How to use the XRF safely during analysis

During the analysis, the analyzer emits a directed radiation beam when the tube is energized (tube based instrument) or when the shutter is open (isotope based instrument). Reasonable effort should be made to maintain exposures to radiation as far below dose limits as is practical. This is known as the ALARA (As Low as Reasonably Achievable) principle. For any given source of radiation, three factors will help minimize your radiation exposure: time, distance, and shielding.

X-ray fluorescence (XRF) is a non-destructive analytical technique used to determine the chemical composition of materials. It is used extensively in the metal manufacturing, inspection and recycling industry. You might use it to identify the metal and alloys in a scrapyard, verify the content of your raw materials in your manufacturing plant, or check the gold content in a piece of jewelry.

Because this fluorescence is unique to the elemental composition of the sample, XRF is an excellent technology for qualitative and quantitative analysis of the material composition. While the radiation emitted from a portable XRF analyzer is similar to the exposure received in a normal medical or dental x-ray, care must be taken to always point a handheld XRF analyzer directly at the sample and never at a person or a body part

XRF occurs when a fluorescent (or secondary) x-ray is emitted from a sample that is being excited by a primary x-ray source. There are three factors will help minimize your radiation exposure: time, distance, and shielding. While the radiation emitted from a portable or handheld XRF elemental analyzer is similar to the exposure received in a normal medical or dental X-ray, care must be taken to always point a handheld XRF analyzer directly at the sample and never at a person or a body part. Here are seven safety tips:

  • Provide radiation safety training to operators
  • Never aim the device at yourself or others when the primary beam (x-ray on) lights are illuminated
  • Never hold samples during analysis
  • Be aware of primary beam indicator lights
  • Handle and use with respect
  • Store securely – obey local storage requirements
  • If you have a Safety Emergency, notify your Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) and analyzer vendor

Source: https://www.thermofisher.com/blog/metals/7-safety-tips-when-using-handheld-xrf-analyzers-offered-for-isri-safety-stand-down-day/

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Thermo Scientific Niton XRF Analyzers

Why Portable XRF? Increasingly the lab is moving to the field

– Deliver traditional laboratory testing
– Palm of the operator
– Low cost and reliable
– Minimal sample preparation
– Purpose built for harsh environments
– Real time results
– Improves decision making & productivity
– Saves time & money
– Eliminate delays associated with analytical turnaround time
– Measure more samples – statistical improvements
– Compliance with regulations
– Reduce risk of recalls and civil penalties
– 30,000 analyzers used Worldwide

Evolution of Portable XRF, since late 1960s, XRF has evolved through 7 generations; each generation has added new capabilities

– Smaller
– Faster
– Better performance
– Easier to use
– Today, nearly all alloys can be tested with these powerful tools

Thermo Scientific Niton Analyzers – A Family Revolution

1. 1994 – Niton XL-300 Analyzer, Introduced for lead-paint analysis
2. 2002 – Niton XLt Series, First mass produced x-ray tube-based handheld XRF analyzer
3. 2007 – Niton XL3 Series, Integrated tilting color touch-screen display; customizable menus; optional camera & small spot
4. 2008 – Niton XL3t GOLDD Series, Up to 10X faster testing times than conventional technologies; up to 3X more precise; light element
detection (Mg-S)
5. 2009 – Niton XL2 SeriesValue choice – fast, accurate, lightweight, rugged
6. 2010 – Niton XL2 GOLDD, Niton XL3t GOLDD+, Exceptional accuracy, precision & ease of use; superior light element detection (Mg-S)
7. 2011 – Niton FXL Field X-ray Lab, Compact, portable unit with our highest performance, lowest LODs; operate virtually anywhere on site

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