The aim of the spectroscopic material analysis by means of optical emission spectroscopy is the ascertainment of the chemical composition of a metallic material. Alongside stationary spectral analysis of material samples, mobile spectral analyses can also be performed with laboratory accuracy. The mobile spectral analysis is deployed when samples cannot be taken, for example in plant engineering and shipbuilding as well as in power station technology and building systems.
Small material samples, e.g. individual shavings, the size of which does not allow for spectral analysis, can be examined with regard to their chemical composition under the scanning electron microscope by means of back-scattering electron detectors and EDX analysis. Metal wear particles in lubricants are a typical application for this examination method. The particles are separated and analysed by EDX analysis. Based on the result, it is possible to attribute the particles to a material and thus often to a component.