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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 that it is not a fluffy powder, but dense. It also has to be manufactured at temperatures above 900oC in an industrial furnace. To ensure there are no errors introduced from moisture the flux should be dry and any moisture adhering to the surface is eliminated.

Preparing a Sample with a Lithium Tetraborate Fusion Flux

To perform sample preparation, the sample under test is weighed to an exact ratio with the lithium tetraborate fusion flux, and these weights are recorded. They are both placed in a platinum crucible and mixed before a fusion machine is used to heat the mixture until it melts together to form a single homogenous hot liquid.

Once the sample is fully dissolved, the mixture is poured into a platinum mold until it sets into a solid glass disc. This disc is then ready to be analyzed in an XRF spectrometer.

Lithium Tetraborate Fusion Flux from XRF Scientific

XRF Scientific supply a range of different fusion flux for XRF sample preparation. Our Lithium Tetraborate 100% flux is classed as acidic, which makes it unsuitable for highly acidic samples. It is often used for samples with higher concentrations of oxide samples, or samples that contain a high percentage of limestone.

Typical applications of this flux include copper sulfate, calcium oxide, and magnesium oxide.

At XRF Scientific we also supply various other fusion flux products with a mix of lithium tetraborate and lithium metaborate in varying ratios for a range of applications.

If you would like any more information about our lithium tetraborate fusion flux products, please get in touch.