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Tribogenics hand-held analyzer offers aluminum alloy ID capabilities

Los Angeles-based Tribogenics, a manufacturer of portable XRF (X-ray fluorescence) analyzers for metal alloy identification, has added high-speed, high-precision aluminum alloy identification to the software library for its Watson analyzer. The company says in field tests with scrap recycling customers, Watson cuts XRF test times for aluminum alloy identification in half with almost 100 percent accuracy.

At $9,999 Watson is four times cheaper than LIBS (laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy) units typically priced at $40,000 and 2.5 times cheaper than competing hand-held XRF devices typically priced north of $25,000, Tribogenics says, making the technology well-suited to small and midsized recyclers.

“Improved light element ID, better software and improved usability have been identified as major pain points for users of hand-held XRF analyzers,” says Stewart Chalmers, head of marketing for Tribogenics.  “Watson overcomes these challenges, offering customers a superior solution in terms of price, speed and accuracy for aluminum grade ID.”

Tribogenics launched the first commercial Watson hand-held XRF devices this summer. Conventional XRF devices use technology that relies on high-voltage transformers and X-ray tubes to produce X-rays.  Working with physicists at UCLA, Tribogenics new technology uses a process similar to static electricity (known as the triboelectric effect) to generate X-rays, the company says. Key to the new technology’s success are the industry’s first replaceable, interchangeable X-ray sources that function much like inkjet cartridges, according to Tribogenics.

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