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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-prepared fusion flux mixtures containing lithium metaborate in more detail:

Lithium Metaborate Fusion Flux Mixtures

Lithium metaborate can be mixed with lithium tetraborate to produce fusion fluxes of various ratios, each with different pH levels and XRF sample preparation applications. A granular x-ray flux mixture of 35.3% lithium tetraborate and 64.7% lithium metaborate, for example, has universal application for alumino-silicates and is more suitable to solid sample preparation for materials such as: iron ore; nickel; cement; mineral sands; and uranium. Its significantly increased melting point compared to pure lithium metaborate is also beneficial to the longevity and durability of fusion apparatus.

Fusion flux mixtures of lithium metaborate and lithium tetraborate with ratios of 50:50 and 66:34 are also available from XRF Scientific, for general purpose sample preparation of various pH neutral samples, including alumina. We also provide custom x-ray flux formulations with varying mixtures of lithium metaborate, lithium tetraborate, and additives such as sodium nitrate oxidizing agents – in the region of 5 – 20% of the overall mixture.

The chemical composition of the lithium metaborate flux required will vary based on the different physical structures and compound mixtures being prepared for analysis. Product selection at this stage is crucial for accurate results and data collection, as purity, moisture retention, and even surface area of a flux material can detrimentally affect fusion conditions, thus results of the XRF sample analysis.

Lithium metaborate is typically implemented to prepare samples as fused beads or discs for XRF analysis, as this system is intended to strip away the mineralogical structures of a sample to represent it homogenously, free of matrix effects. However, if a sample is prepared incorrectly, it can lead to poor and inaccurate results when the sample is analyzed through a spectrometer.

Fusion Fluxes from XRF Scientific

XRF Scientific provides a robust range of fusion flux chemicals for sample preparation, with a fully-transparent brochure of the chemical properties of each of our pre-prepared lithium metaborate and lithium tetraborate fluxes.

If you are unable to find a suitable mixture for your XRF sample preparation requirements, then please do not hesitate to contact us. Our team is available to provide support on the best chemical products for your unique sample preparation requirements.