Industrial gauges

Nucleonic gauges or nucleonic control systems (NCS) can be defined as "gauges used for controlling industrial processes by means of measurements based on interactions between ionising radiations and matter".

Nucleonic control systems have been widely used in many industries to improve the quality of their products, optimise processes and save energy and materials. It is considered that NCS technology is by far the most requested among other industrial nuclear techniques. Their economic benefits have been widely demonstrated and recognised by industries.

There are several hundred thousand nucleonic gauges installed in industries all over the world. Simple, one parameter, static measuring nucleonic gauges are commercially available from several manufacturers. However, a significant number of NCS are not yet in the market as standard products and the development of a new generation of nucleonic devices is ongoing.

Simple nucleonic gauges first began to be used in industry over forty years ago. Since then, there has been a continuous expansion in their usage. The competition from alternative methods shows that NCS have survived and prospered in the past because of their superiority in certain areas to conventional methods. The success of NCS is due primarily to the ability, conferred by their unique properties, to collect data, which cannot be obtained by other investigative techniques.


 Nucleonic density gauge (source holder)

Some applications

There are two main application fields for nucleonic gauges: manufacture industries and natural resource exploration and exploitation.

The former includes civil engineering, packaging, paper, pulp and plastics, metallurgy, chemical, and petrochemical industries and safety. Here the main uses NCS are level detection and measuring, thickness or area weight measuring (plastic films, rubber, adhesive layers, fibreglass, plastic or electrolytic coatings, metallic lames), density, bulk weight and moisture measuring and analysis of compounds.

Concerning natural resource exploration and exploitation, nucleonic gauges play their role in flow rate measuring, mineral analysis ("in-situ"), on-line concentration measuring, slurry analysis, well-logging and density, moisture and level measuring.


Periodical verification and preventive maintenance is needed for a nucleonic gauge to work properly all along its useful life. These tasks should include calibration control, replace of some mechanic parts, lubrication, control of shutter operation, possibly verification of the source movement system, wipe-test assays, determination of isodosis curves and eventual replacement of decayed radioactive sources.

More information ...




  • Design of new nucleonic gauges.

  • Maintenance.

  • Wipe-test assays.

  • Determination of isodosis curves.

  • Replacement of sealed radioactive sources.

  • Calibration.



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