New Application Brief from SPECTRO: Using New Portable ED-XRF Instruments At-Line Can Provide Reliable Coat-Weight Measurement

November 17, 2015

Kleve, Germany — November 17, 2015 — A new application brief explains how a new generation of portable energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (ED-XRF) instruments can provide performance comparable to laboratory-based systems and offer the flexibility to be easily moved to various process points to provide high-accuracy Quality Assurance (QA)/Quality Control (QC) for producers of steel or aluminum sheets. The brief, “At-Line Analysis of Coat Weight on Steel and Aluminum Sheets using ED-XRF Spectroscopy at the Process Line,” is available to download at from SPECTRO Analytical Instruments, a leading manufacturer of advanced instruments.

Steel and aluminum sheet producers often coat their products to protect them from rust or corrosion or to achieve a variety of objectives. The sheets go through a number of chemical processes to convert the steel or aluminum into the coating material. The consistency of coating thickness — commonly referred to as “coat weight” — is vital to successful production quality and requires advanced analytical techniques. Depending on substrate and customer requirements, analytical instruments might be needed to detect and measure the thickness of a wide variety of coating materials.

X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectroscopy is an excellent technology for coat-weight analysis and can be performed with a variety of instruments, ranging from handheld systems to laboratory-based wavelength-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (WD-XRF) instruments. Laboratory instruments are expensive and can delay process schedules, as samples must be taken from the line to the lab. Handheld XRF systems are popular but have many practical and analytical drawbacks.

Now, new portable ED-XRF instruments such as the SPECTROSCOUT portable analyzer have excellent analytical range and precision exhibiting very low limits of detection. Using this instrument at-line has been shown to provide reliable coat-weight measurement for a wide range of coating materials, including iron, zinc, manganese phosphate, zirconium, chromium and titanium. The new application brief, “At-Line Analysis of Coat Weight on Steel and Aluminum Sheets using ED-XRF Spectroscopy at the Process Line,” provides the details. Download the brief at