Design and 3D printing of holders for XRF analysis requiring small volumes of sample

  • 1 Institute of mineralogy and crystallography “Acad. Ivan Kostov”, Acad. Georgi Bonchev Str. Bulgarian Academy of Science, Sofia, Bulgaria


The preparation of XRF tablets with small amounts of samples produced from various synthesis is a challenging operation. Zeolites and other types of samples with minimal volumes are frequently provided for analysis by X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy. Here we present three types of holders made of PLA (polylactic acid) using commercially available 3D printing technology. The employed material is a bioactive thermoplastic aliphatic polyester extracted from renewable resources and is biodegradable. The holders have reduced diameters of the measured area and can accommodate powders, sheets or solid state samples. The holders are basically three-dimensional plastic models that can be designed and printed based on the provided sample. They are low cost and can be easily applied in practice. The design of the first type of holders is targeting powder samples, allowing the reduction of the required amount from 5-10 g per sample to 1 g. The second type of holders aimed the XRF analyses of textile like materials while the third type of design aimed metal alloys. Examples of the use of the holders are the analyses of coins (here 2 leva is shown) and textile samples containing different metals (e.g. zinc).



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