Engine Health Moitoring

Application Notes

  • Mat01 (XGT13) : Micro-XRF analysis for metal debris and particle analysis.

For a list of all available application notes please click here

Regular monitoring of jet and turbine engines is necessary to ensure that they can continue to function correctly and safely. As part of this monitoring microscopic metal fragments caused by routine wear and tear of engine components are collected at strategic positions within the engine and analysed for elemental composition. Such analysis allows the metal alloy of each particle to be quickly identified, and linked to a specific component (for example, shaft, gear, bearing etc). For an experienced engineer the size, shape and quantity of particles will quickly indicate whether the observed wear is benign or critical.

The XGT-7200 offers a range of X-ray beam diameters ensuring that particles of varying size can be confidently analysed, even when as small as 10 µm. In addition, SLICE software allows spectra from known alloys/materials to be archived – when an unknown metal particle is presented, its spectrum can be matched to known alloys within the database, ensuring the fastest possible identification.

Key areas which benefit from micro-XRF include:

  • Quantitative composition analysis
  • Automated multi-particle analysis
  • Imaging for particle shape
  • Metal/alloy identification


On the left an optical image shows wear particles, whilst typical XRF spectra are displayed on the right. These illustrate the capability for elemental “fingerprinting” – in this case magnesium and steel alloys are easily distinguished.