Industrial Forensics

    Application Note EDXRF2000

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    The use of Rigaku NEX DE VS EDXRF analyzer is demonstrated for industrial forensics in investigating unknown sample materials.


    XRF is an analysis tool used for non-destructive analysis in industrial forensics to identify and resolve manufacturing issues or contamination within the production and distributor processes. Analysis using XRF allows the operator to determine the elemental composition of foreign material in failure analysis and root cause
    analysis to optimize quality control and testing procedures.

    EDXRF is a fast and simple means of obtaining the elemental composition of samples investigated in industrial forensics. Samples analyzed are often irregularly shaped, small or available in small quantities. Rigaku NEX DE VS EDXRF analyzer is an excellent tool equipped with small spot size measurement, camera image and powerful yet simple-to-use software for the investigation and identification of foreign material.

    NEX DE VS variable spot benchtop EDXRF elemental analyzerModel: NEX DE VS

    Fundamental parameters (FP)

    Industrial forensics involves measuring samples of unknown material and unknown elemental composition. Semi-quantitative analysis (SQX analysis) is employed to analyze samples for forensics examinations using FP (fundamental parameters) methods to calculate concentration results.

    Rigaku RPF-SQX Fundamental Parameters (FP) uses an advanced program that automatically deconvolutes spectral peaks and models the sample matrix using fundamental XRF equations, including unique Scattering FP approach for analyzing lighter materials like powders and polymers that have an unknown balance component that cannot be directly measured.

    EDXRF2000 FP Method

    Sample model selection

    Rigaku NEX QuantEZ® software includes many application templates for the material categories. Templates include:

    • Metals and alloys
    • Powders and pellets
    • Polymers
    • Thin films and filters
    • Water, oils and liquids

    FP models include bulk analysis, analysis of light materials and thin films, and Rigaku Scattering FP.

    Templates can be used as is for general screening while also flexible in design allowing users to change and craft an application to meet specific needs.

    Optional Material Identification software for alloy identification can also be used to identify alloy types of unknown metals and foreign matter using the standard ASTM and JIS tables for ferrous, aluminum, and copper-based alloys. Custom identification tables can also be made by the user.

    Small spot analysis

    Samples that do not completely cover the measurement aperture require small spot size analysis. NEX DE VS is equipped with 10 mm, 3 mm, and 1 mm automatic switching collimators to focus the analysis on the small spot required to be measured.

    EDXRF1720 measurement example


    Chip of foreign material in rice

    In this example, the foreign matter was found in rice. Analysis was made by placing the sample in a small-spot sample cup.

    EDXRF2000 Sample 1

    Measurement results using small spot point analysis indicated elemental composition consistent with a stone or a pebble, information that is helpful in tracing the origin of the source of contamination.

    Component Content (mass %)
    SiO₂ 74.9
    CaO 9.25
    Al₂O₃ 8.80
    Fe₂O₃ 1.35

    Metal shard foreign material

    In this example, a metal shard is examined and prepared using the film sandwich sample cup method and small spot analysis.

    EDXRF2000 Sample 2

    Results of the measurement of the shard compared to the surrounding area where it was found indicated a Fe-based metal alloy. Material Identification software verified the shard was a piece of stainless steel, and important clue in foreign matter investigation of a product or failure analysis of machinery.

    Component Content (mass %)
    Fe 71.2
    Cr 16.9
    Ni 6.92
    Mn 2.52

    EDXRF2000 Sample 2 results


    Innovative design and simple, intuitive software make the NEX DE VS an ideal EDXRF analyzer for use in industrial forensics. Fundamental Parameter methodology with small spot measurement capability to analyze irregularly shaped samples gives the operator valuable tools in investigating the identification of foreign material of unknown composition.

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