Copper is one of the essential base metals in modern infrastructure. It is used for construction, electronics, machinery, automobile and marine vessel etc. in the form of electric cable and copper alloys. Copper ore mined as mainly sulfide ore is usually shipped as concentrate of 20 – 40% in copper content after processing at the plant near mine site. Copper concentrate contains a variety of impurities that are either valuable elements as byproducts, or harmful to quality in copper metal products and hazardous to the environment and human health. In modern copper deposits, ore grade of copper is decreasing while impurities in ore tend to increase. Therefore, the demand for rapid and accurate determination of various metals of major and trace amounts in copper ore and concentrate is increasing. X-ray fluorescence spectrometry is the best method for the analytical requirements of routine analysis to monitor ore grade with high precision, accuracy and rapidity. This application note will show the conventional calibration method of copper ore concentrate analysis and also standardless analysis using the fundamental parameter method.
Beryllium copper alloy has almost as high strength as steel, and is the strongest among copper alloys. In addition, it has various features such as non-magnetic and non-sparking characteristics, having high electrical conductivity and ductility. Owing to these features, beryllium copper has many uses; springs, electric connectors, tools in environments with explosive vapors and gases, and musical instruments. Since characteristics and uses of beryllium copper alloys depend on beryllium concentration, it is important to analyze beryllium in beryllium copper.
The demand for copper especially by the electronic industry has constantly increased over the last decades, and it is expected that 20 million tons of copper ore will be dig up annually by 2020. It is applications of copper in wiring and cables, in circuit boards and electronic assemblies that are driving this development; and so the grade of copper impacts on the price to be achieved by mining companies and smelters. Flame atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS) is a simple, robust and cost-effective method used by many mining companies and smelters to quantify copper – in ores and pre-concentrated metallic form – over a wide concentrations range from medium ppm (mg/kg) to high percentage (wt%) values. In contrast, impurity control of high-purity copper e.g., for antimony, bismuth, phosphorous, and tin is typically done by ICP-techniques that are true multi-element techniques with significantly higher sensitivity; hence, covering the ppb (μg/kg) to ppm (mg/kg) range.