Sample homogeneity is an aspect that influences physical properties – robustness, strength, and lifetime of a particular product, significantly. Usually, the inhomogeneity can be traced back to an error in the product’s production process.
Manufacturers are able to trace back and optimize their process in order to create better quality products by knowing the sample homogeneity. Elemental distribution mapping and small spot analysis was performed by utilizing a wavelength dispersive (WD) spectrometer possessing an energy dispersive (ED) small spot mapping (SSM) functionality.
The addition of an ED in the same spectrometer is one of the latest advances in WDXRF instruments. The ED-SSM combination enables small spot analysis and element distribution mapping with spot sizes of 0.5 mm (FWHM) in diameter.
In this article, the compositional homogeneities of a ceramic inclusion and a steel sample were examined. Quantitative, qualitative, and semi-quantitative analyses of the samples were performed.
For the ceramic sample, the qualitative mapping results exhibit that some elements, like Si, are more abundant in the inclusion region in comparison to the main ceramic body. Compositional inhomogeneity can also be seen clearly from the semiquantitative mapping results for the visually homogeneous steel sample.
Furthermore, quantitative analysis was performed to demonstrate the viability of this analysis technique in the small spot configuration and results exhibit the level of precision which can be expected from this setup.
The overall results demonstrate that compositional inhomogeneities can be monitored using the ED-SSM setup and so, can help manufacturers of these materials control their production process.
Produced from materials originally authored by Frantessa Tañeza-Casco, from PANalytical BV.
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This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Malvern Panalytical.
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