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The Importance of using a Reference Material for XRF

A reference material is a control used to validate the quality and traceability of a sample and to validate the methods used to analyze these materials. Reference materials are often used in analytical chemistry to perform these validations, as most analytical instruments gather comparative data. A comparison of the reference material and the sample under test provides a range of information in XRF analysis, including the coating thickness and other material surface properties.

Types of Reference Materials

Depending on the product under analysis there is a range of reference materials that can be employed.

Pure chemicals are often used, especially in applications that require chemical purity or trace chemical analysis. Reference materials can also be characterized by their chemical composition, and they can be chosen for their specific trace chemical constituents or their properties, such as melting point, optical density, or viscosity.

Certified Reference Materials

Certified reference material are the preferred choice when performing XRF analysis, as they are accredited by international standards, ensuring that calibration is extremely precise. There is a lot of evidence to suggest certified reference materials have a high level of metrological traceability and reduce measurement uncertainty.

The availability of certified reference materials can be limited and reference materials that don’t meet the criteria for the certified status are more widely available.

Reference Materials from XRF Scientific

XRF Scientific has developed and manufactured a range of reference materials that can be used specifically for XRF sample preparation.

Our fused borate calibration beads are available as single and multi-element standards, and they can be customized to specific calibrations. Depending on your requirements, these beads can be customized to exact analytical requirements, or manufactured from certified reference materials.

XRF Scientific also supply Rocklabs Reference Materials, which are pulverized rock with a known gold content. These materials are suitable for analysis via aqua regia digest or fire assay, and they are available in a range of weights. These Au-Ag and Pt-Pd-Au reference materials provide guaranteed homogeneity for quality assurance and quality control applications.

A synthetic iron ore calibration standard is manufactured by XRF Scientific from high purity synthetic compounds according to ISO 9516-1:2003(E). This reference material has the extra addition of NaCl and a compensating decrease of SiO2.

The ISO 9516 standard does not include chlorine or sodium, but they were requested to be included. The sodium chloride was dried at 105oC before it was added to the reference material.

If you would like any more information about the reference materials available from XRF Scientific, please contact us.