Using XRF Analysis to Ensure Asphalt Roof Shingle Lasts

There is more to roofing shingles than is initially obvious. Asphalt (or bitumen) roofing shingles are manufactured to tight specifications including for size and weight and for color and texture. They also need to provide specific performance properties, for example fire resistance, wind resistance and strength. Often, these shingles also prevent algae and moss growth to ensure that the roofs of your customers look great for years.

X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) can make sure that your project meets specifications and standards by keeping processes under control. XRF analysis can be undertaken on samples that are in granular or a block form and this means that materials can be checked when they arrive at your facility and the final product can be tested before shipping.

A large range of materials and non-metals can be detected using the XRF technique and include zinc, copper and bromine. The actual test is very accurate and does not affect the sample in any way. This means that even a product intended for shipping to a customer can be tested.

For example, the XRF analysis can be used to control the algae and moss resistance properties of your shingles. Many manufacturers add another 4 to 10% copper-containing granules to the mix that is then applied to the surface of the shingle.

With XRF equipment that is set up to detect copper at your facility, the copper content of the base granules from your supplier can be checked. This helps to ensure that the right materials are being used, or that the quality of a product from a new supplier meets expectations. A sample of the finished single can also be used to check the amount of copper present.

The distribution of the mix can be checked by taking measurements across the surface and this gives an absolute value that can be sent with the shipment. Furthermore, any problems with mixing in your own facility can be flagged up before becoming a problem for customers.

Introducing Hitachi’s Benchtop XRF Analyzers

Two models of benchtop XRF analyzers are available and these are both ideal for measuring metals, for example copper, in shingle manufacture: the X-Supreme 8000 and LAB-X5000.

Both analyzers are easy to operate, even by non-technical staff, and are robust which means they can withstand a busy production environment. They come with easy-to-use, intuitive software. Misunderstandings or problems with interpreting results in production can largely be prevented with the help of pass or fail criteria that can be programmed in so that the operator knows instantly if there is a problem with the sample.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Hitachi High-Tech Analytical Science.

For more information on this source, please visit Hitachi High-Tech Analytical Science.


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