Material Analysis

FISCHER offers measurement instruments that are specifically adapted to meet the needs of material analysis in chemicals plants, refineries and mines. Using mobile devices that are resistant to external influences, you can analyze materials even under the most adverse conditions. For instance you will find devices for measuring the ferrite content of austenitic steel or testing for pores in enamel coatings.

Material analysis

Application notes

Measurement of the ferrite content in (duplex) steel and weld seams

Components found in industrial plants – whether chemical, energy, petrochemical or other – are often subject to heat, aggressive agents and high pressure. These conditions demand steel types that are extremely corrosion and acid resistant even at high temperatures. When austenitic steels are used, it is important to make sure the ferrite content of the weld seams is within strict norms, because only the optimal ferrite content can ensure the best corrosion protection. For this reason some industries have set standards, specifications and regulations for ferrite content.

Fig.1: Measuring the ferrite content of a weld seam with FERITSCOPE® FMP30 and the probe FGAB1.3-Fe

During the welding of joints on e.g. boilers and pipelines made of austenitic steel, the heat causes modifications in the crystal lattice structure which lead to the formation of ferrite. Weld seams that are poor in ferrite do not have as much yield strength, but too much ferrite reduces their fracture toughness, ductility and corrosion resistance, so it is important that the welding process produces just the right amount.

With duplex steel in particular, the ferrite content in the heat affected zone can easily deviate from the target values, either due to unsuitable filler materials or through incorrect heat input or cooling during the welding. Only onsite spot measurements can provide assurance that the processing did not change the ferrite content at the expense of crucial mechanical or corrosion-resistance properties.

To meet these requirements FISCHER has developed the handheld FERITSCOPE® FMP30 instrument, which measures the ferrite content using the magnetic induction method and displays it either as percent ferrite content or as a WRC (Welding Research Council) ferrite number The FERITSCOPE® FMP30 can be outfitted with a variety of probes in special shapes such as axial, angled or for measuring inside centre holes.

Fig.2: Highest corrosion protection is required, for example, for pipelines and boilers in the chemical or petrochemical industry

The FISCHER FERITSCOPE® FMP30 allows for reliable and precise determination of the ferrite content in percent or as a WRC ferrite number. For further information please contact your local FISCHER representative.

Porosity testing of enamel coatings on equipment used in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries

Because it is impervious to high temperatures and chemically reactive substances, vitreous enamel makes an excellent anti-corrosion barrier for the boilers and tanks used in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. But this protection is only guaranteed if the coating is 100% continuous and has no pores, cracks, or other defects that could allow exchange between the equipment and its contents. This requires a reliable porosity test.

Steel tanks, pipes and mixers are often used in the manufacture of chemical and pharmaceutical products. To protect these parts from corrosion, they are coated with enamel 0.8-2.4 mm thick, depending on the requirements at hand. To ensure 100% protection, the enamel must be checked for gaps: To this end, the ISO 2746 standard test for enamelled articles for service under highly corrosive conditions specifies that the electrode of a high-voltage probe be moved slowly across the surface of the enamel. If the layer’s electrically insulating effect is interrupted (indicating a pore), the voltage drops suddenly. It is this voltage drop that is detected and signalled by the testing instrument.

Fig.1: Porosity test using the POROSCOPE® HV20 on a container in a chemical plant

The new POROSCOPE® HV20 is perfectly suited for the porosity testing of enamel coatings. The robust design of the probe head ensures longevity and meets all safety requirements for working with high voltage. Depending on the topology of the object to be tested, various electrodes are available for use, including flat brushes, sweepers or smaller whisks for testing inside of cavities.

Fig.2: Different electrodes are available for porosity testing

Porosity testing ideally takes place right after the enamelling process. The voltage applied is typically between 12 and 20 kV, depending on the thickness of the enamel layer. Based on the values laid out in the ISO 2746 standard, the correct voltage can be set directly on the probe head. Regular porosity evaluation during the fabrication of such pipes, tanks and mixers is the only way to verify the integrity of the enamel – a critical barrier that not only provides for corrosion protection of these components but also safeguards against contamination of their valuable contents.

The new POROSCOPE® HV20 is ideal for high voltage porosity testing of the vitreous and porcelain enamel coatings often used on equipment and infrastructure for the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. The adjustable range of 4-20 kV ensures that all common thicknesses can be reliably checked for defects such as cracks, pores and other weaknesses. For more information or a demonstration of the POROSCOPE® please contact your local FISCHER representative.

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Fischer Technology Inc.
Windsor/United States

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