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Our X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) laboratories in Adelaide and Melbourne offer a range of analytical services on a fee for service contract basis on most mineral and materials samples.

These analyses depend on the sample type, sample amount, and whether analysis is carried out for major (% level) or trace (ppm level) analysis.

Our laboratories form an important part of our Mineralogical Services and house:

  • two wavelength-dispersive XRF instruments (Bruker Tiger)
  • one energy-dispersive XRF instrument (Spectro XEPOS), and
  • a micro-XRF instrument (Bruker Tornado).

We also have strong links with CSIRO colleagues, and more broadly within Australia’s’ innovation network. This includes Monash University, the University of South Australia, the University of Adelaide, ANSTO and the Australian Synchrotron.

We have expertise in complementary characterisation techniques, such as:

  • ICP spectroscopy
  • X-ray diffraction
  • CT imaging
  • X-ray absorption spectroscopy
  • scanning electron microscopy
  • electron probe microanalysis
  • XRF mapping
  • Fourier transform infrared analysis
  • differential thermal analysis, and
  • transmission electron microscopy including lattice imaging.

Analysis types provided by the XRF lab

The following is a general guide to the type of analysis provided by the XRF Laboratory:

  • Major Elemental Analysis: Using 150-400 mg of sample, major element analysis can be carried out for Fe, Mn, Ti, Ca, K, S, Cl, P, Si, Al, Mg, Na, Sr, and Zr. Results can be reported as oxides either on "as received" or "an oven-dried" basis.
  • Trace and Major Elemental Analysis: Using 300-1000 mg of sample, major and trace element analysis can be carried out for P, Na, Mg, Al, Si, Ti, Mn, Cu, Zn, Sr, Zr, Ni, Rb, Ba, V, Cr, La, Ce, Y, Co, Ga, U, Fe, K, Ca, S, As, Th, and Pb. The majors are reported as oxides and the traces as elements. This analysis is generally carried out on "an oven-dried" basis.
  • Plant Analysis: Using approximately 5 g of dry material, analysis is carried out for Zn, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ca, K, Cl, P, Si, Al, Mg, Na, and speciation of S (SO42-, co-valent S, and total S). Plant samples are generally ground and pressed into 32mm discs and analysed directly. The plant analyses are non-destructive, so the XRF analysed material is available for further work.

Our proud history in XRF spectrometry

The application of X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) to elemental analysis in CSIRO dates to the early days of XRF spectrometry.

In 1950, Edward Radoslovich developed an XRF spectrograph to carry out quantitative analysis of certain major elements in soil colloids and to use as a complementary technique to optical spectrography for the analysis of heavier non-metals.

Since this early work, Dr. Keith Norrish from our Adelaide XRF laboratory and his colleagues developed several XRF methods for the analysis of mineralogical and plant materials.

Both our Adelaide and Melbourne XRF laboratories have also assisted the Australian mining industry to establish methods for monitoring and production.

Use this service

To use our XRF services, please contact:

Dr Nathan Webster

Group Leader - Microbeam and Diffraction (Mineral Resources)

Australian Resources Research Centre
26 Dick Perry Avenue
Kensington
WA 6151

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