Ceramics can be divided into two distinct categories, namely traditional and advanced.
The traditional range of ceramic materials is clay based and includes finished items such as porcelain, bone china tea cups, bricks, kiln linings, etc. The advanced category includes Zirconia, reinforced silicon carbide, and these materials are used where a high temperature resistance is required, for example in gas burner nozzles or engine turbine blades.
Production of a ceramic material involves heating and mixing raw materials. To ensure the correct properties of the finished material, tight quality control of the chemical composition of the raw materials, intermediate and finished product are required for both shipment to specification and cost-effective manufacture.
X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) is a widely used and well accepted analytical technique used to measure ceramic materials.
There are many benefits associated with analysis by XRF including; minimal or no sample preparation, rapid non-destructive analysis, easy of use, operation by production staff, no potentially dangerous chemicals, etc.
Typical application areas are the measurement of Al, Mg, Si, S, K, Ca and Fe in a range of ceramics.