Small spot and mapping analysis of gold alloys with Thermo Scientific ARL PERFORM’X Series Advanced X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometers

Gold is one of the most sought-after and therefore valuable precious metals in the world. It has been used in the manufacturing of coins, jewelry, ornaments and decorations for thousands of years. In recent years, the market value of gold has increased dramatically as it is seen as a stable investment. Many new companies and industries for recycling and refinement have sprung up all over the world.

The production of gold alloyed products is based on the amount of gold used in the alloy process. This is because Au is the most valuable element in these products.

The precision and accuracy in the analysis of gold is highly demanding due to its high price. A small error in concentration determination can equate to a large amount of money. It is for this reason that high power wavelength dispersive X-ray fluorescence (WDXRF) is one of the primary methods for quality control in gold analysis.

Small spot and mapping analysis of gold alloys with Thermo Scientific ARL PERFORM’X Series Advanced X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometers

Thermo Scientific ARL PERFORM’X series spectrometer used in this analysis was a 4200 watt system. This system is configured with 6 primary beam filters, 4 collimators, up to nine crystals, two detectors, helium purge and our 5GN Rh X-ray tube for best performance from ultra-light to heaviest elements thanks to its 50 micron Be window. This new X-ray tube fitted with a low current filament ensures an unequalled analytical stability month after month.

The ARL PERFORM’X offers the ultimate in performance and sample analysis safety. Its unique LoadSafe design includes a series of features that prevent any trouble during sample pumping and loading. Liquid cassette recognition prevents any liquid sample to be exposed to vacuum by mistake. Over exposure safety automatically ejects a liquid sample if X-ray exposure time is too long.

The Secutainer system protects the primary chamber by vacuum collecting any loose powders in a specially designed container, easily removed and cleaned by any operator. For spectral chamber protection, the ARL PERFORM’X uses a helium shutter designed for absolute protection of your goniometer during liquid analysis under helium operation. In the “LoadSafe Ultra” optional configuration, a special X-ray tube shield provides total protection against sample breakage or liquid cell rupture.

The results show that gold alloy analysis can easily be performed with the ARL PERFORM’X sequential XRF spectrometer. The precision and accuracy are shown to be incredibly high in this matrix type for routine and non-standard analysis.

The ARL PERFORM’X is not only an ideal analytical instrument for quality control, but also for identifying inhomogeneity, contamination, gradient segregation and inclusions in gold samples.

Furthermore, operation is made easy through the newest and most advanced state-of-the-art Thermo Scientific OXSAS WDXRF software which is able to operate with the latest Microsoft Windows® 7 packages.

This story is reprinted from material from Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.