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Effect of Surface Condition on the Results of Chemical Composition Measurements of Scrap Copper Alloys


[ 1 ] Instytut Technologii Materiałów, Wydział Inżynierii Mechanicznej, Politechnika Poznańska | [ 2 ] Instytut Elektrotechniki i Elektroniki Przemysłowej, Wydział Automatyki, Robotyki i Elektrotechniki, Politechnika Poznańska | [ P ] employee

Scientific discipline (Law 2.0)

[2.2] Automation, electronics, electrical engineering and space technology
[2.9] Mechanical engineering

Year of publication


Published in


Journal year: 2024 | Journal volume: vol. 9 | Journal number: iss. 1

Article type

scientific article

Publication language


  • scrap
  • copper alloys
  • spectrometers
  • measurements
  • roughness
  • paint coatings

EN The processing of copper-bearing scrap makes it possible to reduce the costs and energy consumption of obtaining copper alloy products compared to producing them from primary raw materials. To achieve this, it is necessary to quickly and accurately determine the content of alloying elements in individual scrap elements. However, the copper-bearing scrap obtained at secondary raw materials collection points consists of elements with various surface conditions (due to contamination, shape, paint coatings, roughness, etc.). The paper contains research results on the influence of surface roughness and paint coatings on the measurement result of the content of alloying elements in copper-bearing scrap. Three mobile spectrometers were used for measurements: spark-induced optical emission spectroscopy (OES), X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (XRF) and laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS). The tests used elements with different surface roughness (from Ra = 0.03 μm to 6.7 μm) and covered with various types of varnish (alkyd, water-based, oil-phthalic, acrylic, oil-alkyd). It was found that the roughness of Ra < 2 μm does not significantly affect the results of the measurements with the OES and LIBS spectrometers, and a larger scatter of measurement results was observed for the XRF spectrometer compared to OES and LIBS. For Ra > 2 μm, a significant impact of roughness was found on the measurement results (this may result in the erroneous classification of the scrap as an incorrect material group). The influence of paint coatings on the measurement is much stronger compared to surface roughness. Even a single layer of paint can cause a change in the measurement result of the content of alloying elements by more than 10%. In the case of an OES spectrometer, paint coatings may prevent the measurement from being performed (which means that no measurement result can be acquired).

Date of online publication


Pages (from - to)

14-1 - 14-23





Article number: 14

License type

CC BY (attribution alone)

Open Access Mode

open journal

Open Access Text Version

final published version

Release date


Date of Open Access to the publication

at the time of publication

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Ministry points / journal


Impact Factor

4,3 [List 2022]

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