Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) is an elemental analytical technique with the ability to detect and quantify elemental composition (both heavy and light elements) in a solid, liquid or even gas state. LIBS involves the creation of a high temperature plasma above the sample. This plasma is created by laser pulse from a laser source. When the micron-sized laser beam is focused onto the sample surface, a small volume (micrograms) of the sample mass is ablated. When the laser pulse/plasma creation is complete, the plasma starts to cool. It’s during this process that the electrons of the atoms and ions at the excited electronic states fall down into natural ground states. This causes the plasma to emit light with characteristic spectral peaks. The emitted light is collected and transmitted to the spectrometer/CCD package for LIBS analysis. Each element in the periodic table has a number of unique LIBS’ spectral peaks. These peaks are collected and integrated to calculate concentration of materials, such as metal alloys.
Metal manufacturing and processing requires precision at the elemental level, but with globalized trade in scrap metal, the rise in counterfeit metals, and the possibility of inaccurate material test reports (MTRs), all participants in the metal industry—suppliers, distributors, inspectors and industrial consumers—are at risk of alloy mix-ups.
Misidentifying metal hurts your brand and your bottom line. Wrong or out-of-specification alloy grades can lead to potentially catastrophic equipment failures, a well-known issue in the refining and aerospace industries.
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LIBS is inherently more sensitive and better suited for light element detection - such as aluminum (Al), lithium (Li), magnesium (Mg), and beryllium (Be). However, reliable LIBS analysis of materials with these elements, especially at the point-of-need, has been very limited and typically confined to a laboratory environment - until now. Recent technological advancements, such as miniature, solid state micro-lasers as well as small, compact spectrometers have made the design of handheld LIBS possible and rapidly expanded the use of this versatile technique into field operations - such as alloy sorting and analysis.
KT-100 Katana handheld LIBS is the new generation rugged and efficient scrap metal sorting analyzer scrap yards want. It is the only handheld metal analyzer to pass rigorous United States military specified durability testing and achieve MIL- STD-810G and IP-54 certification. This means that KT-100 handheld LIBS can survive repeated drops from at least three feet, in addition to other mechanical shocks and environmental rigors. Easy to use, with results in 2 seconds, Recyclers can now easily step into the new generation of scrap metal sorting.
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