Mining instruments in-depth product review: Radiation-based density measurement

11 January 2021 (Last Updated January 11th, 2021 17:30)

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Mining instruments in-depth product review: Radiation-based density measurement

Vega’s Minitrac is a radiation-based density measurement device that uses gamma rays that penetrate matter and measure its density. As a contactless measurement method, it is suitable for extreme applications, including working with very corrosive, aggressive and abrasive products.

The system works by fixing a detector at one side of a pipe and a small radiation source at the other. The detector senses the intensity of the gamma rays that make it through the pipe from the source. The radiometric sensor, MINITRAC, has a point-shaped detector with an anorganic scintillator of sodium iodide (NaI). If there is material between the source and the detector, such as slurry flowing through a pipe, a corresponding portion of the radiation is absorbed depending on its density. The system compares the emitted radiation level with the detected level to calculate the density/concentration of the product. If a temperature sensor is connected, the device takes heat expansion of the materials into account. The sensor then outputs the density of the medium at the reference temperature selected by the user instead of the measured density.

Caesium or Cobalt with low radiating intensity is enclosed in the VegaSource holder, which consists of a lead-filled steel mantle that absorbs the gamma rays of the radioactive source, lowering them to permissible limit values. The selection of the radioactive source and sensor depends on the dimensions of the vessel/pipeline, wall thicknesses, typical density of the measured product, measuring range, and whether there are installations in the path of the beam.

The VegaSource container has a small, closable radiation channel that allows focused radioactive rays to escape. The channel is opened and closed using a 180° rotatable insert, which includes a padlock to secure the switch in the off position. A fire-proof version with an expansion tank is also available.

For more information about the Fibretrac, Solitrac, Minitrac and VegaSource or to find out which process instrumentation equipment is best suited for your application, visit Vega’s website.

 

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