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Alloy Analysis Simplified by Handheld XRF Technology

How to Analyze Any Alloy in Seconds with a Bruker™ XRF Gun!

Alloy Analysis ExampleThe modern world depends heavily on the quality of industrial alloys. Present-day handheld X-Ray Fluorescence technology has made XRF analysis extremely easy and reliable. The current generation of these handy and accurate tools scans and reports the chemical make-up of most alloys in just 3+ seconds. If you are here to find out how a handheld XRF gun can help your industry by solving your alloy analysis needs, you have come to the right place! This post offers an brief introduction of this type of alloy analysis, but feel free to contact us if you require more information.

Bruker Inc., global leader in alloy analysis equipment, has been for several decades now at the cutting edge of the development of instruments alloy analysis based on X-Ray fluorescence. A portable Bruker™ alloy analyzer offers the easiest way to do multi-element alloy analysis, measuring elemental concentrations in materials of all sizes and shapes. A Bruker alloy gun is small and is held by hand. This simplifies alloy analysis tasks both on location and in a lab. Time-consuming sample preparation is no longer a big part of alloy testing. The S1 TITAN measures any and all elements in the Magnesium to Uranium segment of the Periodic Table. In scrapyards, metalworks and factories, it efficiently checks alloy grades and alloy composition down to trace elements. The alloy analysis data report, displayed on the screen, is simple and clear. We will provide you with detailed information upon request.

A Brief Introduction to Alloy Chemistry Analysis

Inconel 792 Alloy Analysis

Inconel 791 Ni-Cr
analyzed by Bruker gun

An alloy combines the atoms of some metal (base) with the atoms of one or more metals or nonmetals in a regular arrangement. Alloys are based on different types of structural bonding. Bonding is the force of attraction between the metal atoms and the free-floating valence electrons in the alloy. It dictates the alloy’s atomic structure, holding the atoms together like “glue.” When viewed with an electronic microscope, atoms within an alloy can be seen lined up in a pattern know as a crystalline lattice, much like marbles line up in a bowl. Most atoms in the lattice are of the main metal, with others interwoven throughout.

How is an alloy analyzed by a Bruker spectrometer gun? First, the sample is briefly flashed with high-power X-rays. The energy of the X-rays “excites” the atoms of the chemical elements forming that form the crystalline lattice. This makes the atoms light up with another kind of X-ray radiation, called “secondary” or “fluorescent.” Each element has its own unique X-ray fluorescent spectrum. This makes it possible for the XRF alloy analyzer to identify the elements and to measure their concentrations. That, in outline, is how a Bruker gun works.

Alloys are valued for their associated properties (hardness, ductility, corrosion resistance, electrical conductivity, and so on). One special use of alloys is to cut material costs by “diluting” an expensive metal in a cheaper alloy without losing the metal’s useful characteristics. In academia, the elements of an alloy are usually measured in parts per million (ppm), that is, the number of atoms of a given kind per one million atoms of the material. In industry, element concentrations are more often given as mass percentages. What is more, the earth makes plenty of its own alloys. Most of the approximately 90 known chemical elements are metals. Manmade alloys must meet official standards and specifications. The high need for accurate alloy analysis is self-evident. All types of alloys can be scanned by XRF. Got alloy analysis tasks? Discuss them with Bruker now!

Our civilization rests on alloys. Pure metals are usually not the best choices for our tasks. Many pure metals are too soft, too breakable, or corrode too easily. However, these flaws can be corrected by alloys. The physical properties of alloys can be a far cry from the properties of their individual ingredients. The number of possible alloys is enormous, and there are thousands upon thousands of real ones. This greatly expands the range of available material properties and uses. Today’s complex alloys provide a spectacular range of custom characteristics.

Consider a few common metals. Aluminum, in its pure form, is light but soft. But aluminum hardens when alloyed with copper (another metal that is soft in its pure form). Aluminum alloys have high strength-to-weight ratios. An advantage of iron is its strength. The problem with pure iron is that it rusts quickly. Iron is the world’s most widely used metal base. Most famously, iron gives us the steels (such as the stainless steels with their high rust resistance, as well as the alloy steels, low alloy steels, carbon steels, and cast iron). Some aerospace alloys blend dozens of elements. To be reliable and meet specifications, such alloys require outstanding quality assurance. A handheld Bruker alloy analyzer is the tool of choice for this task.

Any alloy is technically an “admixture,” which means a mix of “impure” chemical elements. Alloys are set apart from other admixtures by their clearly metallic properties, even when some of their ingredients are not metals. Alloys can also contain proper impurities, that is, unwanted elements. These are often called “trace” or “tramp” elements. Even minimal amounts of them can harm an alloy’s properties. For example, iron reacts with sulfur, forming a fragile ferrous sulfide (FeSO4). Its presence in steel weakens it. Trace amounts of calcium, lithium or potassium can threaten the structural integrity of aluminum alloys. Many impurities can be eliminated by alloy refining. Others can be frustratingly difficult to reduce. If present, they can lessen the value and price of a material. Bruker’s reliable and accurate alloy analysis guns provide easy, efficient alloy impurity screening. Got a question? Ask it now!

More Information

Bruker alloy analyzers verify most alloy grades thanks to a huge built-in grade catalogue. Our tools also scan the chemical composition of nonstandard alloys (within the appropriate element range). One cool thing about commercial alloys is that they are totally homogeneous, meaning that they have the same chemical and atomic structure throughout). This makes quantitative analysis of alloys much easier than that of minerals and soils, for example. (Note that XRF cannot detect see carbon. This rules out XRF’s usefulness when quantification of carbon is required. When carbon detection is not needed, XRF is the handiest option. For example, handheld XRF, in spite of its carbon blindness, has important uses in carbon steel testing.)

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Alloy Analysis Simplified by Handheld XRF Technology How to Analyze Any Alloy in Seconds with a Bruker™ XRF Gun! The modern world depends heavily on the quality of industrial alloys. Present-day handheld X-Ray Fluorescence technology has made XRF analysis extremely easy and reliable. The cur... Read moreĀ»

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