Due to its unique characteristics, aluminum (Al) is used in a wide variety of commercial and industrial applications. Its utility can be further enhanced by combining it with other metals to create aluminum-based alloys, where the non-aluminum additives can make up to 15% of the total alloy, by weight.
Because of its popularity and multiple compositions, the London Metal Exchange (LME) lists four different specifications for Al alloy compositions. In these specifications, silicon, copper, zinc, and iron are considered major additions, as they are mostly greater than 1% composition by weight. Therefore, these four elements must be determined with greater accuracy (± 2%) than the others.
This work describes the determination of additives to Al in aluminum alloys at the LME specifications using the Avio® 200 hybrid scanning ICP-OES, an ideal choice for labs performing this application thanks to its charge-coupled device (CCD) detector, providing simultaneous background and analyte measurement, important when dealing with complex matrices, such as alloys.