Are you ready to embrace the green fuels of the future?

How Malvern Panalytical’s solutions can help revolutionize the production of PEM electrolyzer and fuel cells

Grey, blue, turquoise, green, yellow, pink… no, we’re not trying to name all the colors of the rainbow – we’re just listing the many colors of hydrogen! While this abundant, efficient, and extremely useful gas has no color, we use these colorful terms to indicate how hydrogen is produced, and what impact it has on our climate. And in this kaleidoscope of hydrogen colors, it’s green hydrogen that has fired the most conversations in recent years. That’s because this renewable gas has huge potential for helping industries meet the Paris Agreement goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.

Green hydrogen is produced by the electrolysis of water, using renewable energy sources like solar and wind power. To perform this electrolysis most efficiently, electrolyzers based on polymer electrolyte member (PEM) technology are widely used by hydrogen producers. And now things get even more interesting! By inverting this process, it’s possible to make PEM fuel cells (PEMFCs), which can be used to generate electricity using hydrogen as fuel and oxygen as an oxidizing agent. These cells, which operate at relatively low temperatures and are capable of quickly varying their output to meet shifting power demands, are an ideal solution for a range of industries – including the transport and energy sectors. With this innovative technology, a fossil-free future for some of our most important industrial industries might finally be within reach…

Facing the challenges of PEMFC production

But we’re not there yet! To produce PEMFCs on a large scale – and to ensure industries can embrace this revolutionary technology – it’s essential that their cost and quality are optimized. As the catalytic material used to produce PEMFC electrodes is the component that determines both the performance and cost of these cells, this is a good place to start. The catalytic ink used in PEMFCs is usually composed of a mixture of catalytic active material, an ionomer, and a dispersion solvent. And, within the ink, the catalyst is usually a composite of platinum (Pt) metal nanoparticles deposited on activated carbon. The activity and stability of these catalysts are critical factors in PEMFCs’ ultimate performance.

So, how do you control the catalytic activity? Well, the catalytic activity is determined by a range of parameters, including size, dispersion, and morphology of the Pt metal group nanoparticles. And equally important are the structural, textural, and surface chemistry properties of the catalytic ink. In addition, by optimizing the structure of the activated carbon, you can significantly reduce the amount of Pt needed, reducing the cost and improving the efficiency of the whole operation. Plus, this optimization can also maximize the energy efficiency of the final fuel cells. However, with so many analytical processes to consider in making the best and most viable PEMFCs, where do you actually start?

Putting our analytical solutions to the test

That’s the question we set out to answer in our latest application note! Through an array of careful studies, we tested a range of analytical techniques, to see how each method performed in the PEMFCs’ production process. From XRD to XRF, laser diffraction to automated image analysis, we explored how precise and effective each of these methods really is in everything from particle morphological and elemental composition analysis to the particle size analysis at various levels, from Pt particles to carbon support matrix. If you want to know how our XRF solutions can be used to deliver up to 0.1% precision in Pt loading, how quick and simple the comparison of particle shape is using our morphological image tool, or how versatile our XRD instruments are in determining Pt particle size, simply take a look at the note here!

For those looking to optimize the cost and performance of PEM technology, maximize catalyst efficiency, reduce the amount of Pt needed in the PEMFCs’ production, or develop Pt-based alloy nanoparticles, look no further than this application note. Perhaps the biggest takeaway is not how effective each of these tools are in isolation, but how powerful they are when used together. Well, we’ll leave that to you to experiment it yourself! One thing’s for sure – a bright future for the green hydrogen lies ahead. Are you ready to embrace it by developing the novel electrocatalysts that can accelerate this transition?

 

Written by: Umesh Tiwari Posted by: Malvern Panalytical (www,materials-talks.com)

Discover a more sustainable future for steel

How modern XRD techniques in DRI process control can help the steel industry to reach net-zero

Do you remember what the last disaster movie you watched was about? Perhaps the world was faced with a zombie apocalypse, a fast-approaching meteor or an extreme global weather event. Whatever the plotline, it almost certainly wasn’t about the sudden and mysterious disappearance of steel from our world. And yet, without this essential metal, civilization as we know it would come crashing down – literally!

