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Handheld X-ray Imaging and Identification

blgkimya.comIn XRF sample analysis, a sample is excited by high–energy photons (x-rays and/or γ-rays) and the sample’s approximate elemental chemistry is determined nondestructively and rapidly — in as little as a fraction of a second — by measuring the characteristic fluorescent x–rays emitted by each of the atomic elements in the sample.

The overall analytical x-ray instruments market is composed of three broad market segments that use different techniques and different instruments: the x-ray diffraction (XRD) segment; the wavelength-dispersive x-ray fluorescence (WDXRF) segment; and the energy-dispersive x-ray fluorescence (EDXRF) segment. Within the latter segment, the largest and fastest-growing market is for portable x-ray fluorescence (XRF) instruments. Handheld and portable benchtop XRF analyzers have been used for a wide range of applications for many years. X-rays were discovered in 1895 and first applied to the chemical analysis of minerals in 1922. The first energy-dispersive x-ray fluorescence (ED-XRF) analytical instruments were introduced in the 1960s; these early instruments required operators to manually calculate calibration curves on graph paper to measure one to four elements. By the early 1970s XRF was demonstrated to be a viable, non-destructive analytical technique for determining trace level elemental concentrations in samples. The first portable XRF instruments were introduced in 1978, and the first portable XRF units capable of internally storing calibrations were introduced in 1984. Niton Corporation, now part of Thermo Fisher Scientific, introduced the first one-piece, handheld XRF instruments in 1994.

Handheld XRF analyzers are used for lead-based paint testing, other environmental testing, metal alloy testing, mineral exploration and mining, materials compliance testing for hazardous substances and other testing applications.

HBI-120 Handheld X-Ray Imager
Heuresis’ HBI-120 is a rugged, ergonomic, handheld backscatter x-ray instrument that enables users to quickly and cost-effectively find concealed explosives, narcotics and other contraband, even through 12- gauge (over 2 mm thick) steel — more than twice the thickness of typical motor-vehicle body panels — with none of the limitations of portable transmission x-ray systems. The HBI-120 weighs only 6.6 lbs. (3.0 kg) and images objects with a miniaturized, internal 120 keV x-ray generator that makes a raster-scanning pencil beam of x-rays to scan objects of interest. As the handheld HBI-120 is moved over the object, a 2- dimensional backscatter x-ray image of the object is displayed in real-time on HBI-120`s high-resolution transflective LCD touchscreen and saved in the instrument’s memory.