Archive for December, 2011

2011 Highlighted by Addition of Two New Analyzer Lines

Looking back at 2011, the major news this year was about adding new analyzer lines at Eastern Applied Research.  We are pleased to be working with two of the top manufacturers of x-ray fluorescence technology and believe the addition of these high quality XRF analyzers will lead Eastern Applied Research into a successful 2012.

Element Xr for Coating Thickness

Element Xr Coating Thickness AnalyzerIn March of 2011, Eastern Applied Research was selected as the North American service company for Roentgenanlytik GmbH (Roen).  Soon after, Eastern Applied was able to agree with the manufacturer of XRF for coating thickness applications to release the Element Xr line to the North American market.  Element Xr combines the manufacturing experience of Roen with Eastern Applieds knowledge of coating thickness applications and understanding of the North American market.  Because of this collaboration, the Element Xr line provides top price-to-performance options from basic single layer coatings to complex coating applications, plus thin film and plating bath analysis.

As we look at Element Xr moving into 2012, we are excited to be preparing for the release of the newest system – the Xr 6000.  Among other developments, this versatile unit will feature a streamlined software package that runs on Windows 7 OS and will provide more functionality than in the past.  The Xr-6000 will be available for review at both Pittcon and Sur/Fin events.

Xenemetrix for Material Analysis

After adding the quality line of coating thickness analyzers, Eastern Applied wanted to add a second line for material analysis needs.  Eastern Applied was very excited when associates of Xenemetrix Inc selected our organization as their North American Sales Agent in May of 2011.

xene-xcaliburKnown for producing high quality EDXRF Spectrometers for material analysis, the Xenemetrix line has allowed Eastern Applied to broaden our application reach.  We are now able to focus on petrochemical test solutions (low sulfur verification, lube oil analysis), geological analysis (mining related and soil testing) and forensics related testing.  Additionally, the Xenemetrix product mix focuses on xray fluorescence for general laboratory use, offering highly powerful systems like the EX-6600 series for industrial testing laboratories and cost efficient systems like the X-Cite for academic laboratories.

In addition to these applications, we have also recently announced a collaboration with Xenemetrix to develop the RoHS+SDD unit for detection of hazardous substances in electronics…those of you who now our history know that we were heavily involved in RoHS testing at its early stages.  With the revised RoHS regulations affecting more industries, this new system will provide testing for RoHS plus other quantitative and qualitative analysis.

As Eastern Applied Research moves into 2012, we look forward to launching new systems from both the Element Xr and Xenemetrix line.  Our staff is very excited about the new solutions that can be offered as both have proven to be top analyzers for their target applications…we hope you are excited in our analyzer lines if adding x-ray fluorescence is needed for you in 2012.

X-ray Tubes: a critical component to x-ray fluorescence

The x-ray tube is the heart and soul of any x-ray fluorescence analyzer.  Depending on a number of factors, most x-ray tubes will have a life expectancy between 4 to 6 years or 10,000 to 30,000 hours of use.  Whether shorter or longer than the typical life span, it is inevitable that one day you will walk up to the instrument to run your samples and realize that the life expectancy of the tube has been reached and it is time for replacement.  This realization will undoubtedly make you (or the book keepers) cringe as you realize that the x-ray tube is usually the most expensive component of an XRF analyzer – depending on the instrument and the size of the x-ray tube, replacing one can cost between $5,000 to $15,000 dollars.

Xray Fluorescence ComponentsObviously, the more an instrument is used, the faster the x-ray tube will fail – but other factors can affect the tube lifetime and are listed below.  While all of these factors cannot be completely avoided, understanding them can help you maximize the life of this critical component.

What Factors Influence the Life of an X-Ray Tube?
Complex applications; performing multi-layer applications (ie ENIPIG, ENIG) will put more stress on a tube than basic single-layer applications

Using a small collimator, such as 2mil.  If it is appropriate for your application, use an 8 or 12 mil x-ray beam.  If smaller spot sizes are critical, then you may want to consider a Micro-XRF analyzer with poly-capillary optics.

Using a higher voltage than necessary; most analyzers automatically set this value in the software based on the known ionization energies of the application.  However, a few XRF models allow for manual input.

Inadequate cooling of the x-ray tube; this relates to the air intake fan being plugged with dust and debris or the fan being blocked to allow for adequate air intake.  Reviewing air intake vents and fans is part of the annual preventative maintenance service provided by Eastern Applied but the overall environment and location of your XRF Analyzer is important.

X-Ray tube size; generally, smaller sized tubes will reach their end of life faster than a larger tube.  The size of the tube is directly related to the type of analyzer and applications, but perhaps is something to take into consideration when reviewing your XRF analyzer options.

Contact the Eastern Applied Research support staff to discuss any questions regarding the operation of your instrument and adjustments that may extend the life of the x-ray tube and other major components.  Also, try to have a yearly certification/review service performed on your system…offered by Eastern Applied Research, these services will provide preventative maintenance and technicians will discuss factors like the ones noted above.

Learn More: The Cost of Neglect; indicators of x-ray tube issues