Choosing a X-Ray Fluorescence Measuring Device for Chrome Coating



After over 15 years with the old one, I am starting to investigate the purchase of a new X-Ray Flourescence device for measuring the thickness of thin dense chrome coating (.00001" - .001"). I would like to know if anyone else has purchased such a device in the last few years for a similar application and what their experience has been with the device and the technical support supplied by the manufacturer.

I am looking for a benchtop, computer driven device, not a handheld product. I am only just starting out on this search, so help with questions and parameters to direct at the manufacturers would also be appreciated.

Thanks in advance for your help.:thanx:

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Take a look at something like this:

I have an oldie but goodie of theirs (Kevex Analyst) which I believe will do thickness measurement. I've never used it for that myself but was told by the guy who helped me set it up that it has that capability. The software was ahead of its time.

What I like about Thermo is their tech support. I have a couple of instruments which were manufactured by companies which Thermo later bought out. I have never had any problems getting friendly and helpful tech support from them, even though I was not the original buyer. If I could afford new equipment I'd look at them for the tech support alone.

Disclaimer - I am not affiliated with Thermo, I am just a very happy customer.


I believe that Thermo Fischer have discontinued the Micron X line as of this year. This was a very expensive tool and probably overkill for your chrome application if you consider price-performance ratio.

There are much less expensive, reliable instruments (CMI 900 series) available that will do this application for you. If your chrome plating is plated over a ferrous substrate material you may even be able to do it with a non-X-Ray device using magnetic induction method, we offer bench top models called the CMI 700 you may want to investigate as well. We also produce NIST traceable reference standards in accordance with ISO 17025 that can be used with the instrument to give you audit traceability.

Good luck with your search.


Hi Larry,

For measuring chrome plating thickness, you also need to consider the substrate material the chrome is plated over. If it is magnetic steel and depending on configuration and mass of the parts you are looking to measure there may be some alternative methods to XRF as well.

One such method is magnetic induction and is available in small benchtop or portable system configurations from various vendors.

There are also other cost effective XRF instruments on the market available. A good source of further information for you in the New England area would be the guys at TRS, Inc. in Amesbury, MA. You can reach them at 978-388-7113. They are well versed in the different technologies and have been found to be very helpful in this area in the past.

Good luck in your search.


For additional clarification of our needs, as a chrome plating supplier for medical, aerospace and commercial products, we plate a full range of materail substrates, from stainless steels to carbon steels, brass, bronze, inconel, k-monel and aluminum. We need a device that can detect chrome plating thicknesses of .00001" - .001" over both magnetic and non-magnetic substrates.


Hi Larry,

In that case, XRF will cover all substrates and magnetic induction would not be a good choice unless you do a high volume over magnetic steels and would like a portable device for that work that would allow you to carry around to sites for spot checking. Perhaps a combination of the two types of instruments would be of interest to you.

Good luck!
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