Techniques

 


X-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy

What samples do we analyse?

We analyse geological, industrial, and environmental materials, including but not limited to: rocks, plastics and polymers, glass, building materials, coal, flyash, ores, cosmetics, clays, peat, soils, slags, sediments and ceramics. We can also analyse oils, diesel fuel and other liquids.

What elements do we analyse?

We analyse elements from Na to U, as well as B, Cl and F. Our major element suite includes the following, plus loss on ignition (L.O.I.): Na, Mg, Al, Si, P, S, K, Ca, Ti, Mn and Fe. For trace elements please contact the XRF laboratory, as we have a range of different packages for various trace element combinations. Our B program is specifically setup to analyse glasses.

How should you prepare your samples?

Most samples are presented to the lab in powder form. We also have crushing facilities capable of pulverising small amounts of material. If you need to analyse metal, a metal disc cut and polished to the specifications of the required instrument sample holder is required (semi-quantitative analysis). Highly organic materials must be ashed first – we have the facilities to ash samples if an ash is unable to be provided. Liquids can be presented to the laboratory as is.

How much sample material should you bring?

For glass beads we ask that approximately 2g of sample material be supplied – 1g for a glass bead and 1g for an L.O.I. (ash in the case of highly organic samples). For highly organic samples, if an ash cannot be provided, we require more material dependent on sample type. For trace elements, F, Cl and B, we ask that a minimum 10-12g of material be provided for pressed pellets, depending on the analytical program. We do not analyse carbides or samples containing metallics, such as alloys, by glass beads for majors.

How much does it cost?

The following rates are for internal research UNSW staff and students. Honours students and external clients should contact the laboratory. Our portable XRF instrument is also available for UNSW-related projects. Rates may change depending on sample difficulty.

Majors                                                                 $65.00

Traces                                                                 $55.00

Specialist programs (Boron, REEs, F, Cl, etc.)   $70.00

Crushing                                                              $25.00

Ashing                                                                 $50.00

L.O.I.                                                                   $10.00

Use of PXRF equipment                                    $30/hour

 

For request forms and methodology documents, please download the documents on this webpage on the right-hand side.

All clients are advised to contact the XRF laboratory staff directly for information about sample submission and analysis.


Combustion Analysis

What samples do we analyse?

We analyse geological, industrial, and environmental materials, including but not limited to: paper, plastics and polymers, coal, clays, peat, soils and plants. We have both an Elementar varioMACRO cube for CHNS analysis and a rapidOXY cube for O analyses. 

What elements do we analyse?

We analyse for C, H, N, S and O.

How should you prepare your samples?

Samples should be presented in powder, paste and slurry, and liquid form for C, H, N, S and O analysis. Please note that samples must be homogeneous and that this is particularly important for lower sample weights. 

How much sample material should you bring?

We recommend submission of at least 100mg of sample for C, H, N and S analysis and 10mg for O analysis. As this is sample dependent, we also recommend that you please contact laboratory staff regarding any sample size concerns. 

How much does it cost?

The following rates are for internal research UNSW staff and students. External clients should contact the laboratory.

Elementar Analyers:

C,H,N,S             1-3 element suite (any element): $6 each element/sample

                         4 elements: $22/sample

O                      $12.00

 

For request forms and methodology documents, please download the documents on this webpage.

All clients are advised to contact the XRF laboratory staff directly for information about sample submission and analysis.