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Standards for Sample Preparation 

An Example of Sample Preparation using XFR and NIR for Minerals and Mining

Mined elements are an intrinsic part of our daily life. Mineral compounds are used in the production and creation of everyday items such as computers, appliances, batteries, furniture, mirrors, cosmetics and a variety of other consumer goods.  


On a larger scale, minerals are also used throughout a number of industry segments all over the world, including construction, ceramics, paints, electronics, filtration, plastics, glass, detergents, and paper.


Depending on the given industry's objectives, the sourcing of these minerals matters greatly to provide the highest quality end result. The extracted mineral components must endure a series of tests before they qualify for application. This process relies on XRF and NIR instrument data, taking place in a lab where samples are carefully prepared and examined for purity. 


This qualified result is achieved by the use of standards in the sample preparation process. There are roughly 12,000 standards in XRF and NIR testing, of which approximately 7,000 can be applied to the calibration and application of minerals being tested - each focused on varying outcomes, dependent on the requirements set by industry/production regulations.  

When testing for the purity of a given mineral, there are different methods which can be used: powder, wet spectroscopy and wet chemical analysis.


Knowing which process and standards to use to test a given mineral compound is an important step in discovering the quality and usability of the material. Because of the sheer volume of standards that can be used in the testing process, resources for these standards is paramount.  


One industry leader in XRF (and NIR) sample preparation and testing is Fluxana GmbH & Co. 

Fluxana is a reliable partner for professional applications in x-ray fluorescence analysis, from the first basic steps to the most difficult problem. Fluxana provides the standard materials to form the basis for many XRF applications.  


At times, no appropriately-fitting standard for the application is available.  For this reason Fluxana has developed a special method to create customer-specific standards on glass, cellulose, and polymer bases. The result is a wide variety of single and multi-elemental samples which can be used for calibration and developmental purposes. All of Fluxana's standard calibrations are developed in on-site laboratories. 


Fluxana accepts client test samples for evaluation in their laboratory and can work with the client to develop new methods of installment.

In addition to providing professional sample preparation and testing, Fluxana also provides a searchable database of standards - FluxSearch, “the online Database for Certified Reference Materials”.  


FluxSearch is a practical tool that is available to anyone who has registered with Fluxana, and can be found here:


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