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Improvement of Exotic Material Verification Using XRF

While various common alloys, such as steels, titaniums, and more recently aluminums, have been tested and inspected using X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF) for decades, uncommon and niche alloys can produce surprising and unusual results. The ability to identify the base metal, major alloying elements, and trace materials in these alloys is critical to XRF testing and inspection procedures. Modern XRF instruments and software can quickly and easily characterize standard and common alloys, such as low-carbon steel, grade 5 titanium, and 6000 series aluminum; detected signals from the metals are generally discrete and strongly pronounced. Less common alloys, such as nickel superalloys and uraniums, present a greater analytical hurdle for rapid on-site testing, grading, and inspection. These exotic materials contain either weaker signals from the alloying elements or nonunique signatures, preventing accurate quantification. Standardization adjustments through software improvements increase the testing accuracy for these uncommon alloys, bringing their results in line with those from more traditional alloys. By modulating the detection energies of interest, the robust calculation can greatly surpass standard, out-of-the-box performance without the need for any inspector input. These improvements can provide greater inspection accuracy on a wider variety of rare and valuable alloys into the future.



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