Analytical Instrumentation

  • Positive Material Identification (PMI) of Metal Alloys Using Handheld LIBS

Positive Material Identification (PMI) of Metal Alloys Using Handheld LIBS

May 19 2020 Read 397 Times

Today, alloy component traceability is more critical than ever. From petrochemical to power generation to aerospace, positive material identification (PMI) and verification programs can eliminate alloy mix-ups, improve product quality, and prevent injuries. PMI ensures that the specified alloy is used for every component, whether it has already been used in service or is just being introduced into service, is of the correct material. Parts made of the wrong alloy can corrode or wear more rapidly than expected when placed in service.

Petrochemical, petroleum and power plants have put more stringent PMI programs in place, to avoid disastrous, even tragic accidents. To ensure safety, it is critical that before any metal component is used in the construction or repair of an industrial plant, that the alloy composition is identified. Verifying metal alloy composition is also crucial for components already installed with a plant.

The Rigaku KT-100S handheld metal analyser easily performs analysis of the most difficult alloy grades with the use of laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS). Recognised by the American Petroleum Institute (API), LIBS is an acceptable technology used in the Recommended Practice 578 (API RP 578), 3rd edition, which provides guidelines for quality assurance in the oil and gas industry.

The use of portable and handheld analysers is considered standard practice in many fields. The KT-100S LIBS analyser offers a new handheld solution that answers many of the issues and concerns presented by current technology. The unit provides industry-leading features and accurate analysis wherever needed. Now, metal alloys can be tested quickly and accurately in a ruggedized package without the use of an open beam device. The included alloy grade library includes most common grades used in refineries and other production environments.

The KT-100S handheld LIBS analyser offers:

Quick decisions

  • Results in seconds
  • Real-time certificate of verification


  • Oil & gas industry
  • Power generation industry
  • Aerospace industry

Flexible communications

  • WiFi
  • USB ports

Designed for any environment

  • Lightweight and compact design
  • Color, touchscreen, flip-up display
  • Oversized keypad for operation with gloved hand
  • Handle-mounted “quick keys” for one-hand operation
  • Drop-proof, rugged design (U.S. MIL SPEC 810G)
  • Dust and water-resistant (IP-54)
  • Battery lasts up to 6 hours on single charge
  • Integrated macro camera

Accurate analysis on a variety of materials

  • Rods and wire strands
  • Finished welds and weld beads
  • Bolts, rivets and other fasteners
  • Valves and flanges
  • Complete reaction vessels

The analysis results shown present precision data for 14 common alloys found in petro-chemical and power plants. Data generated are the average of 5 repeat analyses of certified reference standards from five Rigaku KT-100S analysers. Metal alloys were chosen to test the analyser’s capability across multiple matrices and alloy types.

Data were obtained using the analyser’s “Light Drill Down” for surface preparation.

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