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Scrap Processing

Laser and X-ray analyzers designed, built and supported by people with
20+ years experience in the scrap sorting industry.

The X-550 XRF

The ultimate alloy XRF gun

Meet the best X-ray gun ever made for scrap metal sorting. At 2.98 lbs., it’s the lightest weight analyzer ever created, in a mostly metal frame for ultimate durability and duty cycle. Perfectly balanced and lightning fast – as in 1-2 seconds – you can sort material all day long without fatigue. The narrow, slender form factor accesses the toughest test locations, with the latest 2.7″ (68.6mm) display for rear viewing of grade and chemistry in all lighting conditions. X-550 Alloy Specifications
Learn more about the X-550 XRF

The Z-70 LIBS

The versatile air-burn LIBS

The Z-70 is a rugged handheld air-burn LIBS designed specifically for material ID testing. This new device brings the same industry leading technologies SciAps customers love into a pure sorting tool. The Z-70 uses a 6 mJ/pulse laser which is the most powerful in the LIBS sorting market. An integrated air pump makes sure the window stays cleaner longer so that accurate data is being obtained. It provides great flexibility by allowing users to enter in their own grades and make adjustments for specific testing needs. Z-70 Specifications
Learn more about the Z-70 LIBS

What makes the X-550 better?

You will permanently end your aluminum mix-ups. It’s the only X-ray gun that’s as good on aluminum as it is on high temps, stainless and turnings.

Sort your aluminum alloys in 2 seconds — including those with as little as 0.25% Mg.

The great performance you've come to expect on high temps, stainless, red metals, specialty alloys and turnings.

Lowest cost to service in the industry. Tube or detector replacements are less than half the competition. At SciAps, we view service as a loyalty program, not a profit center.

Precise measurements of Mg and Si are critical for highly accurate aluminum alloy testing.

There are many Al alloys that only differ by small amounts of Mg or Si. For example, 6063 and 1100; 356 and 357; 3003 and 3005; 5005 and 6022. Mg and Si measurements must be accurate to sort these grades. Measurements must also be FAST, as in 1-2 seconds. No recycler we’ve ever met wants to wait 20 seconds or more for a result.  

The result:
A huge variety of aluminum alloys can now be precisely sorted by X-ray, because the X-550 measures Mg as low as 0.25% and Si to 0.10% in 2 seconds. This includes the most difficult groups of aluminum alloys noted above such as 3003/3004/3005, 2014/2024, 356 and 357 or 6022 and 5005. These alloys differ by small amounts of Mg or Si and until now could not be reliably sorted by X-ray gun technology.

And you still maintain the performance advantage of X-ray on other alloying metals like Cr, Cu, Zr, Zn, Mn — the strength of X-ray.  For example Mn precision is essential to sort within the 3000 series like 3105, 3005 and other similar alloys.  The same holds for small differences Cu, Cr and Zr that often differentiates 6000 and 7000 grades.  The X-550 delivers high performance on both Mg and Si, as well as transition and heavy metals, so you can permanently end downgrades and mixups.

Got 1100 and 6063 mix-ups?
One of the most common mix-ups we see from recyclers using older X-ray technology are 1100 and 6063. 1100 has 0.05-0.2% Cu, and no Mg. Alloy 6063 has 0-0.1% Cu and 0.45-0.9% Mg. Measuring the Mg in 6063 requires 30 – 60 sec. in most other X-ray guns. Other X-ray guns take an ill-advised shortcut. They are programmed to identify the alloy as 1100 if any copper is detected. However, with so many aluminum alloys being made from recycled scrap rather than virgin ore, the copper content in 6063 has slowly crept up to the 0.1% level. Thus most X-ray guns measure the Cu and call the aluminum alloy 1100 in a few seconds.  No user wants to take the 30 seconds or more that’s required by other X-ray guns to see if the Mg is present, thus making the material a 6063 not an 1100. This is one of the most common mix-ups we see day to day. The X-550 measures the Mg in 6063 in 1 second, eliminating this common mix-up forever!

Our X-ray tube technology runs at 3x the intensity of the tubes in other X-ray units when measuring aluminum or magnesium alloys. We’ve also optimized the tube/detector geometry especially for these alloys. As a result, SciAps X-550 now measures Mg and Si up to 10 times faster than any other X-ray gun, with better precision.

The X-550 was also optimized for low residual applications, initially based on stricter limits imposed the oil/gas industry for Cr, Ni, Cu, Nb, V, Sn and other elements in steels. The X-550 will measure very low levels of contaminant residual metals in steels, stainless, copper and nickel alloys.  Some examples currently in field operation include, but are not limited to: low Cr, Ni, Cu, V, Nb, S, P in steels; low Sn, Pb in stainless; and low Pb and Bi in nickel alloys.

