New Developments in Portable XRF Technology Light Element Analysis using a Helium Purge
January 2006 marks the release of an exciting new product which provides more comprehensive
alloy sorting for recycling facilities and non-destructive testing for industrial alloy inspection-
including the rigorous demands of aerospace “superalloys”. Thermo Electron Corporation’s
NITON Analyzers announces the introduction of the first hand-held X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF)
analyzer equipped with a helium purging mechanism for direct analysis of so-called “light
Thermo’s line of NITON portable XRF analyzers has been recognized worldwide for their ability to provide immediate chemical analysis of alloys, electronic materials, coatings, plastics and more. One past limitation of all such portable XRF technologies has been the inability to determine light element content of alloys. In terms of XRF technology, elements such as magnesium (Mg), aluminum (Al), silicon (Si), and phosphorus (P) have been the exclusive realm of bench-top or lab systems incorporating bulky helium purge systems or demanding vacuum mechanisms. As a result, an alternative technology has had to be applied for field use, the Optical Emission Spectrometer, with its greater bulk, destructive burn and more rigorous operational requirements. Frequently, this technique has been employed in a supplemental or complementary fashion where light element analysis was required.
Today, the new NITON XLt 898He system fills this void with the added ability to quantitatively analyze the elements Mg, Al, Si, and P in most alloy materials. This new capability extends the portable technology’s elemental capabilities and marks the first time field sorters and inspectors are capable of light element sorting and light alloy chemistries, both non-destructively and on-site. Thousands of added alloy grades are now able to be determined with the convenience of a single hand-held, non-destructive and easy-to-use XRF alloy analyzer. Trade-ins are available for the thousands of current users of the NITON alloy analyzer worldwide.
For recycle applications this is good news for the alloy sorter who now can, with one instrument and one simple but highly reliable measurement, determine directly aluminum alloys, Al in titanium alloys, and Al/Si in bronzes. Best of all, for industrial applications, the non-destructive nature of the XRF technique allows testing of finished or sensitive parts without concern.