Secondary standards for cement and associated raw material analysis


Turnkey solution for the certification of secondary standards for pressed pellet analysis of cement, clinker, raw meal, limestone, clays and gypsum based on XRF bead analysis using CEMOXI standards set

For process control of a cement plant the elemental composition of raw materials, raw meal, clinker and cement needs to be measured accurately on a continuous basis. The results have a direct impact on production process parameters such as feed speeds, kiln temperatures, grinding times etc. Optimizing these helps to minimize production costs. Moreover, accurate analyses also assure product quality and consistency.

X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectroscopy has become an established analytical method for quantifying the elemental composition of cement and related materials. XRF delivers important advantages, straightforward sample preparation, accurate and reproducible results and highly automated analysis. XRF reduces measurement times to a matter of minutes and allow routine analysis to be carried out by factory operators.

Plants often rely on pressed pellets for routine analysis, since the preparation of fused beads, which give more accurate and reliable results, is more elaborate and costly. To avoid mineralogical effects, which can lead to analysis errors, standards and unknowns need to have the same mineralogy and origin. Samples from primary materials and the production process that cover the widest possible concentration ranges need to be supplied by the customer. These are then prepared as fused beads and analyzed using PANalytical’s cement application that includes the very accurate CEMOXI standards set. Pressed pellet applications are then set up using the data generated.

Expertise program: XRF - Secondary standards for cement and associated raw material analysis

This Expertise program delivers a complete methodology for the creation of secondary standards for cements and cement related materials, starting from customer supplied materials. The obtained standards are used for setting up pressed pellet applications on PANalytical XRF systems, including the Cement edition of Zetium. This methodology program includes:

  • Advice and consultation on the selection of the samples used as secondary standards for six applications (cement, clinker, raw meal, three primary materials, with concentrations falling in the ranges given in the table below, six samples per application)
  • Preparation of the supplied materials as fused beads and analysis against the very accurate CEMOXI application from PANalytical, in accordance with GLP guidelines. The method is validated analyzing international standards. A full report and the prepared beads will be provided.
  • Advice and consultation on the pressed pellet preparation method and devices
  • Preparation of the secondary standards as pressed pellets
  • Optimized application programs for each of the six materials, based on optimal corrections for the interelement matrix influences
  • XRF analysis workflow and quality assurance, using quality samples, monitors and an automated monitor program, enabling easy maintenance of application performance.
  • XRF system calibration setup for accurate quantitative analysis for each of these materials:
Compounds %
Na2O 0 - 1.0
MgO 0 - 6.0
Al2O3 0 - 10
SiO2 0 - 25
P2O5 0 - 0.5
SO3 0 - 59
K2O 0 - 2.0
CaO (0-) 20 - 70
TiO2 0 - 1.0
Mn2O3 0 - 0.29
Fe2O3 0 - 7.0
ZnO 0 - 0.25
SrO 0 - 0.7


  • System: PANalytical XRF spectrometer including Zetium, Axios, MagiX (-Pro), PW24xx, CubiX XRF
  • Software: SuperQ
  • Standards: Material for secondary standards with the right mineralogy covering the appropriate concentration ranges to be provided by the customer
  • Other: Sample preparation equipment for fused beads


  • Application Support Contract: For continuous prioritized advice and support at application level
  • Software: SuperQ module SPC
  • Expertise: Fully calibrated CEMOXI fused bead application, that can serve as back-up and validation of the pressed pellet analyses
  • Other: Further applications, elements or materials outside the ranges given above on request

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