The analysers work by taking advantage of X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF). The analysers contain small X-ray tubes that when held up close to an object and fired excite the electrons in the material, this causes the electrons to leave the orbit of the atom. The energy used to eject these electrons are collected by the detector in the analyser. As each element has its own X-ray fluorescence signature, the analyser is able to compare the individual signatures with its database and categorise it.
With improvements in technology coupled with portability and ease of use, the latest XRF analysers allows us to test a whole range of material from large vessels to small welded components and pipe work assemblies without the need of a lab.