ASTM E1508 - 12a

    Standard Guide for Quantitative Analysis by Energy-Dispersive Spectroscopy

    Active Standard ASTM E1508 | Developed by Subcommittee: E04.11

    Book of Standards Volume: 03.01


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    Significance and Use

    5.1 This guide covers procedures for quantifying the elemental composition of phases in a microstructure. It includes both methods that use standards as well as standardless methods, and it discusses the precision and accuracy that one can expect from the technique. The guide applies to EDS with a solid-state X-ray detector used on an SEM or EPMA.

    5.2 EDS is a suitable technique for routine quantitative analysis of elements that are 1) heavier than or equal to sodium in atomic weight, 2) present in tenths of a percent or greater by weight, and 3) occupying a few cubic micrometres, or more, of the specimen. Elements of lower atomic number than sodium can be analyzed with either ultra-thin-window or windowless spectrometers, generally with less precision than is possible for heavier elements. Trace elements, defined as <1.0 %,2 can be analyzed but with lower precision compared with analyses of elements present in greater concentration.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This guide is intended to assist those using energy-dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) for quantitative analysis of materials with a scanning electron microscope (SEM) or electron probe microanalyzer (EPMA). It is not intended to substitute for a formal course of instruction, but rather to provide a guide to the capabilities and limitations of the technique and to its use. For a more detailed treatment of the subject, see Goldstein, et al.(1) This guide does not cover EDS with a transmission electron microscope (TEM).

    1.2 Units—The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

    1.3 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    E3 Guide for Preparation of Metallographic Specimens

    E7 Terminology Relating to Metallography

    E673 Terminology Relating to Surface Analysis

    E691 Practice for Conducting an Interlaboratory Study to Determine the Precision of a Test Method


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 71.040.50 (Physicochemical methods of analysis)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 41111720(Scanning electron microscopes)


    DOI: 10.1520/E1508-12A

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