How to Choose the Best Elemental Analyzer for Your Needs

Material verification is very important.  Excessive downtime, dangerous equipment failures, ruined reputations and loss of profit are some of the disadvantages of not verifying the materials used on site or materials being supplied to other plants as finished products.

Additionally, making sure you choose the right tech for verifying your materials is just as key as verifying the said material.

There are various techniques for verifying material. Traditional techniques such as magnet testing, spark tests, acid or chemical tests and hand or visual sorting have become outdated as they may yield inaccurate readings and are also time-consuming.

It’s also strenuous to distinguish between alloy grades, follow Occupational Safety and Health requirements and steer clear of safety liabilities.

For precise results, businesses now use handheld elemental technology with the following benefits:

  • Easier to handle
  • Has point-and-shoot capability
  • Provides immediate results
  • Has high throughput

The Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy and the X-Ray Fluorescence are examples of these modern technologies.

X-ray fluorescence is an analytical technique that is non-destructive. It helps determine the elemental composition of materials while handheld XRF analyzers help ascertain a sample’s chemistry through measuring the fluorescent X-rays it emits when stimulated by a primary X-ray source.

On the other hand, Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy is a systematic technique which utilizes lasers in order to establish a materials’ chemical composition. Handheld LIBS analyzers use a high-focused laser to set alight sample surfaces. This forms a plasma that is made up of electronically charged ions and atoms. When these atoms decay into their different ground states, they produce wavelengths of light which are unique for each element.

So, before you decide the technology you will use in your applications, here are some of the things you should put into consideration:

  • The type of samples you will be analyzing
  • Are they known or unknown?
  • Do you require a non-destructive method?
  • Are they solids, powders or liquids?
  • Do you require carbon analysis?
  • Do you fret about weldability, corrosion resistance, hardness, ductility or acquiring precise identification of steel?


  • How essential is carbon analysis for your work?
  • Are there safety regulations that require following?
  • Is there operator training required? If yes, what type is needed?
  • How much time do you have assigned to element analysis?

While minerals differ from each other, many elements occur in several mineral types, so it is worthwhile to select elemental analysis tools that will assure you that you are working with the right mineral for a given application. The information in the discussion above will help you to do just that.

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