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Using Lithium Metaborate XRF Sample Preparation

Lithium metaborate (LiBO2) is a chemical compound used in borate fusion for x-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis, and in fusion flux mixtures for other sample preparation methods.

It is available from XRF Scientific as lithium metaborate 100%, which is available in both granular and beaded physical structures, both of which have a high reactivity with acidic samples and a melting point of 845°C, accounting for its low volatility. It, therefore, has a high suitability to wet chemistry applications.

We also supply fusion flux chemicals comprised of lithium metaborate and lithium tetraborate (Li2B4O7), as well as various oxidizing additives, for a range of XRF sample preparation applications.

This article will explore pre-prepa...

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Understanding Lithium Tetraborate Fusion

Lithium Tetraborate (also known as lithium borate) is the lithium salt of boric acid, a weak, monobasic Lewis acid of boron. The chemical compound is often used in spectrometry as a fusion flux for sample preparation. Samples prepared using a lithium tetraborate fusion flux are highly accurate, and materials such as glass, cement, steel, nickel, and copper often use this method.

Lithium Tetraborate Fusion Flux Considerations 

When using a fusion flux for sample preparation, there are specific considerations that must be made to ensure the best sample. The flux must be of a high quality, with little to no impurities, and for successful mixing, it must have a physical structure that is similar to the sample.

The flux has to be pre-fused to ensure th...

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Choosing a Platinum Crucible

One of the most valuable tools of the analytical chemist is the platinum crucible. Platinum crucibles are commonly used for XRF sample preparation, wet chemistry, ash testing, and Loss on Ignition (LOI) applications.

Platinum crucibles are made with just enough strength required for use in the chemical laboratory. Typically, platinum crucibles and their covers weigh about as many grams as they hold in cubic centimeters. Hence, a platinum crucible with a volume of 25 cubic centimeters weighs 25 grams, including the cover.

Making Platinum Crucibles

This production guideline determines and restricts the thickness of the platinum crucible’s bottom and side wall. The crucibles are crafted from platinum sheets cut into discs or blanks that are rotat...

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