Critical Element Alloy Material Testing/PMI Using Handheld X-Ray Fluorescence

Handheld X-ray fluorescence (HHXRF) has developed into an accurate and rapid method for compositional analysis for numerous industries. HHXRF provides information regarding a variety of maintenance needs, including corrosion-prone element identification and in situ silicon, phosphorus, and sulfur level determination for alloys. For plant piping system maintenance and safety, using HHXRF for positive material identification (PMI) is essential. Recent advances in HHXRF have led to greater sensitivity for these critical elements. Accurate, repeatable readings coupled with wireless network and cloud connectivity and GPS facilitate remote operation and instantaneous results transfer when using an HHXRF analyzer. In addition to excellent alloy analysis capabilities, many other material classes (ceramics, coatings, and slags) benefit from HHXRF analysis. HHXRF is now able to produce reliable compositional results in a range rivaling aspects of laboratory-grade XRF analysis while maintaining portability.


[1] API Recommended Practice 939-C. Guidelines for Avoiding Sulfidation (Sulfidic) Corrosion Failures in Oil Refineries. American Petroleum Institute, May 2009.

[2] Phillips, W.L., Hashim, H.H., and Valerioti, Bill. Effect of residual copper, nickel, and chromium on the corrosion resistance of carbon steel in hydrofluoric acid alkylation service. NACE Corrosion 93 Conference, Paper 623.

[3] Pavageau, E.-M., and Cattant, F. Residual Chromium Effects on Flow-Accelerated Corrosion of Carbon Steel. Results of an Experimental Program Conducted in Electricité de France’s CIROCO Loop. Electricité de France, Final Report, March 2006.

[4] API Recommended Practice 578. Material Verification Program for New and Existing Alloy Piping Systems. American Petroleum Institute, May 1999.

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