FAST Flame - High Throughput Automated Sample Introduction for PerkinElmer Flame AA Instruments

FAST Flame Benefits:

  • High speed automated analysis
  • One load-inject-rinse cycle takes ~ 6 seconds
  • 560 samples per hour, up to 40% more than manual analysis
  • Reliable pumped sample introduction
  • Fast washout and low carryover

Flame Atomic Absorption (FAA) instruments offer extremely high throughput—often around 10 seconds per analysis—for samples requiring the determination of just one or a few elements. The FAA is easy to use, has a relatively low operating cost, and produces results that align well with historical data collected over the last 40 years.

In busy laboratories, many FAA instruments are manually operated. This is because sample uptake and washout with conventional autosamplers takes longer than a human moving a short self-aspiration capillary into each sample tube. The additional cost, space requirements, and slower speed offset most of the benefits of conventional FAA automation.

To improve productivity of FAA instruments, ESI engineered the FAST Flame high-speed automation system (Fig. 1 and Fig. 3). The FAST Flame vacuum loads samples from the test tube to a sample loop located near the AA nebulizer. When the valve injects the sample, it is introduced to the AA nebulizer at a rate of about 5 ml/min for fast injection and fast washout (Fig. 2 and Fig. 4). Rapid injection and washout result in a FAST Flame throughput of over 560 samples per hour—up to 40% higher than manual analysis for a single element determination.

A variety of high capacity autosamplers are available to appropriately match the sample requirements of your lab and capabilities of the FAST Flame (Table 1). Linear standard curves and excellent recovery of standard solution concentrations obtained using FAST Flame illustrates the systems precision and accuracy (Fig. 5 and Table 2), as well as long-term stability (Fig. 6).

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Table 1. FAST Flame systems are available with four
autosamplers of increasing sample capacity

FAST Flame Systems for the PinAAcle 900
Part Number Description
SC-2 DX FAST Flame system
SC-4 DX FAST Flame system
SC-8 DX FAST Flame system
SC-14 DX FAST Flame system

FAST Flame Systems for the AAnalyst 400
Part Number Description
SC-2 DX FAST Flame system
SC-4 DX FAST Flame system
SC-8 DX FAST Flame system
SC-14 DX FAST Flame system

Table 2. 10 automated analyses in one minute.

Analysis of 10 Samples in 1 minute
FAST Flame PerkinElmer AAnalyst 400
Concentration Time Cu 324.75 (ppm)
1 ppm
2 ppm
6 ppm
2 ppm
2 ppm
2 ppm
1:37:43 PM
1:37:51 PM
1:37:59 PM
1:38:07 PM
1:38:15 PM
1:38:24 PM
1:38:33 PM
1:38:41 PM
1:38:50 PM
1:38:58 PM


Figure 2. Three-step high-speed flame AA automation. The entire cycle takes ~ 8 seconds.

Step 1. (< 1 s) Load sample loop while
nebulizer washes the previous sample.

Step 2. (4 s) Inject sample and move probe
above the next sample.

Step 3. (< 2 s) After measurement is complete, the sample loop is evacuated, the nebulizer rinses and the probe moves down to the next sample.

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PE FAA with the ESI FAST Flame Valve

PE FAA with the ESI FAST Flame Valve

Download HD Video of FAST Flame (.mp4)

All FAST Flame Systems Include:

  • SC-DX FAST autosampler
  • High-purity fluoropolymer injection valve and connections
  • 2-channel MP2 precision micro peristaltic pump
  • Connector for PE AA nebulizer
  • Tee for optional online addition of ionization buffer or diluent

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