The Thermo Scientific Niton XL5 Plus Handheld XRF Analyzer identifies alloys, detects tramp elements, delivers geochemical data, analyzes precious metals, and determines coating weight and plating thickness, to ensure material chemistry specifications are met.

Download the XRF Technology eBook


  • Oil and gas—for positive material identification (PMI) of piping material, which is critical where flow accelerated corrosion, or sulfidic corrosion, is a concern
  • Metal fabricating—for non-destructive elemental analysis to ensure that no incorrect or out-of-specification metals or alloys enter the manufacturing process
  • Automotive & aerospace—for incoming inspection and quality control of metallic and coated parts
  • Scrap metal recycling—for fast and accurate sorting of scrap metals, which is essential to enhance both workflow efficiency and profitability
  • Precious metal recycling—for accurately determining grade of precious metals and to prevent deleterious metals from entering the recycling process
  • Mining & exploration—for quickly identifying and recovering the most economically viable resources
  • Construction & environmental engineering—for screening risk assessment, hazardous site modeling, and remediation quality control

A:  The Niton XL5 Plus elemental analyzer is an X-Ray fluorescence spectrometer. XRF is a non-destructive analytical technique used to determine the elemental composition of materials. XRF analyzers determine the elemental composition of a sample by measuring the fluorescence (or secondary) X-ray emitted from elements in a sample when those are excited by a primary X-ray source. Each of the elements present in a sample produces a set of characteristic X-ray lines ("a fingerprint") that is unique for that specific element, which is why XRF spectroscopy is an excellent technology for qualitative analysis and quantitative determination of material composition. (For more information about XRF, download this ebook: Portable XRF Technology for the Non-Scientist.)

A:  During the analysis, the analyzer emits a directed radiation beam when the tube is energized. Reasonable effort should be made to maintain exposures to radiation as far below dose limits as is practical. This is known as the ALARA (As Low as Reasonably Achievable) principle. Three factors will help minimize your radiation exposure: time, distance, and shielding.

While the radiation emitted from a portable or handheld XRF elemental analyzer is similar to the exposure received in a normal medical or dental X-ray, care must be taken to always point a handheld XRF analyzer directly at the sample and never at a person or a body part. (See 7 Safety Tips When Using Portable XRF Analyzers.)

A:  The Niton XL5 Plus elemental analyzer is rugged, splash resistant (IP54 compliant), and has dustproof housing for harsh environments. 

A: Weighing just 2.8 lbs (1.3kg), the Niton XL5 Plus analyzer is one of the smallest and lightest handheld XRF elemental analyzers utilizing X-ray tube technology. It is ergonomically designed to help reduce operator fatigue and expand field use for hard-to-reach places.

A:Powered by a proprietary 5W X-ray tube, the Niton XL5 Plus analyzer generates fast and precise results. A dynamic current adjustment ensures optimum sensitivity for each measurement. By optimizing the space between the X-ray detector and sample, the Niton XL5 Plus analyzer guarantees the lowest limits of detection for every element.

A: Niton XL5 Plus portable XRF analyzers are pre-calibrated with one or more Measurements Modes that meet the customer’s needs in terms of application(s). Most of the Measurement Modes leverage a proprietary Fundamental Parameter (FP) based calibration. The algorithms used in the FP calibrations account for composition variability by correcting for absorption and secondary excitation effects arising from the matrix to deliver accurate results in the field.

Moreover, users have the option to improve accuracy by applying type standardization. Calibration optimization is simple to perform and can be accomplished directly on the analyzer.

A: The Niton XL5 Plus elemental analyzer is available with the following modes; however, check with a representative for the latest information:

  • Light Metal Quick Sort Mode for identifying grades of aluminum and magnesium in 2 seconds or less, and for identifying alloy families of other light elements
  • General Metals for identifying and analyzing industrial alloys such as steel, super alloys, aluminum, copper, titanium alloys etc.
  • Precious Metals to provide accurate assay of precious metals alloys
  • Coatings to determine the coat weight or the coating thickness of an infinite
  • Mining to analyze geological materials in exploration and mining process
  • Soils for heavy metals related risk assessment and site modelling
  • Spectral Fingerprint to identify unknown samples based on their spectra signature

A. More than 1,000 grades of alloys are defined in three default libraries based on:

  • SAE, AISI, ASTM, AA standards
  • DIN standards
  • GB standards

Additionally, users may edit and clone existing libraries or create their own.

A: The Niton XL5 Plus analyzer has two cameras:

  1. A macro camera to take a wide angle image of the material to be analyzed for documentation purpose. A tag can be placed on the image to indicate the exact spot where analysis will be made.
  2. A micro camera to visualize the analyzed area and position the elemental analyzer correctly.

The macro and/or micro images can be automatically saved with the reading.

The area of analysis is typically 8mm in diameter. Using our patented Small Spot, the area of analysis is confined to a 3mm diameter area and is suitable to measure the composition of welds or inclusions in the samples.

A:  Batteries for the Niton XL5 Plus elemental analyzer are designed to be hot-swappable. Capacitors in the unit maintain function of the instrument for 5 to 10 seconds after the batteries have been removed, so that a fresh battery can be substituted with no down time and reboot.

A:  Wi-Fi is used to connect the Niton XL5 Plus elemental analyzer to public and private wireless networks through wireless access points (WAPs) such as Wi-Fi routers and other hotspot devices. Unsecured networks are not supported.

You can select the Bluetooth option from the Settings Page to set up your analyzer for Bluetooth wireless connection to your portable printer or barcode scanner.

A: The Niton XL5 Plus analyzer can simultaneously operate an internal and connect to an external GPS. High resolution external GPS provide greater accuracy when needed. When both systems are enabled and connected, the external GPS overrides the internal system. If the external GPS shuts down, the internal GPS automatically becomes the primary system and provides coordinates.

A:  The instrument can be set to display the User Interface in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Italian, Russian, Turkish, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

A:  Subject to compliance with local radiation safety regulations, Niton elemental analyzers can be rented by the week or by the month—with discounted rates for longer periods. Rental fees may be applied toward the purchase of a Niton analyzer. For projects lasting more than six months, we offer flexible, competitive leasing and financing programs that provide you with low, fixed payments and tax and accounting benefits so that you can conserve capital budgets and preserve credit. Programs include options to trade up to new technology or to purchase the equipment at the end of the lease. (Learn more about rental and leasing information here.)