X-ray Fluorescence for Rookies: Demystifying the Technology Behind Converter Analysis

X-ray Fluorescence for Rookies

If you’re selling to a processor, you’ve probably heard this word a few times: x-ray fluorescence benchtop machine, otherwise known as XRF. This machine is used during an assay analysis, where processors determine the exact amount of platinum, palladium, and rhodium in your converters. But how does this machine work and why do processors use it? Check out our video below or keep reading to know everything about XRF.

What is XRF Benchtop?

The X-Ray Fluorescence benchtop machine is a non-destructive technique that measures secondary fluorescent x-rays emitted by a sample. This device delivers reliable and quick results that processor use to determine the amount of PGMs are contained in a converter load. Let’s dive into the technicalities and explore how this machine works.

How Does XRF Benchtop Work?

In the XRF machine, an x-ray beam enters the sample by a few micrometers and excites the atom. The atom then expulses an electron from its inner shell, causing all the other electrons to move and fill the hole left behind. Because they change places, the electrons release energy as fluorescence. That creates a fingerprint, or a signal, for the element being measured.

Each signal is then measured to calculate the concentration of each precious metal. Higher signals result in higher concentration and vice versa.

Why Do Processors Use XRF?

Processors use this type of technology to analyze your material because of its precision and rapid speed of analysis. Compared to the XRF gun, for example, the XRF benchtop machine produces more accurate results. This means that when you receive your assay report, your recovery figures are as precise as can be, helping you hedge your metals accordingly.

At PMR, we use two technologies to analyze your converters, XRF and ICP, to ensure maximum accuracy. That’s because we believe informed recyclers make the best decisions for their converters and their businesses.

For more information on the assay process, check out our video or visit our Resource Center.

Published: September 19, 2023
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