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making a XRF gun Answered

What do you all think about the feasibility of making a DIY XRF gun? These are commonly used in manufacturing settings where quick material identification is required. They look a lot like barcode scanners, but cost quite a bit more, generally 20-40k and mostly companies rend them for about 2k per month. 

I know that its probably quite impossible to slap one together using an Arduino or something but is this completely out of the realm of DIY?

Really they just break down into 4 parts: X-ray source, detector, electronics and computer and it seems like the first two are the issue.

It seems like there's tons of different methods of doing this, and I just keep feeling that somewhere in all those is something much more cost effective.

Here are some links:




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9 months ago

I worked in the metal recycling industry for years and we used one of these guns and I also have a degree in eet and have thought about making one of these devices..in one of a couple ways you need hot cathode tube to generate the xrays ...which are strong enough to produce fluorescence in metal samples then the detector something along a Geiger tube with digital processing.I am looking into it.


10 years ago

"One bi-product of electron beam interactions is the emission of X-rays from the sample. The energy of the X-ray corresponds directly to the identification of the elements present.... The PSEM eXpress is equipped with an integrated EDS detector which offers the ability to characterize material using their X-ray emissions. Specifically, this allows the operator to identify the elements present in the material and quantify how much of each element makes up the material’s composition (Figure 5). In addition, these detectors are maintenance-free and offer a liquid nitrogen-free cooling device."