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Using a Fusion Machine for XRF Sample Preparation

Sample preparation is the process of treating a sample before it is analyzed. For XRF applications, the better a sample is prepared the better and more accurate the results will be.

There are many methods of sample preparation, which all have their own benefits. This blog post will discuss the use of a fusion machine for XRF sample preparation.

Fusion Sample Preparation

For XRF analysis, samples prepared using fusion to form fused beads provide a nearly ideal homogeneous representation of the sample. This is why this method is often considered the best for solids.

Either a gas or electric fusion machine can be used to perform this sample preparation. The fused beads are produced by mixing a flux with a sample that has been finely powdered and then heating this mixture to temperatures of 1000oC to 1200oC in a platinum crucible. This results in the sample being dissolved in the flux, and it is then cast into a mold. What results from this process is a fused bead of the structure that is free of any mineral structures.

Sample preparation using a fusion machine is beneficial as it reduces the matrix effects that can cause less accurate analysis, and multiple different samples can be combined in the same calibration process.

Fusion machines from XRF Scientific use borate fusion, which is a fusion process that dissolved an oxidized sample in a molten flux. Typical samples prepared using borate fusion include ceramics, rocks, ores, and cement. Sub-oxidized samples can also be prepared using borate fusion after an oxidation step. The typical flux used for borate fusion is lithium tetraborate and lithium metaborate.


Gas or Electric Fusion Machines

XRF Scientific supply both gas and electric fusion machines for XRF sample preparation, each has its own advantages over the other.

Both electric and gas fusion machines have long-term reliability, ensuring maintenance and machine downtime is reduced. The reaction that occurs within the machines is also visible.

Gas machines provide the highest level of automatic throughput for fast and efficient sample preparation and a low level of sample contamination. Electric automatic machines provide zero sample contamination and a high level of automatic throughput. Manual electric machines have a simple operation and provide the highest level of manual throughput.

Fusion Machines from XRF Scientific

XRF Scientific provide a range of gas and electric fusion machines for sample preparation. The team at XRF Scientific are available to provide support and assist when making the decision about the best fusion machine for your application. If you would like any more information about our fusion machines, please contact us.