Automated preparation of fused beads for XRF analysis

FLSmidth has recently developed the DCF820 and the DCF830 units to automatically prepare fused beads for XRF analysis.

FLSmidth has recently developed the DCF820 and the DCF830 units to automatically prepare fused beads for XRF analysis.

To effectively analyse geological raw materials and ores by X-ray florescence (XRF) analysis, it is important to use the right sample preparation technique. This is why FLSmidth’s newly developed DCF units are worth a closer look

FLSmidth has recently developed the DCF820 and the DCF830 unitsto automatically prepare fused beads for XRF analysis. XRF analysis plays an important role both in the analysis of mine site materials and also in the quality and process control of cement production. The analysis rapidly and accurately measures the chemical compo­sition of raw materials and ores. But your analysis is only going to be as good as your sample preparation, which is crucial. Truly accurate analysis relies on good sample preparation.

Fusing powdered samples into “glass” beads by fusing the samples in a borate melt usually provides more accurate analytical results than alternative techniques, such as pressed pellets. This is because the fused beads overcome analytical problems related to particle size variation, segregation and mineralogy. Therefore, the fusion method provides a robust source of data in situations where the chemical, physical and mineralogical properties of the sample material vary.

To create a bead, a powdered sample is mixed with a flux, heatedin a crucible to between 1000-1200°C and then cast in a dish to produce a homogeneous glass-like bead. In the FLSmidth® DCFunits, this process is fully automated in the all-in-one, high-capacity equipment.

Automated dosing, weighing, mixing and crucible cleaning
The DCF units automatically prepare fused beads for analysis, including the dosing, weighing, and mixing of flux and sample, as well as the cleaning of the crucibles. With the DCF820, you can make 10 beads per hour, and for increased capacity, with the DCF830, which has two furnaces, you can make 20 beads per hour. The capacity is also dependent on fusion time.
Flexibly designed to operate in an automated laboratory or as part of a manual operation as a stand-alone machine, the new FLSmidth® device offers customers many advantages: Time- consuming manual tasks are replaced with cost-effective, fully automated fusion preparation that facilitates fast access to data.

Accurate and easy to use
What makes a good sample for analysis? You have to make sure that your sample is representative of the source material and that you have not changed the elemental composition of the sample during the preparation process.

The preparation technique used by the DCF units ensures ahomogenous matrix with an even distribution of analytes, automatically preparing fused beads that avoid analysis errors caused by mineralogy, segregation or particle size.

One of the most effective steps to ensure an accurate and reprodu­cible analysis is to automate the dosing and weighing tasks – and at the same time this significantly increases the capacity of a laboratory.

Dilution ratio and flux type can be adjusted from sample to sample, according to your recipe. With the DCF820, you can achieve dilution ratios with an accuracy of +/-0.15%, due to the adjustable gravimetric dosing of both sample and flux. The catch weight is read with a resolution of 0.0001g. Finally, you can adjust the dosing accuracy according to your capacity requirements.

Automated fused bead preparation and the subsequent benefit of an accurate XRF analysis is a cost-effective addition to an automated laboratory.

The FLSmidth® DCF units focus on quality, capacity, ease of use and reliability. They offer customers:

  • Cost-effective automated preparation of fused beads 
  • Accurate XRF analysis
  • Optimal reproducibility 
  • Increased laboratory capacity
  • Faster access to data
  • Reduction of manual tasks
  • Easy maintenance of all sections of the equipment

CONTACT: Petr VaRejka