The X-550 Handheld XRF Analyzer

The X-550 XRF analyzer from SciAps sets a new performance standard for handheld XRF instruments. It weighs just 1.3 kg (2.8 lbs.) including the battery and is the fastest, lightest and most articulate X-ray gun to be ever made.

The X-550 handheld XRF analyzer provides the small size, high precision and blazing speed of the SciAps X Series in an ideally balanced device. It works rapidly on all alloys, such as aluminum. The X-550 employs the industry’s strongest X-ray tube, working up to three times the power in the Beam 2 setting in comparison with the SciAps X-505 and other handheld XRF analyzers.

The special geometry and tube power improve the performance for low atomic number measurement applications, such as aluminum alloys, sulfur and phosphorus and sulfidic corrosion (low Si), as well as for residuals studies in accordance with API 751 and 5L specifications.

The X-550 Handheld XRF Analyzer

Image Credit: SciAps, Inc.



Delivers PMI for a majority of alloys in 1 second with excellent accuracy

A few NDT-PMI applications need multiple beam tests or longer tests. The Android apps-based platform from SciAps offers dedicated, pre-configured apps to make quality testing made by each operator as easy as using a smartphone—such as apps for sulfidic corrosion (API 939), API 5L, residuals (API 751) and other testing.

Optimized for major PMI applications, such as sulfidic corrosion and residuals

For several PMI applications, rapid tests are enough to verify the grade and geochemistry of alloys. More complex applications need longer test times or multiple beam operations (one beam improved for transition and heavy metals, and the other optimized for low atomic number elements Al, Si, Mg, P and S).

Specialized apps make sure that testing follows proper procedures, like suggested X-ray beam settings and test times. For instance, the Residuals app defaults to test times of 15 seconds because of the necessity to quantify Cr, Ni and Cu at <0.03% each (sum <0.15%) and V and Nb at <0.02%. The Sulfidic Corrosion app has been preconfigured to require two-beam tests to quantify Si as low as 0.03% in steels.

The X-550 Handheld XRF Analyzer

Image Credit: SciAps, Inc.

Developed for NDT, PMI users can access hard-to-reach test areas and welds

The instrument is lightweight, perfectly balanced and articulate, enabling users to test all day long without feeling tired. The narrow footprint enables complete access to almost any test location and weld.


Great on high-temperature alloys and precious metals

Similar to a majority of XRFs, the X-550 offers quick, accurate chemistry on an extensive range of high temperature alloys, stainless, precious metals and red metals. What makes this metal different from others is the toughness of the metal-framed analyzer that is remarkably lightweight (<2.8 lbs.) and in perfect balance.

Users can employ this analyzer for sorting the whole day without getting drained. The on-board cell phone camera (macro camera) enables photo-documentation of the tested materials, and the Bluetooth label printer offers immediate hard copy labels with grade ID, date/time stamp and chemistry.

Featuring the Aluminum App: Al alloys can be sorted in 1 to 2 seconds

For scrap processors, the one reason for them to purchase the X-550 analyzer more than the X-505 model is the precision and blazing speed on aluminum alloys. The X-550 analyzer features SciAps’ patent-pending Aluminum App. This app sorts aluminum alloys in just 1 to 2 seconds, such as those alloys that vary only by magnesium (Mg) content.

Grades that are impossible to sort with other XRF analyzers or take minutes of testing time, like 3003/3004/3005, cast 356 and 357 and 2014/2024, are only a few examples. Now, users can sort several similar Al grades more economically.

Contaminant phosphorus and sulfur

The high powered X-ray tube integrated into the X-550 analyzer allows rapid analysis of P and sulfur (S) in steels and stainless and phosphorus (P) in copper, enabling users to cost-effectively upgrade to copper and ferrous material depending on low S and P levels.

The X-550 analyzer is three times faster on S and P when compared to the X-505 model or other competing XRF analyzers. With faster testing times, the material can be upgraded to low S and P in a more cost-effective manner.

