FAQs

How often should I turn my XRF Unit off?

You can safely keep any Bowman XRF unit on continuously. If you have an issue with power availability in your facility, you may even want to consider an uninterruptible power supply. All of the powered instruments in your quality lab will benefit from this – in major and minor ways. A major advantage is stability, which will always be greater with continuous power. An example of a relatively minor advantage is the life expectancy of instrument lights.

What can Bowman’s service team do for me?

Bowman has a robust local service network to support every benchtop XRF system, at every customer location, whether it’s a Bowman, or a system made by Fischer, Hitachi / Oxford, Seiko – or CMI. We offer applications consulting, instrument installation and operator training, service and repair, plus foils and hard-plated standards for all XRF equipment and applications. XRF calibration is performed at Bowman’s ISO/IEC 17025 Accredited Lab.

I work in quality, but am new to XRF testing. How can I quickly learn the basics of XRF measurement? (We’re in Indiana.)

We have field partners covering Indianapolis, Fort Wayne and Evansville, (actually, every major US city!), and could have an XRF specialist visit your lab, explain to you (and your colleagues, if you like) how the technology works, the differences in XRF systems, etc. If you’re interested, email me at sales@bowmanxrf.com.

The P Series measures the widest variety of shapes, sample sizes, and quantities. It is equipped with a high-precision, programmable X-Y stage that offers several convenience factors over a fixed stage. Pinpoint control is achievable for testing critical areas, and larger sampling volumes are possible through multi-point programming.

Bowman xrf coating measurement systems comply with ASTM B568, DIN 50987 and ISO 3497. For our PCB customers, Bowman equipment is IPC 4552 capable. Also, the Bowman lab is ISO/IEC 17025 Accredited for calibration.

The O Series combines high performance with a small x-ray spot size. The standard configuration includes 80μm optics, along with a high resolution SDD detector that can process high count rates. The camera has a greater magnification compared to other XRFs, with a 45x video magnification and 5x higher digital zoom.

Bowman’s M Series is the ultimate XRF instrument for the smallest x-ray spot sizes, focusing the x-ray beam down to 15μm FWHM. A dual-camera system allows operators to see the entire part, click the image to zoom-in with the higher-mag camera, and pinpoint the feature to be measured.

Poly-capillary Optics is a focusing technology that replaces the collimator assembly installed in many XRF instruments. The system achieves greater than a hundred times higher flux than a collimation system at the same distance from the source. The poly-capillary optics assembly allows almost all of the x-rays from the tube to reach the sample, resulting in much greater sensitivity for testing very small components or thin coatings.

Silicon PIN diode detectors provide spectral resolution superior to prop counters (a common, older technology) so operators can measure thinner deposits and lower elements concentrations. Silicon PIN detectors are low noise, and have excellent resolution and detection limits. Silicon drift detectors – SDDs – produce higher count rates, and have higher spectral resolution – typically 50% higher than PIN diode detectors. They have the lowest baseline noise, and the best detection limits.

XRF analyzers use X-ray fluorescence technology for elemental analysis. They can be applied to measure metal plating thickness and elemental composition. XRD analyzers use X-ray diffraction technology to measure the atomic and molecular structure of crystalline materials. They can be applied to identify and characterize compounds based on their diffraction pattern.

Accommodating parts up to 22” x 24”, the L Series chamber volume is the largest in its class. The large sample stage allows for both large parts, and large sample fixtures holding multiple parts, to be measured.

Bowman XRF analyzers use X-ray fluorescence technology for material thickness and composition analysis. X-ray is a form of electromagnetic radiation, with a frequency between ultraviolet and gamma rays. X-ray fluorescence is related to photoelectric interaction. When photoelectric interaction occurs, an electron is knocked from its orbit, creating a vacancy. Electrons from higher energy orbits can move to fill this vacancy. The energy difference between the two orbits is released as fluorescence X-rays. Fluorescence X-ray from each element has a signature energy and is called characteristic X-ray.

What would you like to know about XRF measurement?

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