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Glass Bead Machines for XRF Analysis of Iron Ore

Analyzing iron ore through x-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis is a complicated procedure with interest from multiple industrial and academic disciplines. Chemists, mining engineers, and geological archaeologists all have cause to assess the composition of iron ore down to the sub-parts per million (ppm) range.

Glass bead machines enable analysts to prepare iron ore samples of nearly ideal homogenous consistencies for ultra-precise analysis of iron ore. Once the extracted geological sample has been crushed to a fine consistency with particle sizes of no more than 100 micrometres (µm), it can be carefully doped with a suitable lithium metaborate and lithium tetraborate flux mixture for sample fusion in a glass bead machine.

The Phoenix gas fusion glass bead machine has prove...

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Muffle Furnaces for High-Temperature Laboratory Heating

A muffle furnace is a critical component for high-temperature laboratory heating, enabling samples to be heat-treated at temperatures exceeding 1000°C (1832°F) with low risk of cross-contamination. This is due to the mechanical arrangement of the hearth, which is heated with high-purity metallic elements as opposed to gas burners. These components are fabricated using electrically-conductive metals with high mechanical stability at elevated temperatures.

This article will explore the components of a muffle furnace in more detail.

 

The Components of a Muffle Furnace

Kanthal wiring is routinely used to fabricate heating elements for muffle furnaces. This iron-chromium-aluminum (FeCrAl) alloy retains its physical integrity at increased temperatures as ...

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Improving the Service Lives of Platinum Crucibles

Platinum crucibles for sample fusion processes are regularly subjected to significant thermodynamic strain and corrosive molten media that can cause gradual mechanical wearing and premature component failure, despite the materials’ inherent low reactivity. This can be problematic for chemical analysts preparing fused discs or beads for x-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis as degradations in the chemical topography of a platinum crucible’s uppermost surface layers can drastically reduce the accuracy of results. It can also cause labware to develop cracks, which leak molten fluids and cause significant damage to fusion machines.

These conditions rarely arise because of defective platinum labware. Most commonly, platinum crucibles fail due to poor process control procedures. This a...

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