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A sequential atomic absorption spectrophotometer equipped with an autosampler and a programming capability by way of magnetic cards is being used to determine the concentrations of aluminum, titanium, vanadium, manganese, nickel, copper, chromium, and molybdenum in steel. The eight elements were divided into two categories for analysis: (1) the more sensitive elements—maganese, nickel, copper, chromium, and molybdenum and (2) the less sensitive elements—aluminum, titanium, and vanadium. To determine the concentrations in steel of the more sensitive elements, a 1.00-g portion of a steel sample is dissolved and diluted to 200 ml. Since the concentrations of some of these elements in the steel may be as high as 2.00 percent, analytical lines other than the most sensitive ones are used for these elements. The concentrations in steel of the less sensitive elements range from 0.00 to 0.50 percent and are determined by dissolving a 2.00-g portion of a steel sample and diluting the solution to 100 ml. The instrument is calibrated by using spiked standards. These standards contain iron background and acid concentrations approximately equal to those of the specimen solutions.
The system has been on line since September 1979 and is used for steel product check analyses. The accuracy in determining the concentrations of these eight elements with this system is as good as or better than that achieved with the other methods used.
atomic absorption spectrophotometry, low-alloy steel, sequential analysis, metals, analytical techniques, trace constituents
Analytical chemist, Inland Steel Co., East Chicago, Ind.