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Tag: X-ray spectrometry Ordering

Spectro has prepared an application note for their Pheonix II EDXRF analyser to determine sulphur levels in fuel. The instrument is designed for use in refineries, pipelines, terminals, tank farms and distribution centres. In production and sorting control, it is able to determine sulphur in accordance with ASTM D4294, IP 336, IP 496, ISO 8754 and ISO 20847. It can also measure high levels of sulphur in off-road diesel, aviation gasoline, kerosene, bunker fuel and crude oil as well as the low sulphur levels in gasoline and road diesels. Several elements can be measured in residual oils, lube oils, waste oils and cutting fluids.

Spectro Analytical Instruments Issue: 20/02 RSN: 182

PANalytical has published new data on the MiniPal 4 EDXRF and Axios-Petro WDXRF spectrometers which show the effectiveness and value in predictive machine maintenance programmes. As metal surfaces within a machine undergo physical and chemical wear, trace concentrations of the component metals appear in the lubricant. Elemental analysis of the lubricating oil provides a fingerprint of the worn component and enables its rapid identification. The precise quantification of wear metals in lubricating oils can significantly improve maintenance programmes and scheduled down time planning, minimise repair costs and increase safety margins by reducing the chance of catastrophic machine failure. The new application notes illustrate the detection limits, accuracy, precision and long-term stability of MiniPal 4 and Axios.

PANalytical Issue: 19/04 RSN: 084

In order to ensure a uniform quality of coated paper, it is necessary to regularly measure the thickness of the silicon during production, measured as the coat weight. Spectro has developed applications using the Spectro Pheonix II for this procedure. The robust, inexpensive benchtop XRF spectrometer is well suited to monitoring silicon coat weights down to less than 1 mg m–2 without the use of a helium purge and can be consistently operated even in harsh production climates. The applications have been documented in an Application Report. The analytical procedure documented in the report is user friendly and simple enough for non-technical operators. Samples of approximately 5 × 5 cm cut from different locations on the paper are placed in the spectrometer and the instrument displays the exact coating thickness within a few minutes. The report describes three test series dealing with the analytical performance for silicon coatings of varying coat weight on paper and clay-coated paper.

Spectro Analytical Instruments Issue: 19/04 RSN: 085


The analysis of hazardous elements, especially Cr, Br, Pb, Hg and Cd has become more important due to new regulations, restricting the use of these elements in consumer goods. New directives, as the “Packaging Directive”, “End-of-life vehicle” (ELV), “Reduction of Hazardous Substances” (RoHS) and “Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment” (WEEE) have been set up by the European Union to control risks to health and the environment. They apply to cars, packaging, as well as electronics and electrical equipment.


X-ray fluorescence (XRF) is a well-established technique for fast quantitative and qualitative elemental analysis. One very important area which is seeing increased interest is environmental science. XRF is already providing useful information for scientists working in this field, whether it be for quantitative analysis of contaminants in soils, identification of radioactive elements (e.g. uranium), composition analysis of rocks and minerals, characterisation of materials for recycling etc.

Glasses used in construction are referred to as flat glasses. Most of them are composed of about 70% silica, which is a glass former, soda as a flux in the form of carbonate and sulfate (about 14%), lime as a stabiliser in the form of limestone (about 10%). Other types of oxides like alumina or magnesia improve the physical characteristics of glass, particularly the resistance to atmospheric conditions. In-depth colouring is obtained by incorporation of various metallic oxides: oxides of chromium, iron, manganese or copper. As for glasses for car windshields, slight colouration is achieved by addition of ppm levels of cobalt oxides and selenium. An ARL ADVANT'XP XRF spectrometer from Thermo Electron Corporation has been used to derive limits of detection and precision for the analysis of glasses. A series of flat glass standard samples were measured. Calibration curves have been derived by relating intensities for each oxide (or element) to concentrations in the standard samples. Limits of detection at the 1 ppm level for metallic oxides in glasses are possible with the instrument. Even with short counting times very good short term stability is achieved. These results show that the ARL ADVANT'XP XRF spectrometer is well suited to produce high precision results for the determination of the main oxides and the colouring agents in glasses.

