Q:
What are the advantages and disadvantages
of hand-held instruments . . . who are some of
the better known manufacturers?






A:
    Advantages:
  • Can quickly verify hardness, coating thickness,
    metal alloy composition

    Disadvantages:
  • Precision is limited
  • Qualitative information in most cases
  • Must understand the minimum detection limits
    of each instrument


    Coating Thickness Instruments
  • Fischer Technology, Inc., Windsor, CN
  • Krautkramer Branson, Lewistown, PA
  • Ferrous or Non Ferrous Metal Substrates
  • Can verify Ferrite content of austenitic steels
    or duplex steels
  • Magnetic Induction (Fischer & Krautkramer)
  • Eddy Current (Fischer)
  • Ultrasonic (Krautkramer)

    Hand-held Hardness Instruments
  • Mitutoyo, Paramus, NJ
  • Krautkramer Branson, Lewistown, PA

  • Both units can do RB, RC, HV, etc.
  • Both have approximate upper limits of
    HV = 900, HRC = 68
  • Some models go to higher hardness

    Hand-held Composition Instruments
  • Niton Corporation, Billerica, MA

  • XRF (X-Ray Florescence)
  • Uses radioactive isotopes, depending on
    particular elements sought - 109CD, 241AM, 55Fe
  • Half life Cd=463 days, Am=433 years
  • Detection limits depend on the matrix but
    are generally 10s to 100s ppm
  • Sample size (couple of grams)
  • Multi-element unit has all three isotopes

    Flaw Detection Instruments
    To be precise, eddy current testing, X-Ray transmission,
    magnetic particle inspection, etc. are failure prevention
    techniques because they are generally used before parts
    go into service.  They are also used "post mortem"
    when major manufacturing flaws are suspected e.g., porosity
    in cast steel or aluminum alloy parts.

    Advantages:
  • Help provide complete characterization of a failed part
  • Non destructive
  • Fast
  • Service labs and hand-held equipment available

  • Eddy Current:
    SE Systems, Inc., Hayward, CA
    Panametrics (NDT Division, Waltham, MA
  • Defects found in metal parts, e.g., Cracks, Seams (cold welds)
    corrosion, weld defects, defective coatings, inclusions
  • High frequency and low frequency units measure thickness and
    thickness uniformity in nonferrous metals, polymers, ceramics

  • X-Ray Diffraction/Fluorescence:
    Rigaku, The Woodlands, TX
  • Stress Analysis of Surface
  • Texture Determination (cold working, etc.)
  • Phase Determination
  • Fluorescence = Elemental Analysis
  • Mapping of the above related to sample location
  • Robotic manipulation of small parts available
  • Service Laboratory
  • Beam focus down to about 10-2mm = 0.0004 in radius

  • XRF Portable Optical Emission Spectrometer and
    Portable Optical Emission Spectrometer:

    Metorex (formerly Outokumpu), Ewing, NJ
  • XRF: 25 elements can be automatically programmed from K (19)
    to U (92), hand-held "gun," program alloys by major
    elemental composition
  • OES: Portable, but not hand-held, arc excitation
  • Can do sulfur, phosphorus and carbon
    thickness uniformity in nonferrous metals, polymers, ceramics

  • View Instrument Photographs: Click here to go to
    the Characterization Photo Gallery.