HANDHELD X-Ray Fluorescence (HHXRF) has become an established technology used by the oil and gas industry to check plant and mine equipment against their ordered specifications, confirm the integrity of weld-spots and piping and assess shale and mud-rock cores.
However the fragility of the devices was always an issue for alloy analysis, with devices boasting the technology prone to puncture from sharp objects – a bitter pill to swallow for customers at an average replacement cost of $10,000 outside of warranty.
There were also question marks over its geochemical analysis ability, with instrument calibrations struggling to maintain accuracy when presented with minerals other than those they had been trained to analyse.
Product designer Bruker has launched two new devices to help address these issues – with a new metallic mesh installed on the new S1 Titan series 2 range to cover its prone Beryllium crystal and protect it from puncture.
Patented and named the Detector Shield, the protection device was able to overcome some of the impediments to similar attempts from other manufacturers, namely the effect on the analysis.
While others had been able to create a similar protection device, the result had been to reduce the overall sensitivity of the instrument.
Elements such as magnesium, aluminium, silicon, phosphorus and sulphur, most of which are important to monitor in order to differentiate many speciality alloys apart, were impossible to detect with the shield in place.
This made the instrument’s usefulness to the oil and gas industry redundant.
Bruker’s Detector Shield, however, was able to overcome this loss in sensitivity to such a point that its ability to analyse the above mentioned light elements was indistinguishable from other brands without a shield.
Simply put, Bruker was able to guarantee the Detector against puncture and there was no reduction of analysis quality. A major breakthrough for alloys analysis.
Secondly, for geochemical users, Bruker launched EasyCal, a software platform that allowed users to create their own calibrations for new minerals without the need to send the instrument back to the supplier.
EasyCal allows users to create brand new calibrations from scratch, using only a handful of reference standards of their own making and only a day of training from the supplier.
Instruments can now be adjusted at minimal time and cost for an infinite number of mineral varieties without the user having to send the instrument back to the supplier.
Both the Detector Shield and EasyCal features of the Bruker S1 Titan are helping to save users time and money as well as revitalising interests in the portable XR.