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A Rapid, Low Cost, Manual Fusion Sample Preparation Technique for Quantitative X-Ray Fluorescence Analysis

  • Gerald D. Bowling (a1), Iris B. Ailin-Pyzik (a1) and David R. Jones (a1)


This study compares the quality of the fused samples obtained by three separate methods. The first set of samples was prepared by the method used at USGS in Denver and reported by Taggart and Whalberg (1). The second set was fused by our manual method and cast in graphite molds. The third set was fused in the Herzog HAG-12 automated fusion device.

The manual fusion technique requires the use of a muffle furnace capable of 1100°C (2100°F) and graphite molds. No release agents such as KBr and LiBr are required since the disks release easily from the graphite. The 25mm diameter center of the “fire-polished” upper surface of the disk is used for analysis without further surface preparation. This method has been shown to be suitable for preparation of a wide variety of glasses and raw materials including burned dolomite, silicates* high zircon materials such as BCS-388, calcined alumina and alumina refractories.



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1. Taggart, J. E., Jr., and Whalberg, J. S., Mew Mold Design for Casting Fused Samples, Advances in X-Ray Analysis, Vol. 23, 257–2, (1980).
2. Ailin-Pyzik, I. B. and Bowling, G. D., Evaluation of Two Fusion Sample Preparation Techniques for Quantitative X-ray Fluorescence Analysis, Paper presented at the 1983 Pittsburgh Conference on Analytical Chemistry and Applied Spectroscopy.


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