Tramp elements

Scrap processing has shifted beyond just grade sorting. At present, several consumers demand analysis on residual or tramp elements in common steel, copper and nickel alloys. The X-505 analyzer has been improved for low-detection limits on common tramp elements, such as Cu, Ni, Cr, Nb, V, Mo, in steels; Bi and Pb in nickel alloys; and several unwanted elements in copper alloys.


The X-550 analyzer is currently available for exploration and ore-grade control applications. The advantage of the X-550 analyzer for geochemistry is the quickest possible analysis on low atomic number elements present in soil/ore samples, such as P, Mg, Al, S, Si, K and Ca.

Users can contact SciAps for more details about exploration apps for pathfinder elements and elemental analysis. The XRF analyzers from SciAps are used around the world by several top mining laboratory services companies and exploration companies. The analyzers also come with a compact test stand for closed-beam operation.

Environmental Soil

The X-550 analyzer can be fitted with apps for elemental analysis of environmental soils. The analysis package comprises the 8 RCRA metals as well as 11 of the 12 EPA priority pollutant metals (except for beryllium, for which SciAps’ LIBS can be used). The X-505 analyzer complies with the long-standing EPA Method 6200.

General Analytical

Do users have special analytical applications? The X-505 analyzer can be fitted with SciAps’ Empirical App, enabling the user to set up special beam conditions, define specific target elements and make customized calibrations. For analytical needs beyond the realm of ores, alloys and polymers, the X-505 analyzer and the Empirical App provide full flexibility for special or proprietary analytical needs.

RoHS Applications

The X-550 analyzer comes with SciAps’ RoHS and Halogen-Free apps, providing quick, accurate analysis of the RoHS elements Cd, Br, Pb, total Cr and Hg, and also Cl for halogen-free needs. The high powered tube in the X-550 analyzer allows quicker Cl analysis when compared to the X-505 model.

A Brief Comparison: X-550 vs X-505

What is the variation between the workhorse X-505 and the premium X-550 versions? The answer is very simple: Speed on low atomic number elements, like Mg, Si, Al, S and P. The X-550 analyzer runs at around three times the X-ray power in the 'Beam 2' setting (also called the low voltage setting) when compared to the X-505 or other handheld XRF analyzers.

The X-550 Handheld XRF Analyzer

Image Credit: SciAps, Inc.

This implies that the quantified intensities from Si, Al, Mg, P and S (plus Ca, Cl and K in other apps) are three times higher, thereby generating three-fold faster measurements. Some general examples are listed below.

Source: SciAps, Inc.

Application X-550 X-505 Comment
Measure 0.3% Mg in aluminum alloy 2 seconds 7 seconds For example, sorting Al 356 from 357.
Measure 0.1% Si in steels 6 seconds (1s Beam 1;
5s Beam 2)
16 seconds 
(1s Beam 1; 15s Beam 2)
Sulfidic corrosion, requires Si > 0.1% in steels.
Measure P and S in steels or stainless For a given concentration level, about 3x faster than X-505.   Actual test times depend on the specific concentration level of P and S.
Analyze low atomic number elements in mining samples Measures Mg, Al, Si, P,
S, Ca and K 3x faster
than X-505.
Measures these elements well, with comparable speeds to other highend XRFs. X-550 offers faster test times for major metals, sulfides and contaminant P.


Need Carbon?

For users who also need to quantify carbon in steels, stainless and cast iron, SciAps produces the Z—the only handheld laser system (LIBS) in the world that can quantify carbon content sufficiently low to isolate L- and H-grade stainless.

Global acceptance has been achieved by SciAps Z with almost 1000 units delivered. The Z examines lithium, boron and beryllium in alloys. Packed along with shared accessories in the One Box, the X and Z offer improved performance for almost all elements and alloys, and at a more economical price than a similar spark OES system.

The X-550 Handheld XRF Analyzer

Image Credit: SciAps, Inc.

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