Published: Jan 2012
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X-RAY DIFFRACTION (XRD) AND X-RAY FLUOREScence spectrometry (XRFS) are powerful, well-established tools used by analytical chemists in many areas of technology. They have great utility in the coatings industry. In areas where they are applicable, they are frequently the quickest and easiest techniques available. XRD is convenient for the identification of diverse crystalline solids encountered in paint research laboratories and production plants. It is particularly well suited for use in the identification and quantitative analysis of crystalline pigments and extenders, either when they are alone or present in paste or paint. XRFS is useful as a stand-alone technique for elemental analysis and as a complementary tool for use with other analytical techniques. X-ray spectrometers typically can analyze all elements with an atomic number of about 11 (sodium) and higher, but some units can reach as low as atomic number 5 (boron). XRFS can span the concentration range from parts per million to high percentages for most elements in liquid or solid samples. Dedicated XRFS units, much lower in cost than scanning spectrometers, can be set up to detect and quantify one or a few specific elements. Portable XRFS units are available for field investigations. The present section summarizes the principles and methodology of XRD and XRFS.
Snider, A. Monroe
President, Snider Scientific Consulting Group, LLC, Pittsburgh, PA