EDXRF / XRF for Multi-element Coating Thickness & Composition
Rapid Elemental Analysis for Metal Coating Applications
Metallizing or applying metal coatings to the surface of objects is a technique used for various reasons. Metal coatings are not purely aesthetic; they improve an object’s surface properties to protect it from corrosion, wear and tear, weathering, and so on. When products need to be durable, weatherproof, corrosion-resistant, seismic-resistant, or UV resistant — quality control is crucial.
Coating materials require precise thickness specifications to express the desired characteristics. Metals that are either over- or under-coated will not perform as expected. Over-coating also wastes expensive coating material.
EDXRF (energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence) provides rapid elemental analysis of the thickness and composition of single- or multi-element metal coatings applied by chemical or electrochemical processes. Rigaku EDXRF benchtop solutions include the compact NEX QC Series for general coatings and the NEX DE VS for small parts. For real-time process control needs, we offer the NEX LS analyzer for in-line conversion coatings and the NEX OL for on-line, multi-element analysis of plating solutions.
Determination of Metal Coating Thickness & Composition
The type of metal coating applied depends on the end-use of a product. Some metal coatings serve as barriers for dirt and debris and protect against rust and corrosion. These coatings are imperative for products like vehicles, aircraft, boats, trains, heavy industrial equipment, building materials, and outdoor equipment. Other types of coatings act as lubricants for products like nuts, bolts, and screws, making them easier to loosen or tighten. Coatings are sometimes both cosmetic and functional, such as coatings applied to planes and automobiles. Aerodynamic performance hinges on smooth surfaces, whereas the color choice is aesthetic.
XRF (X-ray fluorescence) technology was initially developed because the deep X-ray penetration depths enable measurements that are unachievable by using other methods (e.g., eddy current testing). The application reach of X-ray-based non-destructive testing (NDT) continues to grow because the measurement of coatings and thin films continues to be an ideal and widespread use of EDXRF. Many facilities rely on EDXRF-based quality control technology — from general plating shops, including plating baths — to aerospace, marine, automotive, and military manufacturing.
At-line, In-line, & On-line Solutions for Coating Applications
- Single-layer coatings; one coating over a substrate (Zr, P, Zn, Ni, Cr, Cu, etc.)
- Binary alloy coatings
- Multilayer coatings; two or more layers over a substrate
- Composite coatings over a substrate
- Solution analysis of plating baths
Benchtop EDXRF Analyzers for Determining Coating Thickness of Conversion Coatings, Plating Bath Composition & More
To achieve reliable quality control (QC), we offer the NEX QC Series benchtop EDXRF analyzers. These instruments provide QC technicians with an ideal tool for quickly checking coating thickness and plating bath composition. Specially designed for quality control applications, NEX QC Series analyzers combine superior performance capabilities with affordability. They deliver rapid qualitative and quantitative elemental analyses of sodium (Na) through uranium (U) in a wide variety of sample types. The intuitive touchscreen interface and built-in printer make these instruments easy to use and convenient and help you maintain consistent product quality while keeping inventory costs in balance and minimizing the chances of product rejection. They are available in either a NEX QC or NEX QC+ model for more demanding applications or for situations where analysis time is critical.
Variable Spot EDXRF for Measuring Plating on Small Parts NEX DE VS
For your small spot analysis needs, we offer the NEX DE VS benchtop EDXRF system to measure coatings on smaller parts. The NEX DE VS includes a high-resolution camera and automated collimators to allow for precise positioning of your sample for the analysis of 1 mm, 3 mm, and 10 mm spot sizes. These features, combined with the advanced QuantEZ® software, provide unparalleled performance. Whether your need is basic quality control (QC) or quality assurance (QA) — NEX DE VS is a reliable choice for the elemental identification, screening, and characterization of coatings, measuring plating on smaller pieces, or monitoring the elemental composition of your plating baths.
Process EDXRF Analyzer for In-line Conversion Coatings
For in-line process control of moving webs or coils, we offer the NEX LS scanning analyzer. Designed explicitly to meet the needs of challenging conditions found in coating and converting processes, the NEX LS helps maintain a consistent quality throughout the process. Users can continuously measure, with real-time scanning, the cross-machine coating being applied to maintain consistent quality, improve efficiency, and reduce the cost associated with overcoating or product rejection.
Process EDXRF for Plating Bath Solutions
To maintain optimum conditions for plating bath solutions, we offer the NEX OL process analyzer. NEX OL is an advanced EDXRF instrument for on-line, multi-element analysis of plating bath composition. Chemical baths require continuous monitoring to ensure the highest quality surface treatments. NEX OL provides high-throughput manufacturers with a real-time analysis system for quantifying the elemental composition of their plating baths, allowing for automated replenishing if desired.
Applied Rigaku Technologies, Inc. offers a 2-year warranty on all EDXRF spectrometers it produces. This industry-leading manufacturer’s warranty shows our commitment to quality and displays our dedication to maximizing uptime for our customer’s processes and applications.
Specializing in at-line and in-line analytical solutions, Applied Rigaku Technologies’ robust designs use quality materials, and our employees take pride in their craft. If a warranty-related deficiency happens, we are quick to respond. Common warranty plans often do not extend past a year, making this coverage a testament to the overall excellence of Rigaku EDXRF products and services.
Metal Coatings Information & Resources
- American Coatings Association
- ASTM International
- China National Coatings Industry Association
- Canadian Paint and Coatings Association (CPCA)
- Electrocoat Association
- Materials Research Society (MRS)
- NACE International
- Powder Coatings Institute
- Surface Coatings Association Australia (SCAA)
- The Society for Protective Coatings (SSPC)