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27.03.2018 | The Swiss national center for the investigation of corrosion selects capillary electrophoresis system CAPEL-205 with SP control



March, 2018 – Dübendorf, Switzerland. Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Material Science and Technology selected a capillary electrophoresis system CAPEL-205 by Lumex Instruments for their corrosion studies.

Empa’s Laboratory for Joining Technologies and Corrosion provides investigations on all products and structures with metallic parts from large to smaller dimensions (steel structures in building industry, suspended ceilings in swimming halls, bridges, tunnels, facades, machine components, water-suppyling components, industrial products, packaging, watches etc.).

For the corrosion studies Lumex Instruments specialists with their vast experience in the field of the inorganic anions and cations analysis proposed to use capillary electrophoresis (CE) system CAPEL and the developed analytical protocols.

Now, with CE CAPEL-205 the specialists of Empa successfully carry out the determination of such parameters in corrosion products and corrosive media as inorganic anions (chloride, bromide, sulfate, nitrate), organic acidic ions (oxalate, formate, acetate, propionate) and inorganic cations (ammonium, sodium, lithium, magnesium, calcium).

The challenging part of the task is that an extract with deionized water is prepared from corrosion products which can be sampled from the damaged metallic parts. This extract is used to leach all species which could cause the corrosion process or give a hint which corrosive media was involved in the corrosion damage.

In practice, often only small amounts of corrosion products are available. This leads to a very small volume of extract (some microliters) or to highly diluted samples. Lumex Instruments analytical protocols can handle both small extract volumes and low concentrations of the dissolved analytes.

Besides, very often the prepared extracts are heavily contaminated with the variety of organic compounds and oils which makes it almost inapplicable for the analysis by any other method. Streaming Potential control, implemented in the latest CE system CAPEL-205 enables the laboratory to run large series of different samples controlling the contamination of the capillary. This leads to better reproducibility. The ability to work with several analysis protocols and quickly switch between them is one of the most remarkable features of the installed system.

To handle different analytical tasks and large amounts of samples the Empa corrosion lab has purchased several CE systems of CAPEL series.