Measurement and Testing
New Handheld XRF Spectrometer Measures 41 Elements in Two Seconds
Nov 13 2008
âSpectro has been a market leading supplier of mobile metal analysers for the last 30 years and technology leader in the laboratory ED-XRF analyser market for the last 15. All of our experience has flowed into the development of the Spectro xSORT,â explains Marcus Freit, Product Manager for the mobile metal analysers. âThe xSORT analyses metal alloys much faster than comparable products from the competition. As the first handheld XRF instrument from Spectro, the xSORT closes the last gap in our product portfolio and completes the range of mobile metal analysers.â
A specially developed silicon drift detector (SDD) forms the heart of the Spectro xSORT. This processes signals approximately ten times faster than the silicon pin detectors used in conventional handheld XRF instruments. A low power X-ray tube with 40 kV serves as the excitation source. This allows the Spectro xSORT to determine 41 elements, between magnesium and thorium, in a single measuring cycle of two seconds. In addition, the SDD detector enables the identification and determination of the light elements: Al, Mg, Si and P can be measured in an air atmosphere without the need for helium or a vacuum system. The instrument requires only 10 seconds to differentiate between aluminum and magnesium alloys.
Operation of the xSORT is simple and intuitive: The handheld XRF uses a universal calibration so that the onsite operator is not required to make any changes to any settings. The user simply holds the measuring window of the xSORT onto the metal sample and presses the start button. The chemical contents are immediately and clearly displayed on the integrated PDA.
Design and technology of the xSORT are oriented towards operation in industrial environments: Rechargeable battery and PDA are integrated into the robust housing, making them impact resistant. A protective cover safeguards the instrument from the weather. The xSORT is equipped with long-life rechargeable batteries that provide for 3.5 hours of
continuous operation. With two rechargeable batteries included in the scope of delivery, the xSORT is always ready for a full day`s work â testing doesnât need to be interrupted because of a drained battery.
For safe operation, the Spectro xSORT has an automatic shutter that closes the measuring window; preventing radiation from escaping and dirt from entering the instrument. The rear side of the shutter is also used for regular control sample measurements.
According to Freit, âThe ICAL calibration logic measures the contents of the shutter as required, in order to guarantee the optimum
instrument status at all times.â A major target group for the xSORT are plant operators in the chemical and petroleum industries:
As there are no sparks when working with XRF, the xSORT can also be used without danger for positive material identification in explosion
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