Using Handheld XRF for FAC Corrosion Prediction in Carbon Steel

It has been proved that even very small amounts of chromium in carbon steel pipes considerably reduce the rate of flow-accelerated corrosion. Consequently highly precise measurements of low chromium levels in carbon steel are crucial for determining the end of life in these pipes. Generally chromium is present in carbon steels as a residual tramp element ranging from 0 to 0.25%. The critical chromium level monitored for FAC prediction is at about 0.04% (400 ppm).

The latest development in HHXRF, the DELTA Premium goes to an all time high in accuracy and an all-time low in detection limits for chromium and other metals. Trace levels of chromium are detected as low as 0.004% (40ppm) in alloys; and 0.01% (100ppm) in carbon steel for FAC inspections.

Even though HHXRF is a non-destructive technique, precise low Cr analysis of in-service and oxidized pipes need some sample preparation in order to remove surface material before measurements. Portable angle grinders with alumina grinder disks are recommended.

FAC Corrosion Prediction in Carbon Steel

Comparison of DELTA Premium Handheld XRF with Certified Assays of Trace Cr in Carbon Steel

Standard Certified %Cr HHXRF Measured %Cr HHXRF %Cr +/-
IARM 229A 0.015 0.015 0.002
IARM 28E 0.079 0.080 0.005
IARM 33D 0.139 0.139 0.006
IARM 35F 1.160 1.210 0.006

DELTA Premium Analysis Time: 120sec Beam 1; 30 sec Beam 2

Figure 1. DELTA Premium Analysis Time: 120sec Beam 1; 30 sec Beam 2

Excellent Accuracy and Low Levels of Detection are Critical for Predicting Accelerated Corrosion

Along with testing flow accelerated corrosion, the power supply industry relies on HHXRF analyzers for shutdowns, startups, trouble shooting and general maintenance. Managers cannot afford to rely on undependable or out-of-date equipment or untimely support of equipment. They cannot also fall behind the technology curve. HHXRF analytical capabilities expand continually and new features enables operators to be more efficient and effective.

FAC Corrosion Prediction in Carbon Steel

The DELTA XRF Analyzer

The DELTA XRF analyzer is an important tool for all businesses involved in the use of metal alloys or trade. In just a few seconds it will be possible to non-destructively measure more than 25 elements. Wires, rods, shavings, turnings, components, small parts, sizeable materials and large structures can be non-destructively studied. The DELTA XRF analyzer will enable the testing of chemistry, purity or grade ID for excellent value, maximum quality, recovery, maintenance and safety or conformance.

Handheld XRF for Metals and Alloys Industries

The most extensively used of metals and alloys are iron and steel. Newly developed, non-ferrous lighter metals and exotic alloys are also used considerably but iron and steel are considered as the key raw materials for several industrial goods and construction. Even though produced from ores mined throughout the globe, steel is the most recycled material globally. From base form to recycled materials to finished products, alloys and metals are integral to the fabric of society, the consumption of which is normally considered a primary indicator of development and economic progress.


This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Evident (XRF / XRD).

For more information on this source, please visit Evident (XRF / XRD).


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