Fusion is a technique for preparing samples for analysis with X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF), Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) or Atomic Absorbtion (AA). This allows the composition of chemical elements to be determined.
In fusion, the sample is first pre-processed for further analysis. The ground sample is mixed with a flux (lithium or sodium) in a platinum or platinum/gold crucible (often 95%/5%). Then the crucible is heated to around 1000°C and stirred, causing the sample to dissolve in the molten flux. This creates a nice homogeneous melt.
In XRF analysis, the mixture (the hot borate melt) is then poured into a platinum bead container and cooled. This creates a glass bead which can be measured directly with the XRF spectrometer.
Examples of tests are cement, steel, glass, ceramics, fossil fuels, (precious) metals, fertilizers, environment, pharmaceuticals, nuclear, geology and more.
In XRF analysis, samples can also be pressed into pellets. So why use fusion? As mentioned earlier, fusion properly mixes the particles of the sample with the borate flux, giving you a homogeneous glass bead to perform your XRF analysis on.
The big advantage:
In ICP analysis, the mixture (the hot borate melt) is poured into beakers containing dilute acid. This produces a solution that can be measured directly.
Examples of tests include: sand, clay and other silica-containing samples, all oxides, catalysts, precious metals and alloys, polymers, fly ash, pharmaceuticals and more.
The sample can also be properly prepared for ICP analysis by fusion. This offers a number of advantages:
View our range of (precious metal) products for fusion (fusion) technique.