The technological alternative to on-line analysers using a radioactive source emerged in the 80s following a feasibility study conducted by Sodern, Lafarge and Laboratoire Central des Ponts et Chaussées to analyse the elemental composition of the raw materials of cement with an electrical neutron source rather than an isotopic source such as Cf-252.
This project came into being a few years later, following close collaboration between SODERN and Polysius for the design of the world's first on-line analyser using an electrical neutron source, the PolabCNA, the first of which was installed in 1999 at Florida Rock Industries in the United States.
On the strength of this successful experiment, SODERN continued its R&D efforts to increase the life of the tubes, improve its design and data processing and adapt the CNA to other markets, such as the coal and minerals industries.
Since 2005, SODERN has thus been marketing the SODERN CNA which combines a safe modular design with state-of-the-art electronics and easy installation. This new-version analyser rapidly convinced cement manufacturers. Then, to continue to meet its clients' needs and expectations, SODERN focused its research and development on the electrical neutron source in the aim of increasing the life cycle and therefore the availability of the analyser. Since 2009, all CNAs are equipped with the latest neutron emission module with the Sodilog LL tube which has a lifetime of some 12,000 working hours.
In March 2010, SODERN signed an exclusive distribution agreement with PANalytical which is tasked with the sale and maintenance of the Sodern CNA worldwide. PANalytical is the world's leading supplier of instrumentation, software and automatic solutions for X-ray diffraction and X-ray fluorescence spectrometry. The unique PFTNA (Pulsed Fast & Thermal Neutron Activation) technology combined with PANalytical's wide global coverage will provide our clients with a comprehensive range of products and services as well as optimum technical support from the local teams.