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I Forge Iron

Best testing method

Benona  blacksmith

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I'm looking into sending out a few pieces of steel to get tested and would like to know what the best method to ask for. 

I know that LECO only tests for carbon, sulfur, nitrogen, oxygen and hydrogen so that's out.

ICP testing wont show carbon so thats out.

So far OES testing seems to be on track. 

What else is there?

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How far out do you want to go?  Are elements that are just a couple of atoms per sample important? Typically samples get tested for several large components and a lot of the little stuff is considered "trash".  However the modern research on Wootz has shown that some of those "trash" elements actually played a major part in making it wootz.

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That's Optical Emission Spectroscopy, for the uninitiated. Another testing method is XRF (X-Ray Florescence), which is also used by scrapyards. The yard I occasionally take scrap to has an XRF gun which not only gives elemental measurements, but also the appropriate SAE alloy number.

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