Steel is more fundamental to our lives than most of us realize. Thanks to its versatility, high strength, and relatively low production costs, we rely on it for global infrastructure, transport, and technology. But there’s a catch. For all its benefits, steel is also highly energy-intensive to manufacture. In fact, the steelmaking industry accounts for almost 8% of global CO2 emissions. To bring this important sector in line with the 2050 net-zero emissions target set out by the Paris agreement, the steel industry will have to make some big changes – and fast!

DRI: Reducing carbon emissions in steel manufacture

And the transition has already started. Direct reduced iron (DRI), also known as sponge iron, is a manufacturing method that enables significant CO2 emission reductions in steelmaking. It is produced from the direct reduction of iron ore using a reducing gas (such as hydrogen or carbon monoxide) from either natural gas or coal. This is great news for the long-term sustainability of the steel industry. But the hard work isn’t over yet! To achieve maximum efficiency in the DRI production process, several parameters need to be monitored, including metallic iron content, metallization, total carbon content, and mineralogical phase content.

Delivering the tools to drive sustainable change

And guess what? Modern X-ray diffraction (XRD) techniques make this process control possible! In comparison to traditional analysis techniques such as wet chemistry, which are time-consuming and labor-intensive, XRD enables fast and reliable mineralogical analysis. And beyond its quick analysis of mineralogical phase composition, XRD also provides information about the efficiency of the reduction process. This means that the raw material mixture can be optimized – saving steel manufacturers time, money and energy!

The Metals edition of our Aeris technology is a benchtop X-ray diffractometer that combines all these functions and more. By bringing together state-of-the-art XRD technology, full automation and high sample throughput in just one tool, Aeris provides an all-in-one solution for efficient DRI process control. Plus, thanks to its straightforward user interface, this compact tool makes XRD accessible to everyone, going from sample loading to results in one simple click. It’s the perfect partner at every stage of the production process – from raw material to final product.

Smart solutions from Malvern Panalytical

At Malvern Panalytical, we offer a range of analytical solutions to help enable a more sustainable future for the mining industry. From X-ray fluorescence (XRF) tools, which can be used to monitor impurities or limit waste composition, to XRD solutions to make mineralogical monitoring more efficient, we provide support throughout the mining process. It’s time to stop imagining what the future will be for the steel industry – and start creating it!

 

Written by: Uwe Konig, Posted by: Malvern Panalytical (www.materials-talks.com)

Elemental and structural analysis

In many production or R&D settings, X-rays can be used to characterize materials and samples. X-ray analysis is exceptionally suitable to analyze structures and elements at the atomic level. X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) are two out of a few main techniques how X-rays can be used to help characterize your sample.

What do you analyze with X-ray fluorescence?

With the help of XRF, we analyze the elements that are present in materials. Take as an example iron. Nowadays, there are hundreds of different types of steel. Normal iron will get rusty in time but, when you add 18% chrome, and 8% nickel, you will get stainless steel. But how can you determine the right composition of steel -18% chrome, 8% nickel- and ensure consistency when it is liquid hot steel in a steelworks?

Easy, you pick a sample, let it cool down, and send it to an XRF analyzer which can easily measure the composition. When this composition matches the specification, the liquid steel can be poured, and unnecessary heating is avoided. Saving costs on power consumption makes the production process more cost-effective and spares the environment. You can use XRF not only for the analysis of steel but also for many other materials like:

  • air filters
  • plastics,
  • petrochemicals,
  • building materials,
  • chips in electronics,
  • minerals,
  • metals

and many, many more.

Why do we analyze materials using X-ray diffraction?