The Best Choice for Scrap Sorting & Alloy Analysis

The X-550 performs great on turnings, stainless and high-temps, just like other high-performing X-ray guns. No compromises. And handles low residual material for lucrative upgrades.

The X-550 outperforms any other X-ray gun on aluminum alloys – check out our Aluminum App! Start sorting your aluminum alloys as fast as your stainless and high temps.

Service is a loyalty program, not a profit center. SciAps service costs are less than half of other X-ray guns, especially for tubes and detectors.

Can you sacrifice a little speed on Mg, Si, Al, P and S?

Then consider the high performance, lower cost X-505 model.

The X-505 delivers practically all the performance and ruggedness of the X-550, at a lower price point. The difference is that it uses a more standard X-ray tube, rather than the high current version in the X-550. That means it still measures the transition and heavy metals (titanium through bismuth) as fast and precisely as the X-550. But on the low atomic elements Mg, Al, Si, P and S, the X-505 takes slightly longer to meet the same precision and limits of detection. For users who don’t require 1-2 second tests on aluminum alloys or ultra low P and S, the X-505 delivers excellent performance in the world’s smallest, lightest XRF. X-505 Alloy Specifications

X-550 delivers industry-best limits of detection

Below are several specific examples to illustrate the performance difference between the premium X-550 and workhorse X-505 models. The essential point: if you can tolerate the longer testing times for Mg, Al, Si, P and S, then the X-505 is a perfectly good choice. The only performance difference between the X-550 and the X-505 is the analysis time for the 5 elements Mg, Al, Si, P and S.

X-550 and X-505 Comparison Metric
Time for X-550
Time for X-505
Why It’s Important
0.5% Mg in aluminum alloys
1-2 sec.
3-4 sec.
Rapidly, accurately sort 6063, 1100 and others.
0.3% Mg in aluminum
2 sec.
6 sec.
ID 356, 3005 and other specialty-grade low Mg aluminums
200 ppm P in steel
10% precision in 7 sec.
10% precision in 15 sec.
Upgrade ferrous that’s low P and S.
200 ppm S in steel
10% precision in 5 sec.
10% precision in 10 sec.
Segregate re-sulfurized steels.
0.1 % Si in steel
10% precision in 3 sec.
10% precision in 6 sec.
Mainly a PMI application, assuring Si < 1% to avoid sulfidic corrosion.
All other elements titanium and heavier
Same test time for X-550 and X-505
Same test time for X-550 and X-505
For many alloys, the X-505 delivers same lightning speed.

The Performance and Value Option:
X-200, X-50

They’re the lowest priced XRF guns on the market, yet still offer best-in-class analytical and speed performance.

You want the accuracy and throughput of the X-550 and X-505 models, but in a lower priced family of analyzers? Then consider the totally re-engineered X-200, X-250 and X-50 models. All offer great performance and great value. Now redesigned with improved heat dissipation, reduced weight, new user-interface. Operate continuously at 110 F (43 C) ambient.

X-200  The low priced version of the X-505. Like the X-250 it’s fast on all alloys, but requires a few more seconds than the X-250 on complex aluminum alloys. For example, it requires 3-4 seconds to measure 0.5% Mg in a 6063, compared to 1-2 sec. for the X-250. X-200 Alloy Specifications

X-50  Our most economical model, the perfect choice for basic sorting of stainless, high temps and red metals. It does not measure Mg, Al, Si, P or S. For aluminums, sort by 2000, 3003-type, 7050, 7075, 7000-type and MLCs. X-50 Alloy Specifications

How It Works: The SciAps Aluminum App

Now handle your stainless, high temps and turnings and aluminum alloys with market-leading speed and precision.

The team at SciAps has more than 50 years of experience collectively sorting alloys and designing analyzers to sort alloys. So we threw away the uninspired conventional approach of the other X-ray brands. Instead, we asked, what’s the best way to measure aluminum alloys?

If you examine the vast array of aluminum alloys, you realize that if you measure about 10 elements quickly, then you can reliably sort 95% or more of them accurately. These elements include Mg, Si, Al, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu and Zn. A small number of aluminum alloys also require Zr, Pb, Bi, Sn or Ag. The “conventional” approach to aluminum alloys with X-ray is a “2-beam” test. After a few seconds in the first beam, the old school approach switched to a low voltage, higher current “beam 2” to measure Mg, Al and Si. The problem with this approach is that the X-ray gun isn’t optimized to quickly measure the 10 most important elements for aluminums first. Instead, a “one size fits all” approach for non-ferrous is employed, which required long test times (20 sec or more) to sort common aluminum alloys.

