The sources of raw materials used in the manufacture of Portland cement include pure to argillaceous limestones, shale and clay, plus minor quantities of sand, iron ore, fly ash, coal ash and suitable industrial wastes. To ensure a high quality product, rapid - precise - reproducible and practical analytical techniques are required. Quantitative XRF analysis techniques meet those demands.
For this comparative technique, the instrument used is a wavelength dispersive sequential spectrometer. The advantages and the drawbacks of the technique are discussed, along with the procedure of the specimen fused bead preparation. The importance of calibration standards and unknown samples being prepared in an identical manner, and being presented to the instrument under similar conditions, is stressed. International and synthetic standards, concentration ranges for the five major elements, mathematically generated coefficients to correct absorption and enhancement effects, and a summary of the standard error of estimates are examined and discussed.
The accuracy of the method is verified by the analysis of known standard reference materials such as obsidian rock, coal fly ash, argillaceous limestone and blastfurnace slag. The values are compared with the known certified values.