A new service from Ace Grinding:
Material Grade Verification

Ace Grinding can either determine or confirm the grade of material you have, fast, easy and without damage to your sample!

Advantages include:

* Tube-based system eliminates costly resourcing and loss of speed.
* Multi-element Analysis - in one measurement.
* Definitive Pos./Neg. Classifications.
* No isotope licensing or travel restrictions.
* Ergonomic, lightweight design.
* Versatile PDA platform.
* Easily measures uneven surfaces.
* field-portable X-ray fluorescence (FP-XRF)

Ace Grinding can use this technology to test for lead in children's toys!

The XRF spectroscopy is widely used for the qualitative and quantitative elemental analysis of environmental, geological, biological, industrial and other samples. Compared to other competetitive techniques, such as Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS), Inductively Coupled Plasma Spectroscopy (ICPS) and Neutron Activation Analysis (NAA), XRF has the advantage of being non-destructive, multi-elemental, fast and cost-effective. Furthermore, it provides a fairly uniform detection limit across a large portion of the Periodic Table and is applicable to a wide range of concentrations, from a 100% to few parts per million (ppm). Its main disadvantage is that analyses are generally restricted to elements heavier than fluorine.

Basic principle

The X-ray fluorescence principle is depicted in Figure 1. An inner shell electron is excited by an incident photon in the X-ray region. During the de-excitation process, an electron is moving from a higher energy level to fill the vacancy. The energy difference between the two shells appears as an X-ray, emitted by the atom. The X-ray spectrum acquired during the above process reveals a number of characteristic peaks. The energy of the peaks leads to the identification of the elements present in the sample (qualitative analysis), while the peak intensity provides the relevant or absolute elemental concentration (semi-quantitative or quantitative analysis).

A typical XRF spectroscopy arrangement (Figure 1) includes a source of primary radiation (usually a radioisotope or an X-ray tube) and an equipment for detecting the secondary X-rays.

XRF applications

During the last two decades, the development in X-ray detectors has established the XRF method as a powerful technique in a number application fields, including:

* Ecology and environmental management: measurement of heavy metals in soils, sediments, water and aerosols
Geology and mineralogy: qualitative and quantitative analysis of soils, minerals, rocks etc.
Metallurgy and chemical industry: quality control of raw materials, production processes and final products
Paint industry: analysis of lead-based paints
Jewelry: measurement of precious metals concentrations
Fuel industry: monitoring the amount of contaminants in fuels
Food chemistry: determination of toxic metals in foodstuffs
Agriculture: trace metals analysis in soils and agricultural products

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