Thermo Fisher Scientific Issue: 16/02 RSN: 111

The Amptek Inc. XR-100T-CdTe X-ray detector and MCA8000A multichannel analyser make a powerful tool for characterising the stability of X-ray tubes and controllers. The use of the EXVC Collimator placed in front of the detector reduces the X-ray flux and avoids detector saturation. The detector can now look directly at the x-ray tube and take an energy spectrum at regular intervals to monitor performance. A program has been developed that automatically controls the MCA8000A and saves a complete spectrum at user-defined intervals. In addition, it produces a file consisting of the "total counts" in each spectrum. Figure 1 shows output X-rays (total counts file) over 6 hours. The inset is a graph of one of the spectra saved. Between the total counts file and the full spectrum at each point, a total analysis can be made of the X-ray tube stability and integrity. The plot also shows the average, predicted standard deviation, calculated standard deviation and current stability. The total counts file enables these four calculations to be made easily in any spreadsheet program.

Amptek Inc Issue: 16/02 RSN: 110

As a result of the EU directives for end-of-life vehicles and waste electrical and electronic equipment, Spectro have developed an application for the energy-dispersive XRF system, the Xepos, for the analysis of heavy metal, which can be used for determining the required levels of cadmium, lead, mercury and chromium. Multi-element analysis for the heavy metals listed in the directive can be performed within 500 seconds and a cadmium-only analysis within 300 seconds. Sample preparation is simple as the material only has to be ground up and then measured as a bulk material. Other fields of application include the automotive industry and their suppliers, the electronics industry, cable importers and compounders

Spectro Analytical Instruments Issue: 15/01 RSN: 159

A free CD-ROM developed by Spectro Analytical especially for the field of petrochemical elemental analysis informs users about the potential applications and advantages of x-ray fluorescence analysis in the production and processing of raw materials, intermediate and final petrochemical products. Beginning with basic measurement principles and including detailed descriptions of special applications, like the detection of sulphur in fuel in the lower ppm (µg g–1) via polarisation technology, the CD contains knowledge that reflects the present state of analytical technology. Practical applications are also an important component of the CD with reports from renowned companies on the application as well as the performance of XRF analysis in on-site use.

Spectro Analytical Instruments Issue: 14/05 RSN: 149

Phosphorus acts as a lubricating agent for steel coatings, preventing damage to expensive stamping machines as steel panels are pressed into various components or shapes. The use of the Titan Energy Dispersive X-Ray fluorescence spectrometer to analyse P on steel is described in an Application Report from Spectro. The X-Site Pro software permits zeroing of substrates, allowing one calibration to serve for many different coils.

Spectro Analytical Instruments Issue: 12/03 RSN: 282

There are many industrial and commercial applications for silicone coated fabric. In order to ensure quality and process control, and to ensure an optimum, cost-effective coat weight, the amount of silicon coating must be measured precisely. The use of the Asoma Model 674T ED XRF spectrometer for this is described in an application note. The thickness of silicone coatings can be determined in about 20 s with 5–6% relative precision, over a concentration range of 25–40 g m–2 of silicone.

Spectro Analytical Instruments Issue: 11/04 RSN: 204

The analysis of limestone has been done in the past by dissolution followed by atomic absorption or ICP-AES spectrometry, or by XRF. These techniques do not yield the analytical accuracy desired for all elements. AA and ICP-AES lack accuracy due to potential errors in dilution and the fact that analytical results must be multiplied by large dilution factors. XRF has problems determining low atomic weight elements such as Al, Mg, P and Na. Leeman Labs have released an application note describing the analysis of limestone using the A30 Metal Alloy Analyser.

Leeman Labs Germany GmbH Issue: 11/01 RSN: 154

The measurement of P, S, Ca and Zn in lubricating oil is described in application note from ASOMA. The elemental concentration of each element can be determined in about 6.5 minutes with the following precision: 1.2% relative for P, 0.28% relative for S, 0.23% relative for Ca and 0.16% relative for Zn. No sample preparation or digestion is required; analysis just involves pouring the sample into a sample cup, presenting it to the 300T EDXRF instrument, and pressing the analyse button.

Spectro Analytical Instruments Issue: 11/01 RSN: 156

ASOMA have developed an application for the 300T benchtop EDXRF analyser that measures P, NaCl and Ca in the range of 0.1 - 0.5%. It is important to be able to monitor the concentrations of elements such as these in animal food. The proper concentrations of these elements must be maintained in order to ensure consistency in flavour, salt concentration and nutritional supplementation from product to product. The method enables the determination in about 5 mins of the elemental concentration, with an absolute precision of ±0.1%; no sample preparation or digestion is required.

Spectro Analytical Instruments Issue: 10/06 RSN: 170

Two application notes from ARL describe the use of their 9400 XRF spectrometer for the analysis of trace elements in pure platinum (No. 206) and in pure silver (No. 207). The optimum use of primary beam filters is one important consideration in achieving good results.

Thermo Fisher Scientific Issue: 10/05 RSN: 161