Handheld analyser producer SciAps’ X-250 analyser measures magnesium (Mg) and silicon (Si) up to ten times faster than any other X-ray gun, with better sensitivity for highly accurate aluminium (Al) alloy testing, says analysing and non-destructive testing equipment supplier GammaTec SciAps product specialist Lyndon Momberg.
GammaTec is the exclusive distributor of SciAps products in non-Francophone African countries as of January this year. The X-250 forms part of the company’s range of X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF) analysers.
XRF is a non-destructive analytical method used to determine elemental concentrations in various materials. The portable XRF unit is designed for core analysis – an exploration technique used to define the mineral content and elements in a sample – or in any application requiring high-volume manual testing.
“The X-250 measures Mg down to 0.25% and Si to 0.15% in two seconds, allowing a huge variety of Al alloys to be precisely sorted by X-ray.”
All X-ray guns perform well on stainless, high temperatures and turnings. However, those X-ray guns have been both slow and inaccurate for many Al grades because of their imprecise analysis of Mg and Si, warns Momberg.
“The X-250 delivers high performance to Al alloys, without compromising speed and accuracy on all the other alloys.”
He explains that this is achieved by combining high-quality X-ray tube technology that runs at three times or more power than the other guns when measuring Mg, Si and Al.
“We have optimised the analyser design for maximum efficiency of Mg measurements. We have also revolutionised the way Al alloys are analysed with X-ray through the patent-pending Aluminium App.”
Additionally, this has resulted in the company being able to sort 90% or more of a customer’s Al alloys in two seconds.
This includes the most difficult groups of aluminium alloys for X-ray like 3003/3004/3005, or 356 and 357 or 6022 and 5005, adds Momberg.
“These alloys differ by small amounts of Mg or Si and until now, they could not be reliably sorted by X-ray gun technology.”
He explains that a small percentage of aluminium alloys will require a total of four seconds instead of two seconds.
This is owing to the fact that some less common aluminium alloys require measurement of lead, bismuth, zirconium, silver and/or tin to identify them from more common grades.
For these grades, the Aluminium App automatically fires up a higher voltage second beam shot for the two additional seconds to measure these elements.
“This easy and automated process will even allow an inexperienced operator to expertly sort a class of Al.”
SciAps offers a range of XRF analysers that provide cost-effective solutions for the mineral exploration and mining industries, concludes Momberg.