X-ray fluorescence | Specialty Gases | Coregas NZ

X-ray fluorescence

XRF is a highly versatile non-destructive analytical technique suited to liquid, powder and solid samples. It requires the P10 instrumentation gas mixture for the operation of its detector.

XRF and its associated techniques of WDXRF and EDXRF are popular analytical techniques because they are relatively sensitive, low-cost, non-destructive methods for elemental analysis. Their use is also widespread because they can analyse liquid, powder and solid samples with minimal preparation effort. This ensures that they can be applied across a diverse range of industries such as iron and steel making, cement production, mining, oil refining and food and beverage processing.

The principle of operation is to generate x-rays and reflect them from the sample to a detector. There are several detectors which may be selected and one of these, the proportional counter, requires a constant flow of an instrumentation gas mixture with 10% Methane in Argon to function.

Coregas is able to supply this gas mixture plus the appropriate gas control equipment to ensure safe and continuous supply of the gas to the XRF detector. For smaller laboratories with intermittent use of the XRF instrumentation for R&D applications, a two-stage cylinder pressure regulator, such as our Spectrolab FM53 is perfect. When the instrument is in heavy duty use in a production or operational environment, perhaps for continuous analysis of petrochemical products or for mineral ore assay, it is recommended to use an automatic changeover panel such as our Spectron BM56 unit to ensure continuity of gas supply during cylinder switching. This ensures that the instrument is always available for sample analysis.

Typical Usage Case

XRF for iron and steel assay

Analysis of iron and steel is conducted for the inspection of raw materials, intermediate product quality determination for process control and end product quality assurance. Much of the routine analysis of steel involves wet chemistry or ICP-AES. However, these methods are destructive and require dissolution of the alloy and therefore long sample preparation times. The use of XRF as an alternative technique is attractive in many fields and especially for metal alloy analysis, for example, the elemental composition of steel can be performed using X-ray fluorescence. Sample preparation for XRF is less much faster than ICP or wet chemistry. The solid sample only needs to be polished prior to analysis. So,the XRF technique has many advantages: it is fast, accurate, non destructive and has a limit of detection in the range of a few ppm for most elements. For these reasons, XRF is widely used in many mineral resources applications such as metallurgy, geology and mineralogy.