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Optical emission spectroscopy (OES) is an important tool for fast and accurate elemental analysis of metals. Optical emission spectroscopy provides a non-evasive probe to investigate atoms, ions and molecules within a plasma. It can provide information about properties, such as (excited state) species densities, electron-atom, atom-atom and ion-atom collision effects, energy distribution of species, charge transfer between plasma constituents, and electric and magnetic fields, determines alloying content of iron and steel, aluminum, copper, nickel, zinc, lead and many other metals and alloys.

The Optical Emission Spectrometry (OES) technique utilizes a high-energy spark created across an argon-filled gap between an electrode and a sample of the material to be analyzed. The spark creates an emission of radiation from the excited sample surface with wavelengths characteristic of the elemental composition. The spectrum of radiation is separated into the distinct element lines and the intensity of each line is measured. Finally, these are precisely converted into concentration values for each element present.

Optical Emission Spectrometry continues to be the reference technique for direct chemical analysis of solid metallic samples. The unmatched combination of accuracy, high speed, precision, stability and reliability have made it an indispensable tool for production and verification of quality metallurgical products.

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