New SPECTRO xSORT Handheld XRF Spectrometer Measures 41 Elements in Two Seconds

September 9, 2008

Revolutionary technology enables the analysis of light elements without helium or vacuum 
Non-destructive mobile metal analysis for rapid quality control in the automotive, aerospace and recycling industries
Kleve, September 9th, 2008 – SPECTRO Analytical Instruments presents the new SPECTRO xSORT handheld XRF spectrometer at the Stainless Steel World America (September 9-10, 2008, Houston, USA). The light (1.7 Kg, 3.7 lbs.) and super-fast metal analyzer can determine the element levels, non-destructively, in a metal alloy in only two seconds. The SPECTRO xSORT has been designed for the metal processing, recycling, precious metals recycling as well as the petro-chemical industries, where regular control of pipelines and plant infrastructure is a must. 

“SPECTRO has been a market leading supplier of mobile metal analyzers for the last 30 years and technology leader in the laboratory ED-XRF analyzer market for the last 15. All of our experience has flowed into the development of the SPECTRO xSORT,” explains Marcus Freit, Product Manager for the mobile metal analyzers. “The xSORT analyzes metal alloys much faster than comparable products from the competition. As the first handheld XRF instrument from SPECTRO, the xSORT closes the last gap in our product portfolio and completes the range of mobile metal analyzers.”

High Resolution Silicon Drift Detector 
A specially developed silicon drift detector (SDD) forms the heart of the SPECTRO xSORT. A low power X-ray tube with 40 kV serves as the excitation source. This allows the SPECTRO xSORT to conduct laboratory-like analyses for up to 41 elements in a single measuring cycle that lasts only 2 seconds, except for the light elements Mg, Al, Si, they require a longer measurement time. The instrument requires only 10 seconds to differentiate between aluminum and magnesium alloys, measuring also the light elements in an air atmosphere without the need for helium or a vacuum system.

Intuitive Operation with the Integrated PDA
Operation of the xSORT is simple and intuitive: The handheld XRF uses a universal calibration so that the onsite operator is not required to make any changes to any settings. The user simply holds the measuring window of the xSORT onto the metal sample and presses the start button. The chemical contents are immediately and clearly displayed on the integrated PDA. 

Design and technology of the xSORT are oriented towards operation in industrial environments: Rechargeable battery and PDA are integrated into the robust housing, making them impact resistant. A protective cover safeguards the instrument from the weather. The xSORT is equipped with long-life rechargeable batteries that provide for 3.5 hours of continuous operation. With two rechargeable batteries included in the scope of delivery, the xSORT is always ready for a full day’s work – testing doesn’t need to be interrupted because of a drained battery. 

For safe operation, the SPECTRO xSORT has an automatic shutter that closes the measuring window; preventing radiation from escaping and dirt from entering the instrument. The rear side of the shutter is also used for regular control sample measurements. According to Freit, “The ICAL calibration logic measures the contents of the shutter as required, in order to guarantee the optimum instrument status at all times.” 

Non-Destructive and Suited to Explosion Protected Areas 
In the xSORT, Marcus Freit sees the completion of the range of SPECTRO mobile metal analyzer products: “Because the instrument works non-destructively, it is well suited to final QC checks in the automotive and aerospace industries –areas in which our arc/spark spectrometers could not operate without limitations.” Grade identification in the metal recycling industry is a second area of application continues Freit; “With the xSORT, a trader can just as easily and precisely measure nickel alloys as stainless steel alloys – and without having to clean or re-configure the sample probe between the two sample types.” A third target group for the xSORT are plant operators in the chemical and petroleum industries: As there are no sparks when working with XRF, the xSORT can also be used without danger for positive material identification in explosion protected areas. 

SPECTRO is one of the worldwide leading suppliers of analytical instruments for optical emission and x-ray fluorescence spectrometry. As a member of the AMETEK Materials Analysis Division, SPECTRO manufactures advanced instruments, develops the best solutions for strongly varying applications and provides exemplary customer service. Innovation, instrument concerns and customer relations are its main activities. SPECTRO products are exemplary for their unique technical performance which is significant in the measurable use for its customers. From its foundation in 1979 until today, more than 30,000 analytical instruments have been delivered to customers around the world.

AMETEK, Inc. is a leading global manufacturer of electronic instruments and electric motors with an annual turnover of approximately 2.5 billion US$. AMETEK’s corporate growth plan is based on four key strategies: Operative excellence, strategic acquisitions and alliances, geographic and market expansion as well as new products. AMETEK’s common stock is a component of the S&P MidCap 400 Index and the Russell 1000 Index.

Please contact Tom Milner for additional information, Tel: +49.2821.892-0, 
Fax: +49.2821.892-2200, E-Mail: