ASTM-B890 Standard Test Method for Determination of Metallic Constituents of Tungsten Alloys and Tungsten Hardmetals by X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometry

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Standard Test Method for Determination of Metallic Constituents of Tungsten Alloys and Tungsten Hardmetals by X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometry



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1.1 This test method describes a procedure for the determination of the concentration, generally reported as mass percent, of the metallic constituents of tungsten-based alloys and hardmetals utilizing wavelength dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (XRF). This test method incorporates the preparation of standards using reagent grade metallic oxides, lithium-borate compounds, and fusion techniques. This test method details techniques for preparing representative specimens of both powder and sintered tungsten-based material. This test method is accurate for a wide range of compositions, and can be used for acceptance of material to grade specifications.

1.2 This test method is applicable to mixtures of tungsten or tungsten carbide with additions of refractory metal carbides and binder metals. Table 1 lists the most common elemental constituents and their concentration range. Note that many of these occur as metallic carbides.

TABLE 1 Elemental Constituents and Concentration Range


Concentration, Mass %
(minimum - maximum)

Chromium (Cr)

0.05 - 5.0

Cobalt (Co)

0.05 - 40 

Hafnium (Hf)

0.05 - 2.0

Iron (Fe)

0.05 - 2.0

Molybdenum (Mo)

0.05 - 5.0

Nickel (Ni)

0.05 - 30 

Niobium (Nb)

0.05 - 15 

Tantalum (Ta)

0.05 - 30 

Titanium (Ti)

0.05 - 30 

Vanadium (V)

0.05 - 2.0

1.3 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

Significance and Use

5.1 This test method allows the determination of the chemical composition of powdered and sintered tungsten-based hardmetals. This test method is not applicable to material which will not oxidize readily at high temperatures in air, such as tungsten/copper or tungsten/silver alloys.

5.2 This test method specified lithium-borate compounds for the glass fusion material. However, numerous other choices are available. These include other lithium-borate compounds, sodium carbonate and borate mixtures, and others. The methodology specified here is still applicable as long as the same fusion mixture is used for both standards and specimens.


absorption and enhancement effects; fusion; interelement effects; tungsten alloys; tungsten carbides; tungsten hardmetals; X-ray fluorescence spectrometry; ICS Number Code 71.040.50 (Physicochemical methods of analysis); 77.040.30 (Chemical analysis of metals)

To find similar documents by ASTM Volume:

02.05 (Metallic and Inorganic Coatings; Metal Powders and Metal Powder Products)

To find similar documents by classification:

71.040.50 (Physicochemical methods of analysis Including spectrophotometric and chromatographic analysis)

77.040.30 (Chemical analysis of metals Chemical analysis in general, see 71.040.40 Chemical analysis of ferrous metals, see 77.080 Chemical analysis of ferroalloys, see 77.100 Chemical analysis of non-ferrous metals, see 77.120 Chemical analysis of sintered metals and hard metals, see 77.160)

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Document Number


Revision Level

2007 R12 EDITION



Modification Type


Publication Date

Nov. 15, 2012

Document Type

Test Method

Page Count

5 pages

Committee Number