Lasers or X-rays: 7 Key Differences of Handheld LIBS vs XRF

Posted by Chris Carolan on Apr 29, 2020 10:48:03 AM

The Rolling Stones or The Beatles? Spiderman or Batman? iPhone or Android?

Is there a winner in each of these classic match-ups? Maybe.

 

What we know for sure, though, is there are differences. There’s a time and place for the Stones, just as there’s a time and place for Paul, John, George, and Ringo.

 

The same goes for the handheld Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectrometer (LIBS) and handheld X-ray Fluorescence (XRF). Yes, both technologies are used for positive material identification (PMI). But, in certain circumstances, one is better to use over the other. You have to be familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of each.

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Topics: LIBS, Metals Manufacturing, QAQC, PMI, Inspection, Masters of PMI, Handheld XRF

Handheld LIBS for Positive Material Identification: Better Than XRF?

Posted by Chris Carolan on Apr 14, 2020 6:00:48 AM

If you’re a metal maniac like me, I’m assuming you know about XRF and what a staple it is in Positive Material Identification (and if not, here’s a handy article about that).

But there is another method that is perfectly capable of doing many PMI testing applications for metal identification, and it is, without doubt, a super cost-effective option.

Is it better than XRF? Like everything else in life, it depends. Read on and make the call for yourself.

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Topics: Aluminum, LIBS, Metals Manufacturing, QAQC, API 578, PMI, Inspection, Scrap Metal, Masters of PMI

Portable Optical Emission Spectrometers (OES): Everything You Need to Know

Posted by Chris Carolan on Apr 14, 2020 5:18:05 AM

The manufacturing industry has little to no tolerance for error. That means suppliers often need to know the exact composition of the metallic alloys they’re dealing with.

Portable optical emission spectrometers (OES) have gained popularity in PMI testing. This is likely due to their portability and ability to provide the full chemistry of a metal including true carbon measurement.

 

In this post, we’ll cover questions around portable OES including:

 

What are portable optical emission spectrometers (OES)? A portable optical emission spectrometer, or OES, is a spark- or laser-based system created to accurately determine the elemental composition of metals.

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Topics: Aluminum, Metals Manufacturing, QAQC, OES, API 578, PMI, Inspection, Masters of PMI

Handheld XRF for PMI Testing: An Honest Review

Posted by Chris Carolan on Apr 13, 2020 5:16:38 PM

There have been a handful of truly revolutionary inventions throughout history.

Fire. The wheel. Electricity. Donuts. The handheld XRF. No, I’m not over-exaggerating!

 

In all reality, the handheld XRF really has done a lot for positive material identification (PMI). That’s why I feel it’s important for manufacturers to understand how it works and why we use it.

 

The big question I’m setting out to answer today is…

 

What is handheld XRF and why is it so popular for positive material identification (PMI)? X-ray fluorescence (XRF) is a widespread technique used to determine the elemental composition of a material, normally a metallic alloy. Compared to previously available techniques, the lower cost, handheld design, and flexibility of testing led to handheld XRF to quick and widespread adoption for PMI testing.

There’s the “quick” answer. But, of course, there’s a little more to it.

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Topics: Metals Manufacturing, QAQC, API 578, PMI, Inspection, Scrap Metal, Masters of PMI, Handheld XRF

What is Positive Material Identification (PMI) & Why is it Necessary?

Posted by Chris Carolan on Apr 13, 2020 10:45:22 AM

It’s tough for me to hear about accidents in the news caused by faulty parts and materials.

Take, for example, the most recent SpaceX dilemma that caused Elon Musk’s rocket company to cut ties with PMI Industries. Because of falsified metal tests, faulty parts were shipped to SpaceX in order to build their Falcon 9 and other Falcon Heavy rockets.

It’s possible that as many as 10 of SpaceX’s government missions have been impacted by the defective materials, including those with NASA, the Air Force, and NOAA.

That’s a preventable blunder with a huge impact. PMI Industries is now out of business.

With the right positive material identification (PMI) testing in place, fatal disasters can be avoided. That’s why I’ve dedicated this series of The Manufacturing Show to #MastersofPMI.

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Topics: LIBS, Metals Manufacturing, QAQC, XRF, OES, API 578, PMI, Inspection, Masters of PMI

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