New in-field comparison of LIBS vs. spark OES
Results augment previous studies that show SciAps LIBS is up to 3X faster for pipeline materials analysis
The gas pipeline industry and a highly reputed testing laboratory recently completed a blind study to evaluate the performance of the SciAps handheld LIBS, traditional spark OES, and filings versus the “gold standard” of laboratory analysis on cut pipe sections.
Trained operators analyzed a variety of steel pipeline materials at a storage yard using the SciAps LIBS and a mobile spark OES system. The results of the testing, shown below, demonstrate superior performance of the SciAps LIBS for carbon analysis in pipeline steels, compared to traditional spark OES technology.
Also shown is the SciAps performance on other alloying elements Mn, Ni, Cr, Cu, and Si. These elements, plus Mo and V, are used with the carbon content to determine the carbon equivalents (CE). In this study vanadium (V) concentrations were below the LIBS limit of detection (0.02%), and molybdenum (Mo) concentrations were all in the 0.02-0.03% range.
These data show that the SciAps LIBS can meet or exceed traditional spark OES accuracy on carbon and other alloying elements.
Portable OES data (left) vs. SciAps LIBS data (right)
What about phosphorus (P) and sulfur (S)?
Handheld LIBS will not currently measure P and S. For these analysis, the SciAps handheld XRF was utilized. Phosphorus data is shown below. There was excellent correlation between the X and the laboratory for the P data, although all the samples except one were clustered in the 50 – 150 ppm concentration range. Typically, P and S are required to be < 0.04% (400 ppm), so the X certainly can meet the analytical requirements.
In previous pipeline studies, it was also demonstrated that the SciAps LIBS analyzed results up to 3X faster than spark OES.
This is due to the greater mobility of the handheld LIBS, and the fact that the argon supply is a small canister that resides inside the handle of the analyzer.
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