XRD enables us to detect the three-dimensional arrangement of the atoms in a solid crystal. Take for example carbon. Both diamonds and graphite are entirely made of carbon but they have very different properties. Graphite is rather soft, can be used as a lubricant, and conducts electricity. Diamond, on the contrary, is the hardest material on earth and does not conduct electricity. How can these different properties be explained? Analysis by X-ray diffraction gives the answer. If we put the sample in an X-ray diffractometer and irradiate it with X-rays, we can detect the reflected radiation. Dedicated software can reveal the three-dimensional arrangement of the atoms in both materials. Carbon atoms in the soft graphite form layers with only weak bonds to the neighboring layers. Carbon atoms in diamonds, however, form strong bonds to four neighboring atoms and are closely packed in all three dimensions. XRD can be used for the structural analysis of many different materials like:

  • Batteries: how does the structure of anode and cathode change during a charge/discharge cycle?
  • Metal organic frameworks: has my target MOF has been synthesized correctly?
  • 3D printing: what are the characteristics of my raw material affecting the hardness, strength and fatigue life of my final component?
  • Pharmaceuticals: does my medication contain the prescribed substance?
  • Building materials: for example, does the cement consist of the specified compounds?
  • Minerals: what minerals are mined?
  • Metals: is the metal stress free or is there a chance of a fracture by fatigue?

and many, many more.

 

Posted by: Malvern Panalytical – www,materials-talks.com

5 high-quality CRMs to test various Aluminum industrial applications

Aluminum is known for being one of the lightest engineering metals that has a higher strength-to-weight ratio than steel. Pure aluminum is also a soft and flexible metal with high electrical/thermal conductivity and corrosion-resistant properties. To provide better strength to aluminum for more demanding applications, it is commonly alloyed with other metals, such as copper, zinc, magnesium, silicon, manganese, and/or lithium.

Aluminum alloy 6063 (AA6063) is a medium strength alloy, commonly used in extrusion applications. Grade 6063 has good mechanical properties and is also heat treatable and weldable. There are a variety of popular applications for this metal, including architectural applications, window frames, doors, roofs, sign frames, shop fittings, and irrigation tubing. The grade specs for AA6063 allow for the following compositional ranges: 0.2-0.6% Si, 0-0.35% Fe, 0.45-0.9% Mg, 0.1% max Cr, 0-0.1% for Cu, Mn, Ti and Zn. Our new MBH-AL6063-20 standard falls well within these ranges with Si=0.46%, Fe=0.156%, Mg=0.481%, Cr=0.0088%, and under 0.1% for Cu, Mn, Ti, and Zn. It is supplied in a 50mm x25mm disk for OES application, or as chips for easy digestion for liquid analysis techniques.

The other four new alloys have all been made specifically doped with measurable concentrations of typical trace/tramp elements. This allows them to be used to verify low-level analysis of these elements. They are also provided as either a disk with 65mm diam (25mm thick) or as chips for easy dissolution. This larger size allows for more sparks per polish, and less re-surfacing for OES techniques. The manufacturing process for these alloys also results in highly homogenous bars, so the composition will be very consistent throughout the sample.

AdobeStock_183250561Aluminum grade 6061 (AA6061) is the most commonly available aluminum alloy on the market. This grade is often used in applications where high strength is required, and the typical applications for AA6061 are general purpose or manufacturing needs including truck and marine components, furniture, pipelines, heavy-duty structures, railroad cars, and high-pressure applications. Our new MBH-AL6061-19 reference material meets the grade criteria elements with Mg=0.896%, Si=0.71%, Cu=0.247%, and Cr=0.254%. The COA also lists certified concentrations for 13 other elements, including Bi, Cd, Pb, and Sb.

Alloy 356.2 (AA356.2) is another high-strength aluminum alloy commonly used in aircraft applications. AA356.2 can also be used as a substitute for aluminum alloy 6061 if needed. Typically, this grade is used in pump housings, impellers, high-velocity blowers, and structural castings where high strength is required. Our new MBH-AL356.2-19 meets the grade requirements, with Fe=0.22%, Mg=0.39%, Si=6.9%, and Ti=0.185%. The COA for this alloy also lists certified values for an additional 16 elements including Bi, Ca, Cd, Co, Cr, Ga, and Sb.

Aluminum alloy 3104 (AA3104) is the most commonly used alloy for aluminum can bodies, due to its ability to be easily formed, and yet maintain its strength in the finished form. Our new MBH-AL3104-20 standard meets all grade requirements, with Cu=0.197%, Mg=1.10%, Mn=1.07%, and Fe=0.315%. The COA also lists certified concentration values for an additional 15 elements, including Be, Bi, Cd, Pb, Sb, Sr, and Ti.

