Our chemistry department provides detailed chemical analysis of the properties of metals and alloys. Obtaining the desired mechanical, corrosion & physical properties is of fundamental importance for any manufacturer. We can help ensure your products are fit for purpose, with fast turnaround times and all the certification you need.

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Types of test

Chemical testing of metals is achieved using qualitative and quantitive analysis. Qualitative techniques are used to identify compounds and elements, whereas quantitative methods allow us to measure the amounts of different substances present and report on various characteristics of the resultant metal or alloy – such as the amount of carbon in a sample of steel.

Optical Emission Spectroscopy

One technique we use is known as Optical Emission Spectroscopy (OES). This involves exposing the sample to an electrical spark and measuring the different wavelengths of light that are emitted. From that data, we can work out the proportion of elements that are present.
Another form of OES, known as ICP-OES, uses plasma rather than a spark.

Our experience

Our chemical analysis team offer: 
  • Optical Emission Spectroscopy using spark excitation (Spark OES). This is ideal for ferrous metals; nickel copper and aluminium alloys. 
  • ICP-OES for steels, including stainless steels and aluminium alloys. Copper base alloys analysis by ICP is currently being developed and will be available shortly.
  • Leco carbon, sulfur and nitrogen analysis
Typical materials include:
  • Plain Carbon, and Alloy Steels, Stainless, Duplex, 6 Mo Steels and Tool Steels
  • Grey and Ductile Cast Irons
  • Copper Alloys
  • Aluminium
  • Zinc Alloys*
  • White Metals
  • Nickel Alloys
  • Ferrous Based Alloys
  • Cast Iron
  • Ferro Alloys
  • Cobalt Alloys
  • Carbon Steels and Refractories
  • High alloyed steels
  • Low alloyed steels
The activities identified with * are not UKAS accredited.
Get in touch to find out about chemical analysis of metals services offered at our laboratory.


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