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Give These “Guns” a Try for Your PMI and Alloy Analysis

Our X and Z – X-ray and Laser alloy analyzers – have revolutionized the world of NDT and PMI with their carbon testing capability (Z only), size, speed, connectivity, test data management and reporting, and range of testing applications.

The Z

A handheld that handles carbon content for L grade stainless!

The Z is the only handheld on the planet that delivers PMI for L grade, straight grade and H grade stainless as well as carbon steels and cast irons. It’s the ONLY laser (LIBS) with high enough precision to do NDT/PMI across all alloy bases. The Z features blistering speed and highly precise alloy analysis. Besides steels and stainless, it excels at aluminum alloys due to its performance on Mg, Si, Li, Be, B and other key alloying elements. The key to the Z? A powerful, high frequency laser, and on-board argon purge. Z-901 CSi Specifications

What’s Hot for the Z?

The world’s only handheld analyzer that measures carbon and carbon equivalents in steels, distinguishes L and H grade stainless, distinguishes low carbon nickel alloys like 718LC and MarM 248 LC, and measures cast irons and cast steels. Z-902 Carbon Specifications

FAC (Flow-accelerated corrosion)
Need to measure down to 0.03% Cr in carbon steels for FAC?

The Next Generation XRF: SciAps X-550

The SciAps X-550 sets a new performance standard for PMI. Weighing 2.8 lbs., including battery, the X-550 is the world’s lightest, fastest, most articulate X-ray gun ever made. It is still lightning fast, but with the perfectly balanced ergonomic design, it can be used all day long without fatigue.  And the narrow footprint permits total access to virtually any test location and weld.

Most tests are completed in 1 second.  Do you have more complicated applications such as sulfidic corrosion (API 939), residuals (API 751) or API 5L that require longer test times or multi-beam tests? Our pre-configured on-board apps assure quality application testing by every operator. Both the X and the Z both run on Android OS, with the ease of a smartphone.

What’s Hot for the X-550?

Sulfidic corrosion, API 939:
Measure 0.1% Si in steels in < 7 seconds.

Measure Cu + Cr + Ni down to low concentrations, quickly. The X-550 is optimized for low concentration residual and contaminant metals.

Low concentrations of Ti, V, Nb, Mo and other residual metals.

Aluminum alloy verification:
Analyze virtually every aluminum alloy in a few seconds. The X-550 is also optimized for low atomic number elements Mg, Si, Al, P and S.

Major Applications


Alloy material verification for on-shore & off-shore rigs.


Pipeline Safety App automates testing procedure for carbon and CE in pipeline steels and welds, to reduce operator error and provide fast, in-ditch measurements. Material verification per API 5L, PHMSA “Mega Rule.”


PMI for carbon steels, L, and H grade stainless and nickel alloys. Residuals (Cr, Cu, Ni), including carbon. Carbon and carbon equivalents in welds and materials.


The Z does it all: Flow-accelerated corrosion, carbon, CE in steels and stainless, and alloy PMI. All without the regulatory burden of X-ray.


The Z verifies low carbon nickel superalloys like 718 LC and MarM 248 LC, and measures boron-containing nickel and stainless alloys.


Need to PMI carbon for fabricated metal product and welds? Use the smallest, fastest carbon analyzer ever made. In use daily at hundreds of fab shops globally.

Pharmaceutical, Chemical

Instantly verify that your alloy materials are 316L. The Z measures carbon down to 0.007%.

Ready to Order?

Why the Z for NDT-PMI?

Carbon and Carbon Equivalents

The Z measures carbon content and carbon equivalents (CE) in steels and carbon content in L and H grade stainless.  Our latest applications include distinguishing low carbon grade nickel superalloys like 718LC and MarM 247 MC, and also carbon content in cast irons and steels. The Z is the only handheld analyzer in the world capable of providing this carbon related analysis. Check out our Carbon ApNote for all the details.


The Z offers the added benefit of measuring carbon in addition to Cr, Cu and Ni for API 751 residual elements. In some cases, if carbon is > 0.18%, then Cr can be dropped from the residuals, meaning Cu + Ni < 0.15%. The Residuals App automatically chooses the correct formula depending on carbon concentration, or the user may force a specific formula.