Finally, alloy 5182 (AA5182) is a lightweight and malleable metal that has been in use for centuries. Common applications for this aluminum alloy include automobile applications (body panels and reinforcement members), aluminum can tops, brackets, and packaging products such as containers. Its composition includes magnesium and manganese as minor elements, ranging from 4-5% Mg and 0.2-0.5% Mn. Our new MBH-AL5182-20 CRM hits the mark with Mg=4.01% and Mn=0.39%. This COA also lists many trace elements, with a total of 19 total certified concentrations, for the alloying elements as well as trace elements such as Be, Bi, Cd, and Sb to name a few.

 

Written by: Kim Halkiotis, Posted by LGC Industrial (www.armi.com)

Elemental analysis : The cure-all solution to more efficient base metal mining

Have you met Doctor Copper? With a Ph.D. in economics, he’s famous for his ability to predict the health of the global economy! If this sounds too good to be true, that’s because Doctor Copper isn’t really a person – he’s a concept. The idea is that, because copper is so fundamental to a range of global industries, its price indicates overall economic well-being.

Copper, zinc, nickel, and lead are the base metals that build our world. While they don’t quite have the glamour of precious metals, like gold, silver, and platinum, base metals underpin our global economy. They’re utilized in a range of industries, including telecommunications, transport, and construction. With such a fundamental role in our day-to-day lives and the health of our markets, we must mine these metals in the most time-, cost-, and energy-efficient way possible.

The growing need for cleaner, greener mining

In recent years, there has been increasing global attention on the environmental impact of mining. Many mining companies are on ongoing missions to improve their operational efficiencies. A key focus of these efforts is elemental analysis, which allows operators to better match their use of resources, such as water, energy, and chemicals, to the ores they process.

In many stages during mining processing, such as electrowinning, conventional elemental analysis remains time-consuming, inefficient, and costly. Why? Because most sites still rely on liquid analysis with titration. Measured every four hours, this analysis generates limited, user-dependent data points that make process control inefficient. The infrequency of the monitoring also means that the electrolysis bath lacks stability. And all this means lost time, energy, and money.

Meeting the demand for more efficient elemental analysis

But we have the solution! The Epsilon XFlow is an online analyzer that provides insights into hydrometallurgy, leaching, electroplating, and wastewater processes. Using energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence (ED-XRF) technology, this system produces continuous, real-time elemental analysis in liquid processes. In this way, it lets you change process conditions immediately to ensure efficient production and optimum product quality.

And that’s not all. Thanks to the latest flowcell technology, Epsilon XFlow can also produce highly repeatable results, both short- and long-term. This means that accuracy levels remain high, even when carrying out fast, simultaneous multi-element analysis. Plus, the system has a proven user interface for easy operation and maintenance, remote service and support options, and is chemically resistant to a wide range of liquids. This is essential when using the kinds of high-acidity liquids needed in base metal extraction processes.

Industry-leading solutions for elemental analysis

The Epsilon XFlow is a complete solution for making liquid analysis in mining safer, faster, and more cost-efficient. But we don’t stop there. At Malvern Panalytical, we offer a range of other analytical solutions for base metals mining, including our ASD QualitySpec 7000 Process Spectrometer. This system is designed for the continuous measurement of solids, powders, and blended materials – with the potential to save mining companies hundreds of thousands of dollars. Malvern Panalytical is helping to lead the way to a cleaner and more sustainable future for base metal production. And with solutions so smart, not even Doctor Copper could have thought of them!

 

Written by: Uwe Konig , Posted by: Malvern Panalytical (www.materials-talks.com)

New Copper alloy CRMs: verifying versatile properties

Copper is a versatile metal used for a wide variety of applications. The alloying elements that are combined in Cu provide properties, such as strength, electrical conductivity/resistivity, ductility, luster, and even anti-microbial qualities, that are very desirable for the end user. Verification of the composition of the final alloys is critical to ensuring the material will be fit for use.

