The era of measuring carbon and other alloying elements with a handheld analyzer has arrived, and SciAps did it first.
SciAps is the first technology company to succeed in miniaturizing laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) into a truly handheld form that distinguishes L grade from H grade stainless and differentiates steels by carbon content. The SciAps LIBS weighs 2 kg (4.4 lb.), including on-board battery and argon supply for 600 burns. It is easily carried anywhere.
Complementing the LIBS, SciAps now manufactures the world’s lightest weight, fastest handheld XRF—a new model, totally redesigned with a November 2019 release date. It’s the ultimate handheld XRF for alloy verification and PMI.
SciAps is a Boston-based instrumentation company specializing in portable analytical instruments. Many of the people who launched SciAps were the founders and employees at Niton and InnovX (now Thermo Fisher Scientific and Olympus).
Now, with their latest technology company, they have the opportunity to continue to advance innovation in the handheld analyzer industries.
Prior to SciAps breakthrough carbon analyzer, if you had to verify alloys based on carbon content like 316L, 304H or low carbon nickel alloys, your only mobile option was spark OES, a cart-mounted instrument package accompanied by an unwieldy 50+ lb. tank of compressed argon gas. While LIBS is still not “point and shoot” easy like XRF, it’s truly handheld, and an average operator can be trained in about half a day to perform reliable measurements for carbon content.
Why carbon measurement? Stainless steel and corrosion-resistant alloy producers and fabricators are seeing increased requirements for verifying alloy grade and chemistry for their CRA product. Alloy verification, also called positive material identification, largely originated in downstream oil/gas (refining) in the 1970s as more specialty alloys were used for high temperature and pressure processes, per APIs Recommended Practice 578. In recent years, alloy verification has expanded into mid-stream, aerospace, heavy transportation and pharmaceutical processes. The U.S. Department of Transportation is publishing the “PHMSA Mega Rule” requiring, among other things, testing of transmission pipeline materials and welds for carbon, manganese content and carbon equivalents.
At least four independent studies have proven that the SciAps Z performs equivalent or superior to spark OES technology for carbon and CE. SciAps is completing its third year of commercial shipments and has delivered over 600 SciAps Z units in the past two and a half years. Application Notes and in-field testing scenarios are available at http://www.sciaps.com.