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Handheld LIBS analyzer in the Al alloy application
2020 03 07

The difference between handheld XRF analyzer and handheld LIBS analyzer in the Al alloy application

The principle of a Handheld XRF Spectrometer is based on high-energy X-rays, which interact with the substance to be detected, and ionize the electrons in the inner layer of the atom. During the electron relocation process, the absorbed X-ray energy is released in a fluorescent manner.  Each elements and atoms has a corresponding characteristic fluorescence wavelength.  Through computer algorithms to analyze the peaks of these wavelengths, the content information of the corresponding element atoms can be obtained.  Unfortunately, XRF's high-energy X-rays are a very harmful source of ionizing radiation.  Improper use can cause serious physical harm to the operator, such as skin burns and even skin cancer.  There are strict regulations in Europe and the United States. Both the selling company and the purchasing company need to obtain special licenses, and the users need to undergo rigorous training for one week.  In particular, some Handheld XRF Spectrometers using X-ray sources as isotopes are strictly regulated, especially in Japan, Germany and other countries.

In addition, because the oxygen in the air absorbs XRF signals of light elements, Handheld XRF Spectrometers cannot detect light elements below aluminum.  This severely limits the application of handheld XRF spectrometers in some important application areas.  For example, some emphasize the detection of carbon, silicon, beryllium, boron, lithium and other elements.  Some brands of Handheld XRF Spectrometers say that aluminum alloys can be tested. In fact, after a long-time integration test (usually 10-20 seconds), certain elements are measured and the content of other elements is calculated based on their corresponding brands.  That means that the results of hand-held XRF testing aluminum alloys, some elements are estimated rather than actual test results. 


In addition, core components of Handheld XRF Spectrometers, such as X-ray generators and fluorescence detectors, are very fragile.  Very easily damaged.  Once the damage is not repairable, you can only replace the module with a new one.  Maintenance costs often reach one-third to one-fourth of the cost of acquiring a new instrument.  This is a very heavy burden for customer repairs.  Handheld Laser-induced Breakdown Spectrometers do not have the above problems. LIBS Spectrometers are based on Atomic Emission Spectroscopy. They use a high-energy laser to excite atoms and ions to return from a high-energy state to a low-energy state, and emit characteristic optical radiation with a specific wavelength.  The spectrometer receives the OES. Through the analysis of the algorithm, the type and corresponding content of the elements in the material can be obtained. It can be used for qualitative and quantitative spectroscopic analysis of elements and atoms, especially for light elements such as Al, Mg, Bi, Be, Li.  The detection is very sensitive, the test time is usually about 1 second, and the Handheld LIBS Spectrometer has no ionizing radiation and does no harm to the human body. Therefore, the application of the Handheld LIBS Spectrometer technology with various advantages in the industrial field will be very effective.  XRF and mobile OES Spectrometers have the advantages, but do not have their own disadvantages.  They will replace them as the most popular technologies and testing instruments in industry.  Except for the OES, which is currently used in the aluminum alloy industry, is the handheld LIBS, no manufacturer will use Handheld XRF Spectrometer to measure aluminum alloy.

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