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3 Unique Applications for XRF Technology

1. Lithology

Lithology – or the process of identifying rock type – is made possible with portable XRF technology. Without an XRF analyzer, identifying rock type and composition is time consuming, given it needs to be done off-site with methods like optical microscopy. Dragging samples to your lab to then conduct lengthy tests is an arduous process and prolongs finding out the results. A portable XRF analyzer, however, can perform elemental composition and ratios onsite, which can be used to determine lithology. Instead of collecting samples, going back to the lab and conducting tests, you can find out results while you’re in the field. XRF analyzers can even register subtle changes in geochemistry of reservoir rocks. You can monitor the gradual transformation from one rock type to another in real-time. There is a case study available on more than 221 samples collected from an oil and gas drill site in Southeast Asia, and the analysis was accomplished with a portably XRF analyzer.

2. Analyzing Artifacts

Would you have guessed that an XRF analyzer helped discover ancient metals in a dagger found in King Tut’s tomb? Because of XRF technology, archaeologists and anthropologists were able to determine that the dagger was made of iron, nickel and cobalt. And, they were able to ascertain the chemical composition of these metals – which lead them to discover that the dagger was most likely constructed with metal that came from a meteorite.  XRF technology has been instrumental at ancient dig sites and in anthropological studies. It’s been used to analyze gold singlet rings found in a Bronze-age warrior’s tomb, which lead to provide invaluable insights into the origins of Greek civilization. Most important, the nondestructive testing offered by XRF technology is able to carefully assess ancient, rare artifacts without damaging them in any way.

3. Improving Fuel Efficiency

Traditionally, cars have been comprised almost entirely of steel. While steel is exceptional for providing durability and safety, it’s almost completely made of iron and weighs more than other metals, thereby increasing the overall car mass and fuel emissions needed to propel it forward. To lower weight and subsequent fuel emissions, alloys from lighter metals like aluminum, titanium and magnesium are now used more frequently in auto manufacturing. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires certain compositions in cars made today, with an overall goal of improving the average automobile fuel efficiency to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. These light-weight metal alloys are more complex than steel, and therefor harder to detect and verify. XRF analyzers have become an essential tool in analyzing the composition of the metal, making sure each element appears in the right quantities (too much or too little, and the car won’t pass inspection). XRF technology is still fairly new to the auto industry, but with its portability and real-time data available with a simple point-and-shoot, it’s becoming critical to manufacturing the cars of tomorrow.

Are you looking to test samples or products that could be analyzed with XRF technology? An XRF analyzer could be the solution that streamlines testing and delivers results sooner. Questions about XRF analyzers or nondestructive test equipment in general? Feel free to contact us by email or call (800) 404-2832.
Posted: 5/3/2017 7:00:00 AM