XRF | Material Analysis | Elemental Analysis | Plating Thickness
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Elemental analysis of material composition and plating thickness

Find out what elements make up a component or material, or check the thickness of a plating

There are many reasons why you might want to check either the composition or thickness of a material. Perhaps you need to confirm that a coating is made from the correct alloys; perhaps you don’t know what a contaminant is and you need to find out to correct a manufacturing process; or perhaps you think that a component plating is too thin.

Electronics Yorkshire’s Fischerscope X-DAL X-ray fluorescence spectrometer allows you to do all of this - a simple, fast and accurate xrf analysis of unknown materials. Determine the surface thickness of plating (ie, gold flash on PCBs) or, in line with the RoHS directive, verify the presence of harmful elements. Check bulk materials, such as gold and jewellery.

There are significant advantages when performing spectroscopic measurements using X-ray fluorescence analysis:

  • specimens are simply placed in the measuring chamber once they have been prepared;
  • short measuring times; depending on the sample, typical measuring times are 50-300 seconds.

The detailed analysis shows accurately the percentage of each element, with printouts of the full analysis available.


Click on each heading below for further information

Typical applications

There are many possible applications for xrf testing, including:

  • Materials analysis of coatings and alloys
  • Goods in inspection
  • Manufacturing process control
  • Trace analysis of contaminants
  • Materials research & development
  • Plating composition and thickness analysis for components and connectors, especially for the electronics industry
  • Analysis of PCB finishes, eg gold and palladium coatings of ≤ 0.1μm, and nickel coatings
  • Non-assay analysis of imported gold (and other precious metals), jewellery and watches
  • Measurement of thin coatings on printed circuit boards
  • Measurement of lead in RoHS testing
  • Analysis of hard material coatings
  • Checking for the presence of harmful contaminants in toys


XRF equipment description and specification

X-ray fluorescence analysis is based on the principal that when atoms in a material sample are excited by primary X-radiation, electrons from the innermost shells are released; the resultant vacancies are then filled by electrons from the outer shells. During these transitions, fluorescent radiation is generated that is characteristic for each element. This is read by the detector and provides information on the composition of the sample.

Fischerscope X-Ray XDAL XRF System:

  • X-ray tube with micro-focus X-ray tube with W-anode and beryllium window. Maximum operating conditions: 50 kV, 50W
  • Peltier-cooled silicon PIN diode X-ray detector
  • Aperture: fixed or 4-x automatically exchangeable, Ø 0.2 mm to Ø 2 mm
  • Primary filter: fixed, 3-x exchangeable or 6-x automatically exchangeable
  • Adjustable measuring distance 0 – 25 mm
  • Fixed sample support, useable support area of 318 x 327 mm
  • Max. sample mass 2 kg, max. sample height 86 mm
  • Video camera for optical observation of the measurement location along the axis of the primary X-ray beam. Crosshairs with calibrated scale (ruler) and display of the measurement spot


XRF equipment hire

Customers can use the equipment themselves at our Leeds facility. Time on the equipment can be hired by the hour or by the day, and will include training on the use of the equipment where required.

XRF investigation services

Alternatively, samples can be sent to the Electronics Yorkshire Technology Centre along with a clear description of the problem and the investigation needed, and our trained and skilled team will conduct the investigation on your behalf. If there is any uncertainty or if unexpected issues are discovered then the team will involve you by phone. Once the investigation is complete a report will be prepared, usually including data from the XRF system, which will be sent to you with the returned sample.


Hiring equipment

Call us for a personalised quotation for either time on our equipment or our investigation and report services. Discounts can also be offered for block bookings of equipment time or investigation services.

To arrange to hire equipment at Electronics Yorkshire, call 0800 610 1602 or email: info@electronicsyorkshire.org.uk; if you require Electronics Yorkshire to carry out work please contact us to check availability.

Electronics Yorkshire Full Members will receive a 20% discount on equipment use, investigation, analysis and report costs.

Please note that hire of certain equipment within the Technology Centre is in significant demand. As a result, bookings for hire of any piece of equipment will be confirmed back to customers immediately on receipt by e-mail. Any booking which is cancelled 48 hours or less before the date booked will be invoiced in full. Provisional bookings for equipment hire cannot be accepted.


Location and contact details

All our equipment and investigation services are run from our advanced technology centre:

Electronics Yorkshire
Airedale House
Clayton Wood Rise
LS16 6RF


Contact details

For more information call us on 0800 610 1602 or email: info@electronicsyorkshire.org.uk.


Services offered

Elemental analysis, including:

  • x ray analysis
  • x ray testing
  • xray flourescence analysis
  • xrf
  • xrf analysis
  • xrf spectrometry
  • xrf spectroscopy
  • xrf testing