The Bureau of Mines is conducting research on methods for the rapid identification and sorting of mixed scrap metals and alloys so that domestic scrap resources can be fully utilized. One method, spark testing, is the examination of the pattern of sparks that results when a metal or alloy is ground on an abrasive wheel. This technique requires experienced sorters. Bureau researchers have shown that spectrophotometric methods can be used in lieu of the highly skilled sorter. The spectra of mild steel, a high-strength low-alloy steel, several stainless steels, and four nickel-base alloys have been measured. Differences in the spectra that are sufficient for identification are apparent.