Waters and Malvern Panalytical Collaborate to improve polymer characterization
Expertise for Jewometaal Stainless Processing B.V.
"I am very satisfied with this long-lasting and beneficial partnership which has resulted in better and more cost-effective analyses of our incoming material."
Eric Oosterom, manager operations at Jewometaal
Jewometaal Stainless Processing B.V. (Jewo), situated in the port of Rotterdam (the Netherlands), is part of the ELG group. Per year Jewo processes about 350,000 t of stainless steel scrap in various forms (for example chippings, foils, spongy material, sheets and rods up to e.g. solid distillation columns weighing 20 tons) and consisting of different alloys. Delivered by truck or ship, one batch of material may easily weigh hundreds to thousands of tons. Precise knowledge of the composition of the incoming material is important for the control of the subsequent processes. For these analyses Jewometaal acquired a PANalytical AxiosmAX X-ray fluorescence spectrometer in 2005. A few years later PANalytical was asked for their expertise to improve the analysis results by optimizing the calibration.
Starting with the collection of scrap samples at the beginning of the process, PANalytical’s application specialist was able to standardize and optimize the sample preparation. Representative pieces are cut out of incoming material and any lead and copper components are removed, in order to avoid excessive concentrations of these metals in the process. Subsequently the material is melted in an induction furnace and a sample is cast, ground and polished. The procedure has now been taken over by a routine operator who also performs the measurements, assisted by (remote) expertise from PANalytical.
At first, the calibrations each covered very wide concentration ranges, using a combination of certified and secondary standards. Acquisition of additional standards enabled the setup of a parallel and much more precise calibration, mainly containing international certified materials. By the beginning of 2014 this calibration had been fully optimized and completed.
PANalytical’s Expertise will continue to be used in working to improve the calibration of Re, Hf, Ce and Ta. Batches containing these elements will be identified, quantified and sold separately. Last but not least measurements using the Omnian software will be tailored in order to cover odd samples, including filter material.
During the last 5 years PANalytical has been able to assist Jewometaal with a number of actions:
- Replacement of the induction furnaces by faster and more economical furnaces
- New ceramic crucibles which now prevent the inclusion of carbon
- Standardization of the sample preparation steps
- Reduction of operating staff
- Improved accuracy of both Ni and Cr analyses, the elements that often determine the prices
- Reduction of the measurement time with more than a minute per sample