Our brand new and long-awaited CRM IARM-Cu844-18 can be used for instrument calibration and/or compositional verification of copper alloy CDA 844 (UNS C84400). CDA 844 is one of the most widely used alloys in the leaded semi-red brass family. It is found in several consumer products, including musical instruments, HVAC equipment, electrical equipment, ornamental fixtures and even valves and building hardware. The versatility of this alloy is boosted by its reasonable cost as well as excellent machining and casting properties, which are achieved by the proper combination of alloying elements Zn, Pb, and Sn. Our semi-leaded red brass, IARM-Cu844-18, falls within grade spec for these critical elements, and its certificate of analysis (CoA) reports certified values for 14 additional elements: Ag, Al, As, Bi, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Ni, P, S, Sb, and Se. Reference values are also given for four more elements.

iStock-901858684

 

CDA 836 (UNS C83600), also known as 85 metal (85% Cu, 5% each Pb, Sn and Zn), is a leaded red brass copper alloy that is the most commonly used alloy in this brass family. CDA 836 has good resistance to corrosion, wear and fatigue and also shows good electrical/thermal conductivity and moderate strength. Additionally, it has good machinability and high cast yield. This alloy is typically used for plumbing or marine applications, such as: valves, flanges, pipe/marine fittings, plumbing goods, pump castings, water pump impellers/housings, ornamental fixtures, and small gears. Our CRM IARM-Cu836-18 replaces our popular CRM IARM-86D. The CoA for Cu836-18 contains certified values for the four alloying elements of CDA 836 plus 12 additional trace elements, including Ag, As, Bi, Cd, Co, Fe, Nb, Ni, P, S, Sb, and Se. It is appropriate to use for instrument calibration and/or compositional verification.

Beryllium copper CDA 172 (UNS C17200) alloys have strength and hardness properties similar to steel, while still providing excellent corrosion resistance and electrical conductivity. CDA 172 is harder than most other copper alloys and is commonly used in electrical connectors, current-carrying springs, fasteners, welding equipment, bearings, tools, and corrosion-resistant components. Our new IARM-Cu172-19 CRM replaces our popular CRM IARM-Cu172-18, and the CoA reports certified values for 14 elements, including Ag, Al, Be, Co, Cr, Fe, Mg, Mn, Ni, P, S, Sb, Si, and Sn. Reference values are also provided for seven additional elements.

Written by: Kim Halkiotis  – Posted by: ARMI MBH – LGC (www.armi.com)

Super powering solutions for more efficient aluminum smelting

Extraordinary strength, astonishing flexibility, incredible resilience, and striking good looks. No, we’re not talking about your favorite comic-book hero. We’re talking about another everyday champion: aluminum!

Aluminum and its alloys are widely used in a vast range of industries and for a number of applications. The application example is ranging from household appliances to power lines, and from car parts to aerospace components. Furthermore, demand is increasing globally – a trend we can expect to continue in the years to come. For this reason, it’s more important than ever to make aluminum smelting more efficient and sustainable.

The true cost of inefficiency

In recent years, as bauxite quality has started to decline, prices for raw materials have started to rise. Consequently, there is significant increased interest in sustainability topic. Since then, the mining industry has been working hard to make its processes more efficient and sustainable. And in few places is this more critical than in aluminum smelting.

With aluminum extraction being such an energy-intensive process, attaining the highest yield possible from your alumina source is critical to reducing your costs and lowering your environmental impact. Quality control and analytics tools in smelting required careful monitoring, regular calibration, and technical maintenance. Therefore, many have been searching for better ways to drive time, cost, and energy savings.

Big problems, small solutions

With Malvern Panalytical’s innovative X-ray diffraction (XRD) solutions, we need look no further. Our XRD tools can be used across the aluminum production chain to drive safer and more efficient aluminum smelting process – from ore grading, to analyzing refined alumina, to monitoring crystallinity. Especially in the area of electrolytic bath (potflux) analysis we have made an especially exciting innovation.

Our new XRD technique – combining AERIS benchtop XRD with Rietveld quantification – offers a highly efficient solution for potflux analysis. From preparing the test samples to reporting the results, this tool is a one-stop-shop for measuring and optimizing smelters. And the best part? It’s fully automatable and standardless. Meaning, you can get fast and reliable compositions for a range of materials with minimal user input. Simply load a sample – or let the tool do it for you – enter the sample name and start the measurement. And that’s it – you’ll have your results in as little as 24 seconds!

