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Coating Thickness XRF 🢂 Types of XRF Thickness Standards

Calibration reference standards provide two critically important functions with respect to XRF film thickness and composition testing. First, standards are used to provide accurate, traceable calibrations for XRF measurement. Second, standards are used to test and verify that an XRF instrument is measuring correctly. Standards can be used throughout the work day to verify calibration accuracy, informing the user that the calibration and therefore subsequent measurements are accurate or that a drift correction or recalibration is required.

There are two basic forms of XRF standards: foil and “hard” plated base metals.

1. Foil standards are thin metal foils mounted to a larger thin metal frame so the user may handle the frame without actually touching the fragile foil material. Foils may be placed on any base material to simulate the measuring conditions on the samples which you intend to calibrate and test for. For example, a gold foil standard may be placed on a nickel base metal to measure gold plating thickness on a nickel; or an aluminum base metal, to calibrate and measure gold plating on aluminum. This same foil can be placed on any other base material as needed, for calibration and measurement. Foils may also be stacked together and combined to either simulate various multilayer calibrations and measurement conditions, or, if combining two of the same foil material, add thicknesses to create a new combined thickness which is otherwise not available to the user.

2. “Hard” plated base material standards are rigid base materials (typically 0.2 – 1 mm thick) with a specific coating or series of coatings that are identified, measured and certified. Continuing with the examples above, if the user needs to measure gold layers on a nickel base metal, a gold plated on nickel substrate standard may be used for this purpose.

In all cases, foil and hard, plated standards may be used for the same application, when available. In most cases we offer both types. There are advantages and disadvantages to using foils and hard plated standards which will help you determine which type you should order.

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