History of metal grades

A few centuries ago, only about a dozen metal types were known. According to the World Steel Association, the steel industry defines more than 3,500 different materials today, differentiated by their chemical, mechanical, and physical properties.

The development in metal grades is highly dynamic and evolving. New metal grades are developed nearly every day due to new demands in different industries. Approximately 75% of today's steel grades have been developed in the last 20 years.

This increase is driven by higher demands for safety and a smaller carbon footprint, creating lighter, more robust, and durable materials. A good example of these innovations is that if the Eiffel Tower in Paris were to be built today; the engineers would require only 1/3 the amount of steel for the same design.

Classification of metals and alloys

For the many different metals and alloys sold today, a plethora of classification systems exist to keep all the standards regulated within the industry. Just in the United States, there are several such as:

  • The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) classifies steels.
  • The Society of Automobile Engineers (SAE) classifies all metals used on motor vehicles.
  • The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) oversees codes that pertain to pressure vessels, fittings, and pipes.
  • The American Petroleum Institute (API) maintains some 500 internal standards covering the oil and gas industry.
  • The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) has compiled some 12,000-plus codes for various metal products.
  • On aluminum stock, you may see labeling from the Aluminum Association (AA).

Again, these examples only represent organizations in the United States!

Most countries and regions have their own standards and designation systems: Germany has the DIN/EN, Japan the JIS,and China the GB.

Today, there are more than 70 designations in existence globally.

And all are evolving! Being up to date is really a challenge.

One of the main tasks of instrumentation like optical emission or x-ray fluorescence spectrometers used to analyze the elemental composition of metals in the metal production or processing industries is to verify if the elemental concentrations of relevant elements are within tolerances of the grade that is currently produced or processed.

Even though standard and norms descriptions and grade and material descriptions in written form are available, they can be expensive. It is time-consuming to enter these grade tolerances manually into the instrument's grade library. Manually entering grade tolerances can also cause many errors such as:

•   Typing errors in standard numbers
•   Typing errors in metals grade limits and tolerances
•   The database being out of date
•   Risk of creating multiple data of the same material
•   Having an incomplete library
•   Difficulty in editing

Total Materia/Thermo Fisher Scientific metal analysis solution

Total Materia

The Total Materia solution from Thermo Fisher Scientific addresses such concerns with these features:

•   Access to 350,000 materials (grades)
•   In 15,000,000 property records
•   From 74 countries/standard designations
•   Cross-reference table to compare different materials
•   Chemical composition, mechanical and physical properties
•   Standard descriptions
•   Application guidelines
•   Heat treatment tables

Time and cost saving

Having a huge, up-to-date grade and material data knowledge base on your instrument has many benefits. The significant advantage is that you can import the required grades for the verification with your spectrometers with just a few clicks from the database to the instrument's grade libraries, with a seamless and faultless transfer to your instrument.

Protect your experiments from wasted time and materials, delays, and a compromise in reputation, while ensuring customer retention.

The most comprehensive available grade database is pre-installed on our flagship Thermo Scientific ARL iSpark Series Optical Emission Spectrometer. This knowledge base is offered as an option on our other optical emission and X-ray fluorescence spectrometers.

Discover the advantages of this powerful combination of metals database, search engine, and program of expert consultancy.

If you're interested in a 60-day free trial, click here.

You no longer need to research and purchase grade catalogs constantly. This database enables worldwide searches by specific chemical composition or physical and mechanical properties in just a few easy steps. Ensure that your database is correct and up to date with worldwide grading standards.

Learn how you can benefit from our Total Materia/Thermo Fisher Scientific partnership or book a demo to learn more about our analyzers.

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