ICP is a highly accurate analytical technique that can detect minute levels of trace substances within a sample. Yet the technique is very complicated, must be carried out by specialists, and uses delicate equipment that needs regular calibration and maintenance. Although the ICP test itself is fast, the sample preparation is difficult, takes a long time, and involves substances that are dangerous to handle. In many cases, XRF analysis can be a good alternative to ICP testing, either replacing your ICP analysis completely, or acting as a backup when the ICP equipment is out of action.
XRF analysis can detect elements within a sample from percentage to the parts per million range. You can use it to detect elements from Na to U in the periodic table, and it can measure solids, liquids, powders, pastes and films. Like ICP, the measurement time is fast; from a few seconds to minutes.
If you are analysing below the ppm range then ICP is the method you should choose. However, for the ppm range and above XRF offers several advantages:
If you are analysing elements from Na to U in the ppm range upwards, then XRF might be worth considering as an alternative to ICP.
Hitachi XRF analysers are designed to be easy-to-use, robust and cope with high testing throughput. They are also very quick, just put the sample in the analyser and press a button. Very quickly, the analyser provides a simple readout of the elements present in the sample. You’ll also be able to review the detailed spectra for further analysis.
Another feature that helps with accuracy is the sample spinner. During the measurement process, the sample is rotated to enable the x-ray beam to cover a larger area on the sample. This gives a much more representative result of the elements within the sample.
For more information on whether XRF analysis can replace your ICP testing, please get in touch with one of our experts. You can also see technical specifications for our XRF analysers here.