Smelting solutions are just the start…

By combining XRD technology with Rietveld analysis, we are blazing a path for safer, more user-friendly analysis and more efficient aluminum smelting. But we don’t stop there. Malvern Panalytical offers a range of solutions to optimize your processes throughout the aluminum production chain. For example, our X-ray fluorescence (XRF) tools, such as our Epsilon 4 mining and minerals edition, are effective to ensure that waste composition is within environmental limits, as well as checking for toxicity or impurities.

With these solutions and more, Malvern Panalytical drives the shift towards a more sustainable future for aluminum production. And if you ask us, these industry changes are nothing short of heroic…

Written by: Uwe Konig, Posted by: Malvern Panalytical (www.materials-talks.com)

Ask an expert! – Getting the best out of Omnian using an ED spectrometer

X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis is a robust analytical technique that provides both qualitative (which elements) and quantitative (how much of that element) information about a sample. The combination of this ‘which?’ and ‘how much?’ makes semi-quantitative analysis possible.

XRF quantitative analysis

In qualitative analysis, peak search and peak match are used to discover which elements are present in the sample. Peak search finds the peaks, and peak match determines the associated elements by referring to a database.

The usual procedure of quantitative analysis in XRF is to calibrate the spectrometer by measuring reference materials. The calibration determines the relationship between the concentrations of specific chemical elements and the intensity of the fluorescent lines of those elements. You can determine unknown concentrations of calibrated elements once this relationship is known. The intensities of the elements with unknown concentrations are measured, with the corresponding concentration being determined from the calibration. A typical limitation of an accurate XRF quantitative analysis is that unknown samples should be prepared in the same way as standards used for calibration, and in many cases to be of the same nature.

What is semi-quantitative analysis

A semi-quantitative analysis in XRF usually is a combination of both, qualitative and quantitative analyses. The semi-quantitative analysis determines the presence of all measurable elements. That is in contrast with “classic” quantitative analysis, which is calibrated only for specific elements present in the standards. Usually, a semi-quantitative analysis has one “universal” calibration that can be applied to specimens of samples of different origins. It can also make a relatively good estimate of concentrations of elements and compounds which weren’t even present in the original calibration.

A semi-quantitative analysis is basically the same for Energy Dispersive (ED) XRF and Wavelength Dispersive (WD) XRF. Both WD and EDXRF are used to identify and determine the concentrations of elements present in solid, powder and liquid samples. The exact same mathematical methods can be used to calculate the composition of samples. The only difference is that in EDXRF the area of a peak gives the intensity, while in WDXRF the height of a peak gives the intensity.

Omnian Standardless analysis

Omnian is a Malvern Panalytical XRF application package that can provide (semi-)quantitative* chemical composition analysis of virtually any sample that one can place in an XRF spectrometer. Usually, we use it in situations where specific calibration standards are not available. Or we use it when samples are out-of-scope of normal laboratory routines.

When faced with non-routine samples or materials for which there are no certified reference materials, the software provides insight into the elemental composition. Its advanced fundamental parameters algorithm automatically deals with the analytical challenges posed by samples of widely differing types.

Get the best out of your Omnian analysis

Omnian is an “open” application package and users can make some changes to the default parameters to improve precision, accuracy, or Lower Limits of Detection in their measurements. It is a powerful tool but, are you making the most of it? If you want to make sure you know how to get proper analysis results out of it or have questions regarding your Omnian analysis, then join the next ‘Ask an Expert!’ webinar titled ‘Getting the best out of Omnian using an ED spectrometer’.

 

Written by: Vincent Kip, Posted by: Malvern Panalytical (www.materials-talks.com)

X-ray tubes for more than half a century

Did you know that Malvern Panalytical is the only supplier of analytical (X-ray) instrumentation that also develops and produces its own X-ray tubes?

The X-ray tube factory resides in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. The modern clean rooms and logical flow layout facilitate new technology innovation, efficient production, and excellent quality control. After the move from the old facility to the new factory in August 2011, all our technical processes have been optimized to the new building, so as to optimally exploit its potential and further improve our X-ray tube quality.

All products are benefitting from the optimized manufacturing conditions. In particular the latest and most innovative ones: SST-mAX, Empyrean Tube, and Epsilon Tube. At the time, the X-ray tube factory was the latest milestone in Malvern Panalytical’s long history of X-ray tube innovation.

