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The new generation Niton XL3 (TM) range of handheld material analysers launched by Niton UK offers dramatically improved performance. With their simple point-and-shoot operation, the x-ray fluorescence instruments now typically take less than two seconds to identify an alloy grade. This is up to five times faster than with previous models.

The instruments are invaluable for a wide range of applications, including scrap recycling, PMI (Positive Material Identification), metal fabrication, electronic component testing, solder analysis, lead paint testing and RoHS and WEEE compliance.

This leap in performance arises from the incorporation of advanced electronics combined, in the XL3t, with a new powerful state-of-the-art x-ray tube.

“These market-leading models enable users to achieve much faster throughput and further raise their productivity,” said Michael Sibbald, Niton UK’s sales and marketing director.

The XL3 series is available in a range of configurations and with an assortment of optional features and accessories. The instruments are supplied with Niton Data Transfer software, a suite of data management utilities that allows users to produce certificates and reports, and monitor or operate the instrument remotely from a PC or PDA. The software also enables users to document test results, and guarantees the quality and integrity of the data produced.

The XL3t can also be equipped with small-spot sample analysis to allow users to switch between full area analysis for large samples and a 3mm small-spot to analyse small sample areas.

The instruments operate on the principle of x-ray fluorescence, which uses x-rays to excite the atoms in the sample and measures the fluorescent x-rays re-emitted by the material. From this they then rapidly determine the elements present as well as their relative concentrations. For samples with known ranges of chemical composition, such as common grades of metal alloys, the analysers can also quickly identify most sample types by name.

Notes to editors

The benefits of the XL3 instruments apply to a wide range of sectors, including:

Scrap recycling: The XL3’s increased testing speed, along with its tilting colour display, enable users to increase sorting volume by as much as tenfold, with a consequent increase in productivity. With its waterproof, dustproof construction and rugged housing, the XL3 series is ideal for scrap yard use.

PMI (Positive Material Identification): Increased productivity and powerful documentation and reporting tools make the XL3 series analysers ideal tools for PMI inspectors, with a 75% reduction in measurement times for difficult to separate alloys such as SS304/321 and P9/P91 compared with previous generation XRF analysers. Accessories and options include thermal shields for in-service testing, extension handles for hard-to-reach areas, switchable ‘small-spot’ collimation to focus on small areas such as welds, and a light element analysis option to quantify Mg, Al, Si and P.

Metal fabrication and manufacturing: The XL3 provides fast verification of incoming materials, and since the XRF process is nondestructive, it can be used to perform final QC and to document the material composition of finished product. The XL3 can be used to recover lost material traceability as well - allowing materials to be used and converted to profit rather than being scrapped.

Component testing: The XL3’s higher speed and lower element detection limits enable users to screen incoming components faster. The 50 kV x-ray tube, improved source filtering and advanced analogue and digital electronics produce more precise and accurate measurements of every measured element - particularly cadmium, which must be accurately measured at low concentrations for RoHS-WEEE compliance.

Solder analysis: Improved testing speed and low element detection limits enable users to closely monitor concentrations of lead, copper and other elements in solder, speeding up electronics manufacturing and minimising the need to send solder samples to laboratories for destructive testing.

Populated PCBs and finished goods: XL3 series analysers with optional small spot analysis hardware let users select either 8 mm diameter or 3 mm diameter analysis spot size for each measurement. This allows users to screen larger areas of printed circuit boards and other heterogeneous samples quickly; but when smaller components need to be analysed in isolation, users can switch in seconds to measure a 3 mm diameter spot. An optional built-in colour camera lets users pinpoint areas of interest and store sample images with their XRF analytical results for recordkeeping and documentation.

Lead solder screening: Unlike RoHS-regulated manufacturers, many aerospace, nuclear power industry and medical device manufacturers cannot use lead-free components and solders containing high concentrations of pure tin, zinc or silver, as these can degrade under certain conditions due to filamentary corrosion, commonly known as ‘tin whiskering’. XL3 series analysers can provide these manufacturers with fast, accurate and cost effective screening of solders, fasteners and other components to make sure they contain the lead concentrations specified for the long-term reliability of their products.

Photo caption:

The new XL3 range of material analysers from Niton UK provides a precise readout of composition within seconds.

Ref: NIT5-07
Date: 15 November 2007

Press enquiries:

Stephen Bailey
Antimony Communications
Tel: 01483 416807
Fax: 08707 656807
Mobile: 07010 716807

Other enquiries:

Michael Sibbald
Niton UK
Tel: +44 (0)1256 397860
Fax: +44 (0)1256 397861

Niton UK Ltd, Unit 19 The Calvert Centre, Woodmancott, Winchester, SO21 3BN, UK

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