Why Dual-Burn? See for yourself

March 6, 2021

Introducing the World’s Only “Dual-Burn” LIBS Analyzer

We find the solutions our customers want

Our customers want it all, and we’re here to help. We've been making and selling LIBS analyzers now for seven years, and with more than 1,000 units of our breakthrough LIBS working in the field, our customers have given us great feedback about what they’d like to see next. Part of SciAps all-new line of lightweight, powerful laser analyzers, the Z-901 Dual-Burn is the world’s first handheld LIBS that can test with argon or air, to give our alloy customers more options. Sometimes users just want a fast LIBS unit that sorts material quickly; they don't need argon or a lot of prep work. Or, sometimes they want higher precision for lower detection limits, like measuring low boron and some aluminum alloys, where the argon purge provides the signal boost that makes better precision possible. SciAps chief scientist Brendan Connors and our CTO Dave Day are the lead innovators of this technology. Brendan came up with the idea of putting both, air and argon, on a single analyzer.

“LIBS gets a lot more signal when using argon, as any experienced OES user knows. Using argon gives the best performance for testing low concentrations, and it’s important for some key applications like testing carbon in steels. But the Z-901 has improved light collection, even under air burn, so a lot of basic alloy sorting doesn’t need argon. So, for our customers who occasionally need high precision but most of the time don’t need or want to use argon, the Dual Burn gives the best of both techniques,” says Brendan.

This means SciAps new 900-Series platform includes a range of solutions. If you never want argon, you can just get the LIBS without the plumbing. But if you always want argon, you can get that. And, if you want both modes of operation, you can get the 901 Dual-Burn. Not sure? You can also update your analyzer to the dual-burn option at later date.The Z-901 Dual-Burn is also a really nice hardware package. We removed about a half a pound of weight, so the analyzer is about three and a half pounds—almost the same weight as some of the classic XRF models. The rugged metal body has the tapered snout, onboard cameras, and improved sensors that are standard on the new 900-Series platform. Another benefit of LIBS is that you can hold a sample right up to the nozzle with your fingers. Let’s say you have a thin sample, like a weld rod. You’ll still get perfect results.The Z-901 Dual-Burn is the perfect LIBS analyzer for whatever your needs may be. And we’ve got our customers, and our relentless scientists, to thank for that.

Sometimes you just want a fast LIBS unit that sorts material quickly, and your materials don't need argon or a lot of prep work; sometimes you want higher precision for lower detection limits, like measuring low boron and some aluminum alloys. Argon provides the signal boost.

Quick Sort for air operation, or Alloy App for argon purge

The touchscreen software makes it easy to choose modes.

Testing in air

When you choose Quick Sort, you won’t use argon at all. A lot of people use LIBS for aluminum alloys because that's really where it works best compared to XRF. Most of the time you won’t need to grind or do any sample prep on the material because the laser is burning off any built-up layers of dirt or corrosion. The Z-901 unit has been redesigned to have a lot more signal with air. For 3000 and 5000 samples, you will get accurate results with good chemistry and repeatability. However, a 1050, for example, will get a 10XX result, which means we don't know if it's a 1050 or a 1051 etc. But when we shoot it again, we get the same number on low magnesium and copper. Pretty good for air, considering it’s within plus or minus .02 or .03 on those low levels. Quick Sort also can do stainless and nickels. You’re not going to get the same precision as you will with X-ray or an argon purge, but still not bad. And another benefit: this unit shows the specifications for the alloy. If everything is green, it means the sample is within spec. If something was out of spec, it would be in red. If you get an unusual match, you can look at the grade spec to see where the problem may be.

Argon purge option

The argon purge version with the Alloy App is similar to what you are used to with other LIBS models. What are a couple of reasons why you might want to use argon, given how well the Quick Sort did in air? With argon, you're going to boost your signal and that's going to give you better repeatability, especially on really low concentration, trace level elements. Argon is going to help you get more accurate percentages in the more challenging bases, like nickel and stainless steels. You’ll want to use the argon for things like residuals and flow accelerated corrosion—that's where the argon is going to help you a little more.

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