Aluminum and Magnesium Alloys

The Z performs well on Al and Mg alloys.  If you need to measure lower concentrations of Mg (< 0.2%), then the Z is a better choice than the X-550 or any X-ray gun. The Z also measures lithium content in Al alloys and is fine-tuned to analyze down to 10 ppm boron (B) and beryllium (Be) in aluminum alloys.

Flow-accelerated Corrosion (FAC)

If you need to test for FAC, especially in a power plant with onerous X-ray regulations, then the Z is a great choice. We’ve got dozens of users in the power industry, and great references – just contact us. The Z has a Cr LOD of 0.03% in a 3-second test.  Plus the added benefit of measuring carbon content and CE with one analyzer.

Silicon for Sulfidic Corrosion & In-service Carbon Steel

Like the X-550, the Z also measures silicon down to 0.02% but faster. The Z measures 0.05% silicon in steels for API 939 requirements in a 3-second total test time. It’s now accepted by several major refineries for silicon analysis concerned about sulfidic corrosion. In fact, the Z is the only handheld LIBS unit to offer quantitative analysis and achieve acceptance for these demanding applications.  This capability on the Z means a single analyzer can measure carbon and perform other PMI requirements including Si, residuals and FAC.

Argon Purge

LIBS is an OES method that uses a pulsed laser rather than a spark source, and the key to precise alloy chemistry with OES is argon purge. SciAps delivers portability* with our highly efficient Optipurge design.

Argon purge yields 10x or more signal strength and improved detection limits compared to air-burn methods. For carbon, because the 193.1 nm emission is so deep in the UV, the boost with argon is closer to 100x. Plus, oxygen quenches argon light; without argon, it simply wouldn’t be possible to achieve needed detection limits or measurement precision on C, Si, Cr and other transition or heavy metals, which are critical for reliable NDT, PMI testing.

The miniature, user-replaceable argon canister in the handle of the SciAps Z delivers typically 600 burns. (For carbon testing, as with most spark OES units, 2-3 burns are averaged for a final test result, which means each argon canister provides about 200 carbon tests.) When not in use, the canister is sealed to the regulator, so no gas is consumed. Costs are 1-3 cents per test, depending on how many tests you average. Compare this to OES, where the argon costs are 25 cents per test, and users must manage a cumbersome argon tank.

*For users who don’t need portability, our regulator attachment also mates to a larger belt-mounted argon canister or a standard stationary tank typical of spark OES analyzers.

Don’t Need Carbon?
Meet the X-550 for NDT/PMI

Size, Speed and Precision

The X-550 was designed ground up for NDT, wherever you test – on the ground, in racks or on ropes.  At a mere 2.8 lbs. (including battery), it is the lightest weight XRF ever made. It’s perfectly balanced, allowing thousands of tests per day without fatigue. The long narrow snout provides access hard-to-reach locations and welds more efficiently.

We didn’t sacrifice analytical performance nor ruggedness, though. The X-550’s powerful but miniaturized X-ray tube excels at measuring low atomic number elements Si, P, S, Mg and Al. It was designed with superior heat sinking and dissipation to withstand even the demands of in-service PMI. The tube combined with highly optimal internal geometry yields blazing speed on previously challenging applications like measuring silicon for sulfidic corrosion, and aluminum alloys. For most PMI applications, The SciAps X-550 completes the initial test result in less than 1 seconds.  

Do you perform more complicated applications such as sulfidic corrosion, residuals or API 5L that require longer test times or multi-beam tests? Our pre-configured on-board apps assure quality testing by every operator, with ease of use similar to a smartphone.

Did you know? The X is great on aluminum alloys too!

If you work with aluminum or magnesium alloys, you’ll want to check out the X as well. The optimized design measures Mg and Al fast, as well as Si. The X measures magnesium at the 0.3% level in 2 seconds – 5-10x times faster than competing X-ray guns. It features our patent-pending Aluminum App optimized for both low atomic number elements and transition metals, for ultra-fast, highly specific verification of the many similar aluminum grades. Grades 3003/3004/3005, Cast 356 and 357, and 2014/2024 are just a few examples that are easy for the X but often confound other X-ray guns.

