The analysis of phosphorus flame retardant compound on fabric by XRF

Clothing fabrics for work clothes, uniforms, baby clothing and other uses can be coated with a phosphorus compound for the purpose of flame retardancy. Bromine and antimony are typically no longer used in clothing due to the toxicity of these heavier elements, but can still be used in heavier textiles such as draperies, carpet and mattress materials. During the coating and processing of treated fabrics, the flame retardant material must be closely monitored to ensure optimum quality without incurring cost overruns due to product rejection or overuse of chemicals. EDXRF is an excellent measurement method. Quick and simple, EDXRF offers the QC technicians a reliable means of monitoring flame retardant concentrations throughout the entire QC process. The performance shown here demonstrates the ability of the NEX QC to yield excellent results in air, without the need for helium purge. The analysis is fast, simple and non-destructive. The precision of the NEX QC analyzer is on the order of 10X better than the assay values of the calibration standards given to two decimal places, indicating that accuracy and precision can be improved by using calibration assayed to three decimal places, if needed. Alternatively, if such good precision is not required in the QC process, the measurements can be taken using a shorter analysis time than the 100 sec shown here. The Rigaku NEX QC analyzer is shown to be an ideal tool throughout the quality control process in treating fabrics and textiles with flame retardant materials.

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