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Acquisition of X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometer

Matching funds are provided for the purchase of a state-of- the-art x-ray fluorescence spectrometer to be used in support of research in the areas of materials and minerals at Michigan Technological University. Primary users will be faculty and graduate students from the Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, with significant use also from the Department of Geological Engineering, Geology and Geophysics. Research programs in the materials area requiring the new spectrometer include studies of: structure-property-composition relationships in intermetallics, austempered ductile irons, and mechanically alloyed materials; macrosegregation in castings; microstructural development in multi-component oxide systems; means of minimizing hexavalent chromium effects in steelmaking refractories; parameters for powder forging low alloy steels; compositional effects in grain boundary segregation; and welding electrode wear mechanisms. Programs in geology that would use the new instrument include studies of: volcanic ash and rock; paleomagnetic effects in rocks and sediments; techniques of enhanced petroleum recovery; ground water effects related to fluid flow in porous media and remediation strategies; and the Precambrian rocks in the Lake Superior basin. The new instrument would replace a 16- year-old spectrometer in the x-ray analytical facility at the University. The old instrument, which has been used heavily by a large number of users, is no longer reliable, and is inadequate for current and future projects requiring analyses of a large number of samples with greater precision, accuracy, and much lower detection levels.

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