector that has been created especially for arc/spark OES and whose temperature is regulated using a Peltier cooling device to guarantee the best precision and stability.

IntelliSource Digital Spark Source

The patented Thermo Scientific intelliSource’s compact version is a double current controlled source (CCS), the highest innovative excitation source for Spark OES. It allows discharge shapes to be custom-made for most efficient control of the sample surface preparation, light emission and material ablation in different metal matrices. Matrix-optimized pre-integration sparks greatly minimize the effects of matrix and metallurgical structure (in re-melting the sample surface before the integration spark) which enhances the accuracy of the analysis.

Other advanced attributes contribute to the performance of the intelliSource, e.g. Discharge Interrupt by Short-Circuit (DISC) that enhances the repeatability in trace analysis.

CCD Signal Acquisition and Processing

Different procedures and techniques are applied so as to enhance performance with the CCD of the ARL easySpark like automatic dynamic dark current subtraction to improve the signal to noise ratio. Spectrum alignment and digital resolution improvement are also performed automatically during each acquisition to enhance accuracy, precision and long-term stability.

Sample Preparation

The sample surface is usually prepared by using a milling machine or a lathe. Grinding is not possible due to risk of contamination.

Performance Guarantee

Thermo Fisher Scientific guarantees precision. The precision expresses the closeness of the concentration values of each run of an analysis. The lower the precision value, the smaller the number of runs required for high confidence in the average result.

Accuracy and Factory Calibration

Accuracy is the most critical figure of merit of a spectrometer. It states the agreement between the result and the reference value. It relies on the quality of the reference materials used for calibration, on some instrumental features such as the optical resolution and the spark source condition, and on the mathematical model used to measure the calibration curves. The calibrations are conducted by employing well tested and well accepted certified reference materials (CRMs) and reference materials (RMs). The calibration curves are determined utilizing highly advanced multi-variable regression (MVR) software tool that corrects spectral interferences, matrix effects and ensures the maximum possible accuracy.

Calibration Summary

The following calibrations are available:

  • Low alloy copper
  • Bronze
  • Brass
  • Cu-Zn-Ni
  • Global copper
  • Gunmetal
  • Cu-Al
  • Cu-Ni
  • Cu-Co-Be-Ag

Thermo Fisher Scientific calibrations are supplied as turn-key, completely parameterized applications together with setting-up samples (SUS) to preserve the accuracy of the calibration. Based on the repeatability of the measurements and the calibration curves, the measurement ambiguity can be displayed for each sample.

Stability

The instrument’s stability is of paramount importance when performing repetitive analysis. High stability decreases the frequency for maintenance and drift correction operations.

Memory Effects

The memory effect is defined as the number of operations required to decrease the measured concentration to the anticipated one after analyzing copper samples with high concentration alloying elements. The ARL easySpark measures accurately trace elements after five runs.

Conclusion

The ARL easySpark is a compact, desktop spectrometer meant for metals analysis, based on new CCD technology, which delivers flexibility for the analysis. On the day of delivery itself, the instrument can be installed and operated. Easy to handle, the ARL easySpark provides fast, precise and reliable analysis.

Its accuracy, related with its superior stability and reliability, allows users to have results they can depend on all year through without spending much time in long lasting and costly drift corrections.

Furthermore, the ARL easySpark offers the following benefits:

  • Unique safe open stand
  • Simple and easy to use and maintain by inexperienced operator
  • Widest range of metals analysis
  • New icon-based easyOXSAS software
  • Low consumption of drift correction samples and simple maintenance
  • Advanced technical/service support

All these features allow users to enhance their productivity and to attain the shortest payback times:

User’s investment costs are decreased by:

  • Excellent instrument lifetime and endless upgrade possibilities (software and hardware)
  • Instrument capability to cover future requirements

User’s production costs are decreased by

  • More accurate and reproducible analyzes made available sooner
  • Increased instrument availability due to its high stability and less recurrently required drift corrections

User’s operating and maintenance costs are decreased by:

  • Simple maintenance and low consumption of drift correction samples
  • Substantial argon savings during analysis and in stand-by

User’s overall cost management is decreased by:

  • Optimum utilization of materials
  • Very low running costs compared to other techniques

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Thermo Fisher Scientific - Elemental Analyzers.

For more information on this source, please visit Thermo Fisher Scientific - Elemental Analyzers.

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