Assemblers and engineers working in the Malvern Panalytical X-ray tube factory

A bit of history

After World War II, Philips developed the X-ray diffraction (XRD) glass tube which today is still a world standard. After that came the renowned 100 kV XRF side window tube for sequential spectrometry and the end window tube for simultaneous spectrometry.

During the early seventies, Philips decided to separate their analytical and medical tube activities and built the first and only X-ray tube factory in the world dedicated to XRD and XRF tubes. This created a 100% focus on analytical tube innovation and manufacturing and led to the development of the first ceramic analytical tube, the XRF Target Transmission Tube. In the early nineties, the revolutionary ceramic XRD-C and SST were developed.

Glass X-ray tube in the making

These two successful tubes then formed the basis for further groundbreaking innovations: thinner beryllium windows, higher power, better spectral purity, enhanced stability, and longer life. This has led to today’s Empyrean Tube and SST-mAX CHI-BLUE, incorporating more than 50 years of X-ray tube experience and know-how.

X-ray tube innovation is never at an end. Malvern Panalytical continues to be dedicated to new technology development and the creation of new user benefits. The X-ray tube factory provides the perfect basis for many new developments in years to come.

 

Posted by: Malvern Panaltyical (www.materials-talks.com)

How real-time ore monitoring can save hundreds of thousands of dollars

In an increasingly volatile and unpredictable world, we all want to make cost-efficient choices. And often, the materials we choose can play a big part in these efforts. Whether it’s a car or a pair of shoes, products made with high-quality materials can help you save on waste, maintenance, and replacement costs in the long run.

Something similar could be said for mining – where rising process costs are also making cost control increasingly important. Just as in other areas, high-quality materials can help: a key way to drive cost-efficiency in mining is by maximizing the recovery of high-quality ore. This can reduce waste from lower-quality ore, improve process efficiency, and enable higher-quality end-products – all factors that boost overall profitability.

Acting quickly is key to cost-efficiency

The secret to these high levels of high-quality ore recovery? Fast mineralogical analysis – especially when it’s in real-time during processing! Real-time measurements allow operators to react quickly to the quality and composition of materials as they’re processed. This can remove lower-quality ore from the process as soon as possible, remove the need for time-consuming sampling and laboratory analysis, and minimize operational downtime.

NIR: A rapid real-time analysis technique

Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIR) is a rapid, reliable solution for this real-time analysis. How does it work? Well, using the near-infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum, NIR measures the light scattered off and through a sample. In this way, it creates a ‘fingerprint’ of the ore that reveals its properties and mineralogical composition.

NIR provides non-contact, above-the-conveyor-belt measurements of materials as they’re processed on the belt. This means it delivers instant results, enabling quick decision-making that can reduce waste, save time, and improve quality. And, unlike some analytical techniques, NIR is non-destructive and requires little to no sample preparation.

QualitySpec® 7000: Improved knowledge, increased control

The best news? At Malvern Panalytical, our QualitySpec® 7000 NIR spectrometer is setting a new standard for non-contact NIR analysis. At the core of the QualitySpec 7000 are a simple, safe quartz-halogen light source and a highly sensitive detector array. The spectrometer is calibrated with the help of chemometric modeling techniques from ASD’s SummitCAL Solutions Team. This allows it to be combined with a process control system to transform its data into actionable information.

The result is a powerful system for real-time, closed-loop process and quality control, which is particularly ideal for continuous measurement of solids and blended materials. By providing multiple measurements from a single point, the QualitySpec 7000 yields more information, more quickly – facilitating extra-fast real-time process decisions. Even better: it’s ultra-easy to maintain.

Significant cost savings await…

And the results you can expect using the QualitySpec 7000? Well, by allowing you to analyze and sort your incoming ores in real-time, this instrument could reduce your production downtime and decrease your acid consumption during heap leaching – enough to save your mine $250,000 per year! With real-time process analysis, cost-efficient mining really is simple – as simple as buying a high-quality pair of shoes…

 

Written by: Uwe König., Posted by: Malvern Panalytical (www.materials-talks.com)