Polymers and plastics: analysis of toxic elements

Turnkey solution for accurate analysis of toxic heavy elements in polymers

X-ray fluorescence (XRF)  spectroscopy is a powerful technique for both process control and regulatory compliance in the  polymers and plastics industry . Reliable monitoring of the concentration of remaining catalysts helps to accurately control the polymerization process and ensures the maximum allowable concentration for several restricted elements is not exceeded.

XRF delivers important advantages compared to other elemental analysis techniques. Sample preparation is straightforward, with no dissolution required. Measurements are non-destructive and results are accurate and reproducible. Time-consuming and costly re-standardizations are unnecessary and the resultant data are consistent over long periods, saving time and money. Automated analysis reduces measurement times to a matter of minutes and efficient sample preparation methods support high throughput. User-friendly software allows routine analysis to be carried out by factory operators.

Expertise program for XRF analysis of toxic elements in polymers and plastics

This Expertise program delivers a complete methodology from sample preparation to quality assurance for elemental analysis in polyolefins (all kinds of PP and PE, including iPP, HDPE, LDPE, mPE, ULMWPE etc.). It can be applied to ZetiumAxios, MagiX or Epsilon range systems. The following elements and concentration ranges are covered:

Elements ppm
Cr 0 - 22
Ni 0 - 11
Cu 0 - 25
Zn 0 - 5
As 0 - 6
Br 0 - 160
Cd 0 - 30
Ba 0 - 600
Hg 0 - 5
Pb 0 - 22


  • Suite of TOXEL calibration standards covering the elements and concentration ranges listed above
  • Setup of optimized analysis program and system calibration, enabling best throughput and accurate results, as well as easy routine analysis by factory operators
  • Setup of calibration maintenance procedure
  • Advice on workflow optimization
  • Advice on efficient preparation of samples, including hot pressing
  • User training and documentation


  • Statistical Process Control for WD XRF systems*, for setting up QA/QC workflows


  • Malvern Panalytical XRF spectrometer: ZetiumAxios or MagiX WD XRF systems, equipped to run liquid samples, or an Epsilon range system
  • Sample preparation equipment

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SPC is already included with Zetium systems