The SciAps Aluminum App – patent pending – takes a fresh approach. Instead, we start the test with an optimized X-ray tube setting of low voltage, high current. This setting optimizes performance for the “top 10 elements” Mg, Si, Al, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn that allow practically every aluminum alloy to analyzed in 1-2 seconds.  

We then added some “smarts” to the Aluminum App. The on-board library and software determine if a particular material might require an additional beam to also measure Zr, Pb, Bi, Sn and/or Ag. For an example, a 6000 series alloy that meets the specs of a 6061 but also contains Pb. The library logic recognizes this potential mix-up and requires the analyzer to automatically make the 2nd beam test. For a small percentage of materials, the testing time is 3-4 seconds rather than 1-2 seconds.

Read more in our Aluminum Alloy Sorting Guide

SciAps Z-901 LIBS analyzers

Use Alloy or QuickSort App

The Z-901 features an all-new ergonomic design, a 0.5 lb. weight reduction down to about 3.5 lbs. (1.6 kg), improved heat dissipation, and completely updated software and processing electronics. The Alloy App uses on-board argon purge for high precision analysis and improved detection limits. Many customers use argon-purge to analyze and sell mill-ready aluminum scrap. Or opt for QuickSort for rapid material sorting or grade identification with air-burn. In some cases, users can achieve greater precision or better detection limits with argon purge. For example, contaminant B in aluminum, or higher precision on refractory elements like Ni, Mo, Co, Nb, W, Ta in high-temp alloys and stainless.

Can be operated under Class 1 conditions in virtually all U.S. states and countries.

Handheld LIBS, weighing about 3.5 lbs.

May be operated under Class 1 conditions, provided sample sensor is engaged (engaged by
default, password protected)

Internal camera and flatter nose-plate for easier testing on curved or irregular circles

Macro-camera for photo-documenation of samples, bar codes and report generation

1 second tests like ChemLite and ChemLite Plus

Expanded Ti and Al libraries compatible with ChemLite user expectations

Detect down to 10 ppm Li and Be contamination in aluminum alloys

With argon purge, measure down to 10 ppm B in aluminum alloys

Analytical Range
One or more lines from all elements except Li, Na, H, F, Cl, Br, N, O, Rb, Cs, S

200 nm – 420 nm

Air-Burn or Argon Purge?

Depending on the element, the LIBS signal is 2x-10x higher when operating in argon purge versus air-burn. For carbon, the LIBS signal is about 50x higher, which is why argon-purge is always required for carbon testing. For many scrap applications, particularly aluminum and titanium analysis, air-burn works well enough.

Z-902 for Scrap Metal Sorting

The Z-902 is configured to analyze all variety of alloy bases. Laser is particularly good for aluminum alloys due to the superior analysis (compared to X-ray) for magnesium and silicon. Laser will also measure lithium (Li), beryllium (Be) and boron (B) in alloys. X-ray cannot measure these alloys at all. Other scrap advantages for the Z include minimal or no grinding due to the Z’s high energy laser, high frequency laser for rapid surface cleaning. This is particularly advantageous for aluminum alloys since the Z burns through anodizing, unlike X-ray. The Z also eliminates travel and regulatory burdens that are inherent with X-ray. Finally, the Z-902 is great on ferrous alloys and the Z-902 Carbon offers carbon analysis as well.

Why LIBS Instead of XRF?

Check out four reasons to consider a handheld LIBS gun versus X-ray


You simply don’t want to deal with radiation regulations, badges, and inspections.

Both the Z-902 and Z-50 will sort all your alloys. The Z-902 will sort more alloys, more precisely, because the argon purge provides 10x better precision than air-burn.


A priority is to sort aluminum alloys as precisely and as fast as possible, especially when dealing with grades that differ only by fine chemistry differences.

Some alloys that differ by small amounts of Mg, which is hard to measure with X-ray. For example, sorting 3003, 3004 and 3005 quickly, or 356 and 357. These are a few of many examples.


You must measure the elements Li, Be, B, C, Na, and low concentrations (< 0.2%) of Mg, Al and Si in various alloys.

Handheld X-ray cannot measure Li, Be, B, C, or Na (sodium) at all.


You’ve broken detectors or tubes and you just don’t want to use X-ray anymore, even though SciAps offers the lowest X-ray service costs of any brand.

Good news! The Z has no detectors or tubes to break. Poke away at the aperture, you can’t damage the quartz blast shield. In fact, except for the laser diode array, the most expensive components to repair on the Z range from $100-$500. The diode array costs $1,200 but they’re virtually impossible to break.

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