What is XRF, also called X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometers? They are instruments that are used to carry out analysis at the elemental level of many materials like plastic, metal alloys, soil, ore, exotic precious metals, paint, ceramic, mineral assay, and paper. With such a wide use, these instruments have naturally become extremely popular. However, despite being very useful, they still cannot detect every element.

So what elements can they detect and what the ones they cannot? Let us find out.

Understanding XRF and Their Measurement Gadgets

XRFs are techniques that find out the presence and element amounts in a sample. You will find handheld HHXRF or XRF gadgets now. Operated by a battery, these mobile handheld analyzers can reach the sample, instead of bringing them to the lab, which can sometimes be difficult. A test specimen can be too heavy or too large and thus difficult to transport. And of course, it will save time as well if you can reach the sample with the right instrument.

What the XRF Device Can Detect

With the right metal calibration, an analyzer will be able to detect and understand alloys and many elements. In fact, the handheld machine of Elvatech.com can find hundreds of alloys. Time needed for analysis will vary based on the tested material and also the accuracy you want.

Increased time for analysis will provide better accuracy. In the case of metal based alloys, this is 2 to 3 seconds for grade IDs and up to 5 seconds to check the element’s chemical analysis.

It Helps in Mining Too

Handheld XRF devices can also analyze vital metals. They can be an important tool with good mining calibration that helps us find out ore and its profile for both positions, concentration. For the mining industry, this analyzer provides vital information that helps immensely in feed control.

Can Detect Toxic Metals

These analyzers are able to detect toxic metals present in consumer products. Lead is usually the most frequently detected element. It can also find several others.

Use in Archeology and Art

These handheld devices have been a hit in the world of archeology, art artifact analysis, and also in the analysis and research samples. When analyzing, accuracy of these XRF analyzers, and precision is almost the same as you will get from the laboratory analyzers too.

What You Cannot Detect with the XRF Analyzers

The handheld XRF gadgets are truly very useful and have many applications. However, having said this, they cannot detect everything.

For example, with XRF analysis, you won’t be able to identify the ions of same elements in differing valence states. So rock and mineral analysis is carried out with different techniques like Mossbauer spectroscopy.

They are also unable to identify light elements. In this, levels of energy are so low that become absorbed before they escape the samples. This is why measuring them is difficult by using a portable XRF device.

Author: Sarah Hagi

https://twitter.com/geekylonglegs

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