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Dear all,

Don't know if any of you have had a look at the latest XRF's coming out of Japan and the US. Small, simple, autosampler trays, and coming in significantly cheaper than ICP's or RDE's.

We ran a couple of tests on a demo model we had access to and the results seemed pretty good.

-Using Helium (or alternate).
-Plastic cups with mylar sheaths used.
-Internal components are now protected from oil spills.

My query is:
-Can you list significant disadvantages of the XRF for oil analysis?
-Difficulty with certain elemental wavelengths? -Settling of heavier particles to the bottom of the sample cup (=higher results)?

Any helpful comments would be appreciated.


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Hi Andrew, at present the main disadvantage appears to be processing times, 8 minutes, and some systems can't analyse as high as Na but that may not be critical if OAT or HOAT Coolants are in use in engines as Na is not formuated into the new coolants, processing time at present we think.
Settling of particles does not affect results.
Rob S
Thank you Rob for your answer.

To clarify: is it standard practice that up to 8 minutes per sample is needed to obtain accurate results?

Obviously the more powerful and advanced the XRF the shorter the read time necessary.

I have got a demo model coming to the lab for a weeks trial, going to put it through its paces and compare results to SpecM/ICP. Will give feedback.
Hi Andrew, the work we completed on this subject was a year or two back and the 8 mins was for some elements others were quicker, we usually use the SEM for identification so until the XRF can analyse in a min or two we would most likely continue as we are, the more powerful machines are quicker but the price increases accordingly but we note the present prices are reducing, we considered the XRF as once we have a Ferrogram slide we could analyse the dry slide but heat treatment of the Ferrogram slide also identifies fairly accurately if we have info on the metals in the system the sample was from.
The interesting part of the XRF is almost any solid sample that fits the chamber can be analysed,
Rob S,
Hi all,

XRF results were acceptable in part, however, a host of lighter elements were troublesome (P, Na, Al, Si); no meaningful results could be made for these elements. It may have had something to do with the mylar film I used to try and protect the XRF innards (a concern with liquid samples). Helium was used to flush.

We do have other more traditional XRF's here that supposedly are far better at measuring lighter elements. However I would need to solidify the oil sample in order to read - another post entirely.

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