Welcome to a brief handheld XRF positive material Identification Analyzer tutorial. For complete operating and maintenance guidelines, you should always refer to the operator’s manual. These instruments use X-ray fluorescence to allow users to identify the elemental makeup of alloys and numerous other materials, to determine heavy metal content in soils, to look for lead in toys and other kids products and numerous other applications. The unit is simple to operate and provides extremely fast results. It allows for encrypted data capture and for data export. However, it is absolutely imperative that the unit be operated safely to avoid exposure to X-rays. These analyzers contain an X-ray tube which emits radiation only when the user turns the X-ray tube on. When the X-ray tube is on and the shutter is open, as during a measurement, the analyzer emits a direct radiation beam.
Reasonable effort should be made to maintain exposures to radiation as far below dose limits as is practical. This is known as the ALARA principle, where ALARA stands for As Low As Reasonably Achievable. For any given source of radiation, three factors will help minimize your radiation exposure: time, distance and shielding. First, we’ll talk about time. The longer you are exposed to a source of radiation, the longer the radiation is able to interact with your body and the greater the dose you receive. The dose increase is in direct proportion to the length of the exposure.
Distance. The closer you are to the source of radiation the more radiation strikes you. Based on geometry alone, the dose increases and decreases within an inverse squared relation with the distance from the source of radiation. For example, the radiation dose 1 foot from a source is 9 times greater than the dose 3 feet from the source. Remember to keep your hands and all body parts away from the front end of the analyzer when the shutter is open to minimize your exposure.
Shielding. Shielding is any material that is placed between you and the radiation source. The more material between you and the source, or the denser the material, the less you will be exposed to that radiation. Supplied optional test stands are additional source of shielding for analysis. A backscatter shield accessory may also be available and be appropriate in some applications.
Niton XRF Analyzers GPS Geology
Handheld XRF has proven its ability to revolutionize mineral exploration, providing thousands of users on 6 continents with on-site elemental analysis. From gold and copper deposits to nickel laterites, to rare earth to platinum group elements, the industry has come to depend upon these instruments for reliable results on elements, ranging from magnesium through uranium and in concentration from a few parts per million, to nearly pure samples.
More recently, portable XRF analyzers had been wirelessly tethered to GPS devices allowing you to geospatially locate elemental results. With this information, you’ve been able to create geochemical maps and graphically identify areas of interest for in-fill sampling, drilling or more detailed investigation and while separate GPS devices are useful, we’ve improved the process by combining XRF and GPS into our award-wining Thermo Scientific Niton XL 3T XRF analyzers, making the instruments even easier to use and helping you obtain coordinates at even the most remote locations, recording longitude and latitude or UTM coordinates at the same time you’re performing complete geochemical analysis of your samples.
Exporting results through our proprietary NTD translator directly to your GIS package speeds your creation of geochemical maps which will help you identify anomalies and drill targets. It’s that easy. Whether you’re a junior company just beginning to explore a tenement or an established major player with sites around the world, you owe it to yourself and your investors to trust our Thermo Scientific portable XRF analyzers.
Handheld XRF for Mining
What we’re going to do today is take a look at the Thermo Scientific Niton XL 3T with Gold Plus technology to analyze a rock similar to an outcrop measurement that somebody might take during an exploration project, looking for gold. To take the measurement, it’s as easy as putting the instrument directly on the sample, adjusting the screen to a comfortable viewing angle, squeezing and holding the trigger and letting Test All Geo do its stuff. Now, Test All Geo automatically applies the correct measurement algorithm for elements both at low concentrations as well as elements at high concentrations. The benefit of this is that in the past, users used to have to take two measurements, combining those results offline. With Test All Geo that was introduced over the summer, they can now run that same measurement, that same sample in a single measurement.
So here we can see that we were measuring on a clear white part of this sample. And we were measuring, we saw about 11 ppm gold, about 63 ppm copper, about 1.6% potassium. Let’s go ahead and use the camera now to position the instrument on one of these veins in the sample. So I’m going to put the sample back down on the ground, put the instrument on the sample so that we can clearly see those veins present in the display screen, squeeze and hold the trigger, and in this case we’re seeing higher levels of gold. Chemistry does change and it becomes a little bit more interesting, so by using the camera on the analyzer to help identify inclusions within rocks, within outcroppings, within ore bodies it can help a geologist better understand what’s going on in their samples and help identify samples that are most appropriate to send back to the lab for drug compliant analysis. So here our measurement climbs to about 96% gold, and copper’s up at about 290 ppm.
What other features does this have of interest to the mining industry?
Not only does this have the only 50 kilovolt X-ray tube in a handheld XRF analyzer, which gives us the greatest versatility for the broadest range of elements both on the low end being able to analyze magnesium, aluminum, silicon as well as sulfur and phosphorus, but also the heaver elements where we can get the most efficient excitation for the heavier elements that might be of interest to the geologist. Additionally, we’ve built-in Bluetooth capabilities on the analyzer users can interface these to mobile trim bolt GPS devices running GPIS software packages and spatially map out elemental concentrations on the mobile GIS application in real time while they’re in the field, helping them to understand where to make in-field measurements or step out measurements so that they can better profile the areas around the site where they find are geochemically interesting.
Really good for people doing mining, exploration and things like that.
Mining exploration as well as for environmental applications, right? They’re both looking for elements in the soil and they’re both looking for areas where they’re going to try and take those elements out of the soil. In one case for the economic value and in another case for the ecological benefit of removing contaminants from an occupied area.