The British Museum in London recently offered its visitors an opportunity to have their antiques analysed by Oxford Instruments as part of the Museum's Science Day on the 18th March 2012.
The Oxford Instruments X-Strata980 XRF analyser.
Oxford Instruments showed that X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis and XRF testing is a fast, simple and non-destructive technique to identify what exactly something is made of. Visitors brought along various, mainly metallic, samples to be analysed on Oxford Instruments' XRF analyser, the X-Strata980. Some visitors decided to have the jewellery they were wearing analysed for karat or gold content. The results of such an analysis can be helpful to validate authenticity and to estimate the value of antiques or jewellery.
During the day some of the British Museum's own known replica pieces were subjected to XRF testing. The results confirmed that some artefacts such as Egyptian statues were made of a brass composition, highlighting they could not possibly be genuine as those alloys didn't exist in Egyptian times!
Interest in this event was very high and Oxford Instruments people were busy analysing a range of pieces all day. "Our participation in the British Museum's Science Day has helped make high technology and science accessible and interesting for the general public, as well as showing that it can be fun as well", said XRF Marketing Manager, Neil Dagger.
Oxford Instruments XRF analysers measure coating thickness and material composition of plating, coatings, and thin films, containing elements from Titanium through Uranium. The instruments measure five layers and fifteen elements of a sample with common element correction. The X-Strata performs excellent analysis and characterisation of multi-layer analysis across a wide range of industrial markets, including electronics, metal finishing, alloys and precious metals assay.