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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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Using a Platinum Crucible for Sample Fusion

Sample fusion involves dosing a powdered or granulated mineral sample with a careful ratio of lithium borate and any requisite additives, before melting the mixture in a high-temperature fusion heater. The heating chamber of a fusion fluxer regularly reaches temperatures of up to 1250°C (2282°F), necessitating precision labware with extreme thermodynamic stability and zero cross-reactivity with samples.

Platinum crucibles are routinely used for high-temperature sample fusion, owing to the material’s extremely high melting point and low chemical reactivity even at elevated temperatures. This enables analysts to prepare high-purity samples of near-perfect homogenous quality for accurate x-ray fluorescence (XRF) or inductively-coupled plasma (ICP) analysis.

In a previous ...

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