Handheld XRF analyzers have become the standard for non-destructive elemental analysis, testing and inspection in a wide range of industrial and consumer applications. Yet today, the X-ray industry uses technology originally developed in the 1800’s that relies on bulky, expensive high voltage transformers to generate X-rays. Developed in collaboration with DARPA and the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA), Tribogenics new technology eliminates the need for these expensive, high voltage products by using a process similar to static electricity (known as the triboelectric effect) to generate X-rays. The result – a new family of high performing, handheld XRF spectrometers at a fraction of the cost.
Tribogenics’ Watson™ XRF instantly identifies, analyzes and tests a broad range of metals and alloys for positive materials identification (PMI), scrap metal recycling, quality assurance and quality control for metal fabrication, machining and manufacturing. As Tribogenics’ extensible technology platform increases the power and broadens the applicability of its X-ray innovations, the company intends to serve adjacent and related multi-billion-dollar markets, including precious metals, rare earth elements, mining and oil and gas.
“Our close collaboration with top physicists and scientists at UCLA and the work of our own highly talented engineering and research staff have been instrumental in driving our first commercial Watson™ XRF products to market,” commented Dale Fox, Chief Executive Officer, Tribogenics.
According to market research firm SDI, more than 10,000 handheld XRF units were shipped in 2014.
Fox added, “Watson™ XRF will expand the handheld marketplace, offer superior value to existing customers while enabling thousands of new customers to gain significant competitive and productivity advantages offered by this breakthrough technology.”
Watson™ XRF Technology in Action: PMI
Tribogenics’ new Watson™ XRF products provide an immediate return. In PMI, errors or incorrectly identified metal alloys can cause untimely and cataclysmic parts failures, especially in the oil, gas and aerospace environments. Watson™ XRF helps mitigate risk ensuring that critical components come from the right metal alloy, and meet the correct specifications.
SCRAP Metal Recycling
In scrap metal recycling, identifying alloys correctly has become a necessity for suppliers, distributors and industrial customers. Watson™ handheld XRF products quickly identify the composition of scrap.
Metal Machining, Fabrication and QA/QC
In metal machining and fabrication QC/QA environments, material confirmation of alloy in QA/QC is critical. The potential for mistakes is a big concern in the metal fabrication and manufacturing process. Here, Watson™ handheld XRF products inspect and analyze inbound raw materials, and confirm the alloy grade and composition before the product is manufactured and shipped.
“Future generations of Watson™ XRF spectrometers could provide substantial value beyond the current application focus, including mining, geology, site analysis and extraction, industrial minerals evaluation, oil and gas,” noted Mark Valentine, COO and VP of Worldwide Sales. “For now, though, the feedback from the field has been highly positive as customers quickly recognize the technological advantages of the Watson™ XRF spectrometers and the immediate ROI these products offer,” added Valentine.
Field Exchangeable Cartridge, Self Calibrating
Each Watson™ XRF handheld unit comes with an industry first, field exchangeable source cartridge. When customers need to change the source cartridge, they simply switch it out in the field or in the lab. Once exchanged, the Watson™ performs an automatic internal calibration. Unlike other XRF products, a Watson™ XRF solution has no downtime. No need to take a product out of production.