Analyzing Blast Furnace Slag Using ED-XRF

Blast furnace slag is a by-product of pig iron production in blast furnaces. According to the present state of the art, approximately 250 kg of blast furnace slag result from a ton of pig iron production. Analysis of the slag close to the production site is useful for both quality control of the process and also for evaluating the usability of the slag for recycling. Traditionally, samples are milled after crushing and either prepared as pressed pellets or as Lithiumtetraborate fused beads. They are then analyzed with x-ray fluorescent (XRF) technology and predominantly wavelength-dispersive XRF (WD-XRF) spectrometers have been used for this application.

This paper explains how this analysis can be performed, close to the production site, with a next generation, energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence (ED-XRF) spectrometer. The new instrument combines polarized and direct excitation with state-of-the art detector technology, to achieve high precision with short measurement times (180 s per sample).

The application brief also reviews the various sample preparation methodologies employed and reports the analytical performance for each approach.