Beryllium Analysis in Beryllium Copper Alloy

This application note demonstrates beryllium analysis in beryllium copper alloy.

Background

Beryllium copper alloy has almost as high strength as steel, the strongest among copper alloys. In addition, it has various features such as non-magnetic and non-sparking characteristics, having high electric conductivity and ductility. Owing to these features, beryllium copper has many uses; springs, electric connectors, tools in environments with explosive vapors and gases, and music instruments. Since characteristics and uses of beryllium copper alloys depend on beryllium concentration, it is important to analyze beryllium in beryllium copper.

Beryllium is the lightest element among the elements which can be analyzed by XRF spectrometry. The element line of beryllium, Be-Kα has very long wavelength, 11.4 nm (or very low energy, 0.109 keV), having very shallow critical depth. Therefore, X-ray intensities of Be-Kα are significantly affected by the surface condition of specimens. For beryllium analysis by XRF spectrometry, surface treatment is essential.

Owing to the long wavelength of Be-Kα, beryllium analysis requires high-power wavelength-dispersive X-ray fluorescence (WDXRF) spectrometers equipped with the analyzing crystal with high reflectivity for Be-Kα.

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