Positive Material Identification: Introduction

posted on Jul 04, 2011

Positive Material Identification, or PMI, identifies various metal alloys by carefully scrutinizing a given object.  Positive Material Identification determines the chemical composition of metals and alloys.  Positive Material Identification is safe and non-destructive, and has many real-life applications and benefits.  For instance, Positive Material Identification can be used portably onsite or extract materials for laboratory analysis, making it a diverse metal alloy detection method. 

The detection of metals and alloys has gradually expanded over the last two centuries.  Before modern-day, advanced technology, there were only 12 known metals.  Today, researchers have discovered and identified approximately 86 metals, each having its own unique chemical makeup.  Likewise, technological sophistication has unveiled numerous new alloys.  With new industry discoveries and countless options, Positive Material Identification enables manufacturers to purchase the exact metal-alloy combination to meet their desired intent.  Positive Material Identification has become a necessity in the industry because it enables businesses to build strong, profitable, and precise products at all developmental stages, from choosing materials to in-production testing.

Positive Material Identification is applicable to any businesses that manufacture, distribute, or handle metals, such as steel, in any way.  Onsite and offsite Positive Material Identification can be used when a material is too large for shipping, when a manufacturer suspects that different metals may have mixed, or when a sample cannot be safely cut for analysis.

Positive Material Identification is important because even the smallest alloy mix-up or mistake can have detrimental consequences.  Such mix-ups may occur after generating mill test reports (MTRs), when alloys, which already look similar, lose their unique identification stickers due to human error or standard procedure.  Such mistakes have serious impacts on buyers, and the wrong chemical alloy makeup can cause products to fail and threatens their overall quality. 

A popular method for Positive Material Identification involves X-Ray Florescence, or XRF, technology.  Handheld XRF Analyzers are portable, and work by identifying the elemental presence or lack thereof in a given material.  In Positive Material Identification using XRF Analyzers, the device can detect the elemental makeup of a metal, like steel, and can provide purity results.  Handheld XRF Analyzers are portable, affordable, and small enough to enter a manufacturer’s assembly line.  The XRF devices provide real-time data results, sometimes in mere seconds, and are ideal for large metal quantities that require testing.  XRF Analyzers are sturdy and accurate, and their use in metals and Positive Material Identification is industry-accepted.  Routine and safely-executed Positive Material Identification testing provides quality assurance and ensures a product’s purity.


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