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Expertise/Secondary standards for cement and associated raw material analysis

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.