This chapter reviewed existing X-ray techniques that can be used for the analysis of materials, inclusive of those used as engineering and structural components. These techniques are X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometry, proton-induced X-ray emission (PIXE) spectrometry, and X-ray diffraction (XRD). These analytical techniques provide qualitative and quantitative information on the composition and structure of materials with precision. XRD gives information on the crystalline forms and amorphous content of materials, which could be quite useful in failure analysis if the type of failure brings about morphological changes in the material under investigation. PIXE and XRF provide information on the types of elements present in a sample material and their concentrations. PIXE is however preferable to XRF due to its higher sensitivity to trace elements and lower atomic number elements as well as its faster analysis. XRF and XRD are more commonly used than PIXE which is a powerful, high-tech method that is relatively new in the field of chemical research. In this chapter, the theory and principles of these analytical techniques are explained, and diagrams showing the components of spectrometers and diffractometers are provided with descriptions of how they function.
Part of the book: Failure Analysis and Prevention