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Using Reference Materials for XRF Analysis

X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis enables researchers to accurately map the elemental compositions of a sample by observing extremely weak fluorescent signals in a spectrometry sample chamber. This equipment must display exceptional long-term stability and precision to ensure that test results remain within acceptable parameters. These parameters are regularly monitored using reference materials, which are pre-defined elemental compositions of established laboratory standards.

XRF reference materials are homogenous samples of tightly-controlled molecular contents. They enable analysts to perform precise quality control and assurance tests by providing a recognized industry benchmark from which to test the accuracy of a spectrometer or other measurement instrumentation.

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How Does a Fusion Fluxer Work?

Fusion fluxers are sample preparation instruments for both X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and inductively coupled plasma (ICP) analysis – both of which enable researchers to accurately assess the elemental composition of solid samples. Quality control of construction materials such as iron and cement can be assessed through XRF analysis, while ICP spectroscopy is available for numerous specialized applications. However, both analytical methodologies require samples to be prepared as either near-homogenous or high-purity heterogenous mixtures to ensure good results accuracy.

Assessing samples without fusion flux preparation can result in significant results inaccuracy, with unfinished solid samples exhibiting surface variations that can interfere with an XRF spectrometer’s calibrati...

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Glass Bead Machines: Gas or Electric Fusion?

X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis is a sensitive process that enables researchers to observe the elemental composition and concentration of samples non-destructively, but these samples must be carefully prepared to provide actionable data for any application. Granulated powders, for example, may exhibit surface area irregularities that can introduce errors to analytical processes. To acquire better insights into homogenous XRF reactions, researchers commonly prepare samples using glass bead machines.

A glass bead machine uses borate fusion to dissolve oxidized solid sample particles in a flux mixture at temperatures of up to 1250°C (2192°F). The molten mixture is then cast in a mold and cooled to produce seamless sample beads for XRF analysis. These temperatures can be generate...

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