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Advanced measurement solutions for industry and space research

Oxford Instruments Analytical is a leading supplier of elemental analysis instrumentation based on X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF) and optical emission spectroscopy (OES), with over 30 years experience in the field. Finnish-based subsidiary, Oxford Instruments Analytical Oy, has global responsibility for developing and producing all the company's hand-held and mobile XRF and OES analysers and X-ray detectors.
Oxford Instruments Analytical Oy

Fast and accurate measurement capabilities are essential in many areas of the metal industry, from incoming inspection, fabrication, and production, through quality and inventory control to outgoing inspection, as well as maintenance and failure analysis. Identifying and labelling products is a key part of commercial grade classification, and central to avoiding costly mix-ups and potential liability problems.

Today's scrap processors and recyclers, for example, need modern portable or mobile on-site equipment to be able to sort and process a wide variety of materials rapidly and ensure the quality of their end-product.

A lightweight, hand-held XRF elemental analyser, OI's X-MET3000TX offers an excellent choice here – and is based around a proprietary X-ray tube. Thanks to its excellent service history, OI can offer a five-year warranty on the tube, the longest in the industry.

The standard version of the X-MET3000TX analyses the 25 most common elements from Ti to U, with full customisation possible if required. It also measures a variety of alloys, such as nickel alloys, stainless steels, cobalt alloys, low-alloy steel, tool steels, copper alloys, titanium alloys, and aluminium alloys. New alloys can be added quickly and easily.

The X-MET3000TX can utilise either Fundamental Parameters (FP) or empirical assay models. FP calibration is fast and easy, with no user calibration standards required. Empirical calibrations are ideal when maximum accuracy is required, when measuring trace elements or coating thickness.

OI designed and manufactured the mechanical construction of the Joint European X-Ray Monitor (JEM-X), one of the three main instruments aboard ESA's INTEGRAL high-resolution spectroscopy, high angular resolution imaging mission.

Specifically for alloys

The unique design of the ARC-MET8000 OES analyser, incorporating special probe optics, offers fast analysis and sorting with superior analytical quality. The OES technique enables all the alloying elements in steels, such as Cr, Ni, Mo, Nb, Mn, Si, Al, Co, Ti, V, W, Cu, Sn, Pb, and B to be analysed, together with carbon, sulphur, phosphorus, and boron.

The two measurement options available with the ARC-MET8000 - air (ARC) and argon (SPARK) - are another unique feature of the unit, as is its ability to carry out carbon analyses in air, a world first. The carbon content of concave and other complex surfaces can now be measured easily.

Accurate analyses of Ni, Co, Cu, Ti and other valued-added elements provided by the X-MET3000TX allow metal recyclers to supply material within very tight tolerances.

Combating soil pollution

OI's instruments are also ideal for prescreening pollutants and finding hot spots in polluted land, for use by researchers and environmental follow-up and observation programmes.

The battery-operated X-MET3000TX can be used in all phases of soil clean-up projects, from identifying heavy-element pollutants to analysing their concentrations. Preliminary analysis of unknown sample with the X-MET3000TX at the very start of a cleanup operation brings major cost savings.

The X-MET3000TX is equally suitable for higher-level analysis in the laboratory as well. In addition to soil measurements, the analyser can be calibrated to measure solids, liquids, metals, filter papers, and coatings. The unit can measure element concentration ranging from ppm to 100%, focusing on Pb, As, Cr, Cu, Zn, Ni, Cd, Co, Se, Mo, Hg and Sb, which are normally the most important analytes in a soil analysis.

Customised products

OI also designs, develops, and produces customised instruments and components, such as X-ray and gamma-ray detectors, and ultra-thin X-ray windows and filters.

OI's X-ray detector technologies include semiconductor detectors (Si-PIN, GaAs, CdZnTe, CdTe, TlBr), gas proportional counters (SWPC, MWPC, MSGC, GEM), and X-ray and sub-mm bolometers.

A number of OIA instruments are already operational in space, and more will follow aboard spacecraft from ESA, NASA, JAXA, and various national agencies.

The company has a range of research projects under way with agencies such as ESA, NASA, and the EU, universities such as MIT and the University of Helsinki, and industrial companies.

OIA's ARC-MET8000 OES analyser offers fast, high-quality analysis and sorting capabilities.

A global leader in advanced instrumentation

OIA Oy is part of Oxford Instruments plc, a global leader in advanced instrumentation, particularly the application of superconductivity, the creation of low temperatures, the production and detection of X-rays, and neurological measurement.

OIA Oy acts as the group's centre of excellence for hand-held XRF and OES products – and is the only company anywhere to offer both XRF and OES equipment.

> Tuija Nyberg
(Published in High Technology Finland )