|MadSci Network: Other|
Roger, Spark testing is an elementry method for identifying steel alloys. Emission spectrometers and X-Ray emmission analyzers, some being portable for field work, has replaced spark testing. But anyhow, spark testing is an inexpensive method to identify steel alloys within a range of suspected types. Spark streams emmitted from holding a steel sample against a grinding wheel will produce spark patterns characteristic of specific alloys. Some of the characteristics are the color of the spark, length of the spark stream, intensity, single or multiple bursts and lots of experience. I cannot find a cross-reference of spark patterns vs. steel type probably because there are hundreds of steel alloys to catagorize involving lots of time and research. The way to set up a test is to have available specimens of known alloys involved in a search that can be compared with the unknown sample. This is also required for analyzers which are capable of storing spectographic and X-Ray data. Ref: http://www.escribe.com/science/keelynet/m8562.html
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