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XRF Analysis Learning Center

XRF Analysis Learning Center

X-ray fluorescence (XRF) is a nondestructive technique used to determine the elemental composition of materials. In this learning hub, find everything you need to know about XRF analysis, how it works, and what it is used for. This page is an excellent resource for those new to XRF analysis and for seasoned XRF users looking to expand their knowledge.


What is XRF analysis?

XRF analysis is a nondestructive technique in which X-rays are used to excite a material to determine its elemental composition.


Vanta - handheld XRF analyzer

What is XRF analysis used for?

Since XRF can determine the elemental composition of tested materials, it is used across a range of industries and materials. It is widely used in mining and geochemistry, environmental monitoring and remediation, and positive material identification (PMI) and quality assurance checks. XRF is also used as a screening tool for hazardous substances, such as lead in soil, paint, and pipes. Gold analysis is another popular application, as XRF can prove the purity and composition of precious metals. Find more information on the practical applications of XRF below.

How does XRF analysis work?

XRF, as its name suggests, uses X-ray fluorescence to determine the elemental composition of materials. It works by exciting the test material with a beam from a primary X-ray source. When excited, the material emits secondary fluorescent X-rays, which are then analyzed by the XRF analyzer. Every element within the test material, when excited by the primary X-ray, produces a unique secondary fluorescent X-ray, which is how the analyzer can determine the existing elements within the tested material.

Vanta XRF

XRF Applications

Metal and Alloy

Metal and Alloy

RoHS and Screening

RoHS and Screening

Precious metals

Precious Metals

Mining and Geochemistry

Mining and Geochemistry

Scrap and recycling

Scrap and Recycling



XRF Training Resources

These training resources provide a more in-depth understanding of XRF analysis in regard to how it works, best practices, and real-world applications of the technology.

XRF Webinars:

Explore our selection of webinars on XRF analysis and technology.

XRF Videos:

XRF videos provide an in-depth look at XRF analysis, its benefits, and real-world uses for XRF.

XRF Application Notes:

XRF application notes are an excellent resource for anyone eager to learn how XRF is used in the field.

Addtional XRF Resources:

For further information on XRF analysis, explore these resources here.

XRF Products

XRF Technology Guides

XRF Acronyms

XRF Acronyms and Abbreviations Decoded: Quick Reference Guide

Learn the meaning of XRF acronyms and abbreviations you might find online or hear on the job.

Handheld Vanta

Video Series: Tips and Tricks for Vanta™ Handheld XRF Analyzers

See how to use popular features on Vanta handheld XRF analyzers.

XRF analyzers

Which XRF Analyzer Is Right for Me?

Discover important considerations to select the right XRF analyzer for your material testing needs.

Handheld Analyzer

Vanta Handheld XRF Frequently Asked Questions

Get the answers to questions customers are asking about Vanta handheld XRF analyzers.

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