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The tests are made by using a chemical kit (9) prepared with reagents and equipment necessary for semi-quantitative spot test analyses of alloy steels. Approximate percentage indications for chromium, cobalt, manganese, nickel, and molybdenum from spot test reactions, along with spark tests for carbon and tungsten, allow the experienced operator to classify alloy steels according to their approximate nominal chemical composition. A classification chart (1) listing representative types of alloy steels helps to properly identify the unknowns. Standard steels (7) of known chemical composition must be spot tested simultaneously with the unknown steels to make the unique combination method reliable. The known standard steels are also used to check the usability of the chemicals in the kit. Rapid sampling must be accomplished in order to obtain best results from the semi-quantitative procedures. Spot test samples from four different steels can be taken by holding glass sampling rods in both hands. Both ends of the rods are used, alternating, so that the same end of the same rod always contacts the same steel to pick up the dissolving acid solutions.
Kirkham, Elbert C.
Curator, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah.