SciAps Can Meet Refinery Residual Requirements in Steel

Diggity LIBS, NDT/PMI, News & Press

The SciAps Z LIBS (laser) is the only handheld analyzer that can measure every element and meet all of the residual requirements for HF alkylation units in refineries.

Not only can the Z determine the sum of Cr, Ni, and Cu with the following conditions:

  •  If carbon < 0.18%, then Ni + Cu < 0.15%
  • If carbon >= 0.18%, then Cr + Ni + Cu < 0.15%.

It can also determine the additional elements and constraints:

  • Nb < 0.02
  • V < 0.02
  • Nb + V < 0.03%
  • CE (carbon equivalents) < 0.43

Historically, operators have used handheld X-ray guns to perform positive material identification (PMI) for HF alkylation units. While handheld X-ray cannot measure carbon content, it has been preferred because it is much easier to use and far more portable than the carbon-capable spark OES technology.

What’s changed is that now handheld LIBS technology puts the power of spark OES into a handheld and can measure carbon in addition to other metals including Cr, Ni, Cu. The benefit of handheld LIBS is that if C < 0.18%, the more relaxed RE requirement of Ni% + Cu% < 0.15% may be utilized.

It should be noted that Nb remains challenging for LIBS because Nb, like Mo, Ta, and W, is a refractory element, and the laser doesn’t vaporize it as efficiently as it does Cr, V, Cu, Mg, etc. For those who need a more efficient analysis of Nb, X-ray is the best option. The SciAps X-series is great on metals, especially on Nb. The LOD for Nb is about 0.002% with XRF, and users now have the option of using the premium X-550 or the workhorse X-505 with the same results.

The other fact to consider in working with low residual steels is that much of the steel product comes from recycled steel. The more recycled steel is used, the higher the levels of Cr, Ni, Cu and other elements. Getting steel that meets residual requirements is harder and harder, which means moretesting must be done. For this reason, a practical option for efficiently meeting residual requirements in steel is the SciAps One Box, featuring the LIBS for C and CE and the XRF for low Nb.

SciAps, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of handheld XRF and LIBS analyzers for every industry. Their newest family of XRF analyzers, the X-550 and X-505, are the smallest, lightest weight and fastest XRF analyzers ever made. Learn more at

Time to reduce your argon footprint with Sciaps Z Worlds only handheld for carbon in L, H grade stainless, carbon, CE in pipeline steels and welds, residuals.