Neutron analysis

Sodern is a world leader in neutron analysis. What is it and how is it useful?

Neutron analysis is based on very complex technology. Roughly speaking, a Sodern neutron source generates neutrons which interact with the atoms of the material we want to analyze. This reaction provokes gamma radiation which is rich in data: our algorithms study this information to analyze the atomic elements of the target material and their concentration.

A neutron source generates neutrons which interact with the atoms.
Enable to determine and analyze the composition of subsoil.

An application example: the FastGradeTM mining probe

FastGradeTM has revolutionized the mining sector. Designed to study the atomic composition of a mine’s subsoil, the probe can replace highly costly traditional drilling and sampling operations with quasi-real time analysis: 1 day is now all it takes to obtain the composition of the land around the drilling hole, compared with 1 month for traditional methods!

What are the advantages provided by the FastGradeTM probe?

More environmentally-friendly
The neutron probe's accuracy, in relation to traditional core drilling methods, enables the miner to extract the ore in a much more accurate way, and to limit post-extraction processing operations. Transport and processing (crushing, etc.) operations are then heavily reduced, along with the carbon footprint.
FastGradeTM enables some of the core drilling operations to be eliminated and so reduce workers' exposure to a complex and potentially dangerous mine environment, increasing their safety.
Eliminating sampling enables much quicker in situ analysis, with real-time results
More economical
In 2015, BHP's chief executive said that BHP has eliminated the need to drill expensive diamond wells to confirm data, which will enable us to save over 10 million US dollars in 2015".

At the core of material analysis: the neutron tube

Sodern systems analyze the material through neutron analysis with a neutron tube or neutron generator.

Our tubes have been at the heart of our know-how for nearly sixty years and provide science and industry players with the power and reliability of these particles. For example, they make a valuable contribution to laboratory applications, or quality control.

We produce nearly 100 neutron tubes per year, and these are used by a wide variety of companies or research institutes in more than 40 countries around the world, reinforcing our position as the world leader in this market.