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I'm hoping that one of the steel gurus on here can help with something we have going on at work.  We have some mystery material that one of our project teams was trying to identify.  They took it to a local scrap yard to see what their XRF scanner would say.  A screenshot of one of the test results is below.

 

Knowing my hobby interest in steel, they asked me to look at it.  I pinned my shoulders back, grinned and said "Sure!", thinking I have seen enough steel recipes on here to at least say something that was half-way informed.  (Yeah, even at 48 years old, I haven't learned not to think that)

 

<Insert comedy pratfall music here>

 

First, I didn't realize until today that XRF results don't show carbon content.  That is my one thing learned today.

 

Second, given that there seems to be very little in this steel, I would have guessed 1095.  However the Nb throws me.

 

I know asking what kind of steel this is from this scan is like asking you to identify my car based on a picture of the tire tread.  However, I thought I'd post this here to see if anyone wanted to weigh in.  The steel came to us as a wire.  (Roughly 0.080" dia.)  I suspect it to be plain old "Music wire" which is why I first thought 1095 when I saw this.

 

Reading 1.JPG

 

 

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I'd call it a bad reading.  LEC stands for light element count, which will depend on the model of unit, but is generally everything above Ti, but some units are better than others.  I can't imagine any ferrous alloy having that much Zn (or even a tenth of that).  Other than as a Zn plating, of course.  A good reading would definitely show if you had more than 0.10% Mn, Cr, or Ni.  It is very odd to me that they don't show Mn, but that may be an intentional choice in the software side.  If I had to guess, I would bet that someone ran it on the wrong setting.  But who knows, maybe it is some crazy exotic wire.  

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Looking at this test results I would say the wire you have is mild steel with a zinc coating / galvanized wire

 

 

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Thanks Guys, I suspected the reading may be off.  Apparently they had to bundle a number of wires together to get a target large enough to hit.

 

It's definitely not galvanized wire, that much I do know.  I'm still betting it is plain old music wire.

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Ive been down this road in the past, trying to make sense without the manual for an xrf readout from the scrappers. It also threw me that the C content is not readable!

 

In the end I downloaded the NAV tools manual for the gun, which helped interpret the result.

 

IIRC, it gives the material grade, and an error probablility - that might be saying S5 steel grade, with an error factor next to it. There is a scroll down on the photo of the display which might give more info! (no use to you now)

 

I tried asking the yard monkey what the result meant, I think he just said 'ug ug uh uh' a few times......

 

 

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