Surface Layer Activation (SLA)

aka Thin Layer Activation (TLA)

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What is On-Line SLA?

A thin layer and pre-selected area of the surface of a machine component is labeled with radio-isotopes. Once the activated part has been installed and the machine reassembled, specific measuring equipment can detect the gamma rays emanating from the activity.

During the wear or corrosion process, the loss of material results in a loss of activity at the surface of the part and an accumulation of activated particles in the lubricant. By placing a gamma ray detector near the activated component or near the lubricant circuit reservoir or filter, the movement of the activity is very precisely measured. These measured values are computer-processed rapidly, and the on-line monitoring of the degradation is delivered.

The system is able to deliver a non-contacting and continuous measurement of wear and corrosion, even for parts at inaccessible locations. The results are extremely precise (0.1µm--0.01µm). Moreover, the exact location of the loss is known. The measurements are performed under real operating condition.


Very high sensitivity ==>

Faster development

On-line measurements ==>

Dynamic studies

Selective labeling ==>

Exact localization of wear

Remote measurements ==>

Study inaccessible locations

Residual method

Residual Method (aka Direct or TLD)

This method consists of placing the detector near the activated component's labeled zone. The activity can be detected through the engine wall. As the activated material is removed from the zone, the activity decreases. This loss of activity is then converted on-line into the equivalent material loss.

Flow Through method

Flow-Through Method (aka Concentration or Debris)

This method is used when the wear particles can be collected in a lubricant circuit. The increasing amount of activity in suspension in the lubricant is monitored, or the wear particles are captured by a filter or a magnet. This increase of activity is then converted on-line into the equivalent material loss.

Activation Services

Activation Services

ANS Technologies operates its own activation facility at the University of Montreal. We are equipped to perform proton, deuteron and heavy-ion activations on a wide variety of components, materials and geometries. We also cooperate with other facilities to provide additional services of neutron activation, Be implantation, specialized profiles, and heavy targets.

Activation Services

Track-Wear Products

In order to perform SLA tests, a variety of equipment is required. ANS Technologies has developed most of the equipment that we use, and these products are available for purchase and rental for in-house users of SLA. These products include:

Activation Services

On-Site Services

ANS Technologies has personnel who travel across North America performing SLA tests at the customers' facilities. Our personnel are available both short and long term, at very reasonable prices. We pride ourselves on providing the best support possible. Your test is our test !

Off-Line Applications

Off-line applications can be performed for interested customers. ANS performs the activation of the needed components and sends them back to the customer. Once the experiment is completed, the components are sent back to ANS. Residual measurements are made, and the results are fully described in a written report.

Service Packages

Service packages are available to meet the customer's specific needs. Some typically examples are:

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