Historically automated equipment for X-ray sample preparation was limited to routine samples with a limited variation range of the composition based on the risk of cross contamination.
Based on the latest improvement of the Centaurus automatic mill and press this statement must be revised. The introduction of alternative enhanced cleaning of the equipment in combination with the use of advanced coated surfaces, improved design of specific parts and adapted processing procedure make this automated equipment fit for more challenging applications.
We ameliorated the cross contamination behavior of the Centaurus by 3 times that made it even necessary to switch to a different set of reference material to be able to observe any cross contamination effects.
The example below demonstrates this effect for the combination of alternating 3 lime stone and 3 sinter samples, where the elemental concentration of iron is used as an indicator for the carry over between the different sample types. The lime stone chose for the ultimate test represents a factor of 1400 in the concentration of iron in the materials.