New PMI One-Box Option

Z-902 Carbon + X-550

What it does: 
Includes the Z-902 Carbon for all your carbon testing needs – steels, carbon equivalents, L grades, cast irons, residuals, etc. Also includes the X-550, for excellent performance on stainless and high temperature alloys, brasses/bronzes and specialty alloys. The X-550 also delivers excellent performance for low atomic number elements Mg, Al, Si, P and S. Either the Z or the X-200 may be used for sulfidic corrosion applications..

What it won’t do:
Oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen. The Z-902 Carbon measures O, H and N but not at levels low enough for PMI.  X-ray cannot measure O, H or N at all.

Elements/ Alloys
Carbon in steels, stainless and nickels
Z-902 Carbon
X-ray cannot measure carbon.
P, S in steels, stainless
LIBS cannot yet measure P and S in iron, stainless.
Sulfidic corrision (Si < 0.1%)
5-7 sec. tests
Z-902 Carbon
3 sec. tests
X-ray is usually preferred because it’s easier to use, despite LIBS being faster.

Z-902 is less expensive, but it does not measure C.
FAC – flow accelerated corrosion (Cr < 0.03%)
Z-902 Carbon
3 sec. tests
LIBS is often preferred due to onerous X-ray regulations in nuclear power plants.

LIBS is also faster.
X-550, provided you don’t want
to measure carbon.
Z-902 Carbon,
measures carbon, Cr, Ni, Cu.
X-ray is preferred unless you want to drop Cr from residuals formula if carbon < 0.18%.
Common PMI alloys like stainless, Cr/Mo and low-alloy steels, nickels, titaniums, brasses/bronzes
X-550 or X-50

Use X-550 for aluminum, silicon bronzes.

X-50 does not measure Mg, Si, Al, P or S.
Z-902 Carbon,
3 sec. tests.

LIBS will measure Be in copper alloys.
Most operators prefer X-ray for these alloys because of ease of use.
Aluminum alloys
X-550 or X-50

Must use X-550 to measure Mg, Si and Al for more precise aluminum PMI.

X-50 offers basic identification by Al series.


Must use LIBS if you want to measure lithium in Al alloys, or measure contaminant levels of Be and B.
Most operators prefer X-ray due to SciAps speed improvements, unless analysis of Li, Be and/or B is required.

Value X-Ray Options

The SciAps newest generation X-550 and X-505 XRF analyzers are streamlined, beautifully designed and offer both speed and precision on the most demanding alloy applications.  They’re also the lightest weight, most balanced and ergonomically engineered X-ray guns ever created.  

Still, many users prioritize price over design and ergonomics and therefore prefer a lower cost X-ray gun. For those operators, we are proud to offer recently upgraded X-200 and X-50 models. The X-200 is widely used in both NDT and scrap sorting. It matches the speed and precision of the X-550 on most applications. Exceptions are sulfidic corrosion (0.1% Si in 10 sec. instead of 5 sec.), and Mg in aluminum alloys (0.3% Mg in 8 sec. instead of 2 sec.). The X-200 is still well balanced and light weight, at 3.5 lbs. instead of 2.8 lbs. of the X-550. The form factor of the X is less ideal for some NDT applications due to the more “snub nose” design. However, users willing to accept these trade-offs can use the X-200 at lower price compared to the X-550.

The X-50 offers an even more economical option. Utilizing decades-old PiN diode technology, the X-50 provides excellent results on most common alloys. Stainless (no carbon), Cr/Mo steels, low alloy steels, high temperature alloys (nickels, cobalts, titaniums, etc.) and brasses, bronzes are all easily tested. The PiN technology in the X-50 cannot measure Mg, Al, Si, P or S, so alloys requiring analysis of these elements are not appropriate for the X-50 platform.


The workhorse. For daily NDT/PMI activities where blazing speed on Si, P, S, Mg, and Al isn’t mission critical, the X-200 is the ideal choice. Fast, lightweight, and the best value on the market for high performance XRF testing.


Features the cost-effective PiN diode technology. If you only require verification of common stainless, Cr/Mo steels, low alloy steels, nickels, other high temp alloys, brasses, and bronzes, then save money and get the X-50.  The X-50 will not measure Mg, Al, Si, P or S.

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