Nitrogen Analysis in Duplex Steels

Duplex steels have become indispensable in most industry branches due to their mechanical properties and outstanding corrosion resistance.

Alloying elements like molybdenum, chromium, nitrogen, and tungsten produce outstanding resistance to crevice or pitting corrosion. These can be utilized in a wide range of applications extending from architecture to petrochemicals to the food industry.

Duplex steels can be used in challenging environmental conditions. A variety of standards define the composition of the material within permissible limits, making sure that the steels are of consistent quality.

However, even small variations in the concentrations of the alloying elements can have large effects, even within the permissible limits.

For example, if the widely used grade 2205 (UNS S31803, 1.4462) is to be welded, the broad range of permissible nitrogen content leads to a critical problem below 0.14%. This material cannot be reliably welded. How can the supplied steel be tested to determine whether it can be welded?

The portable optical emission spectrometer (OES) ferro.lyte® with spark excitation from Elementar provides users with the ability to quantitatively detect even light elements like carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur.

The patent-pending, innovative CONLYTE® technology increases the usable spectral line region. This is because the air gap between the plasma and light channel that is otherwise usual in portable instruments is sealed completely against the atmosphere.

Therefore, even the spectral region that is otherwise affected by absorption through the ambient air can be evaluated analytically. This means that with ferro.lyte, long-term reliable measurements with light elements are possible, in contrast to other portable systems.

Typically, the nitrogen emission line that laboratory instruments use for nitrogen analysis is at a wavelength of 149.236 nm. CONLYTE® is the only technology that enables correct analysis of this line in a portable instrument in the high-frequency region, with a detection limit of 850 ppm.

This makes ferro.lyte® an innovation in the portable spark OES instruments market. It is extremely easy to differentiate different types of steel, including on the basis of the concentrations of the light elements. This allows for a reliable assessment of the material.

With ferro.lyte®, the user is in a position to determine whether a grade 2205 duplex steel can be welded without problems. This can be done anywhere and at any point in the process chain.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Elementar Analysensysteme GmbH.

For more information on this source, please visit Elementar Analysensysteme GmbH.

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