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Positive Material Identification – NDT Chemically Analyzes Metals

Amerapex / News & Articles  / Positive Material Identification – NDT Chemically Analyzes Metals
6 Jan

Positive Material Identification – NDT Chemically Analyzes Metals

Uses And Advantages Of Positive Material Identification (PMI)

Positive Material Identification (PMI) is a Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) technique that is used to identify and chemically analyze metals and metal alloys. It is a valuable tool for determining the appropriateness of these materials for their intended applications because it does not physically or chemically alter the substance being tested, but it does provide information about the materials’ elemental compositions.

Knowing the elemental composition of metals and alloys is necessary to ensure the material meets design specifications and will perform as expected once it is used in components or structures. PMI is a safe, quick way to verify that a material will meet the corrosion, temperature resistance, and strength specifications needed.

Advantages Of PMI Testing

There are 86 different types of known metals in the world. That number doesn’t even include alloys. Identifying each type and its corresponding characteristics is necessary for manufacturers to use the correct metals and alloys in their products. This is especially important in the oil and gas and power industries, where failure of materials can have disastrous consequences. PMI tests make this identification possible and can be used to:

  • Test critical components before and after they are put into service.
  •  Provide additional verification of the metals’ performance beyond supplier certificates.
  • Conduct rapid on-site analysis using portable, handheld units.
  • Conduct tests without disassembling a unit or shutting down operations.

When To Use PMI Tests

PMI tests can be used before, during, and after production to help businesses plan and develop safe, quality products. In the R&D stage, the test can help identify the right materials. During production, PMI can be used to confirm that the materials received have the appropriate characteristics needed for the application. Post-production, PMI can be used to confirm the integrity of welds, pipes, and containers. PMI might also be used:

  • when the sample cannot be cut for testing.
  • when receiving a mixed lot.
  • when you need to verify material identification.
  • when samples are too costly to destroy.
  • when testing must be done on-site.
  • to verify product materials before shipment.
  • to identify light, trace, and tramp elements.

PMI is used in many industries, including:

  • Aerospace & Defense
  • Automotive
  • Biomedical & Medical Device
  • Building & Industrial Construction
  • Insurance & Legal
  • Manufacturing & Other Industries
  • Nuclear Energy
  • Oil, Gas, & Chemical
  • Other Industries
  • Power Generation
  • Primary Metals & Mining
  • Shipping & Maritime
  • Wind Power

PMI Services From Amerapex

Houston, Texas based Amerapex is a leader in NDT services, offering many leading technologies to safely and cost-effectively inspect systems around the world. To conduct PMI tests, we use hand-held X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) Analyzers to verify metals and alloys in just seconds. Our XRF Analyzers can also:

  • Recover lost material traceability.
  • Verify and validate weld material and dilution rates.
  • Confirm the integrity of piping, valves and reaction vessels.
  • Be used during construction or while in service.
  • Find welds in long runs of piping.

To learn more about Amerapex’s PMI testing and other Non-Destructive Testing services, or to find out if our services are right for your business, contact us at 1-713-263-0900 or visit