The direct analysis of alloy steels by x-ray fluorescence spectrography is ideally performed on a solid homogenous sample having a specific surface area and finish. In many steel mills, these sampling requirements are easily met. However, when ladle samples cannot be obtained, for example, in the melting of large ingots by the consumable electrode process, the time required to prepare suitable samples for direct x-ray fluorescent analysis is excessive, and this procedure is often impractical. When solid metallic samples of suitable size are not readily available, a means must be found whereby a homogenous sample can be obtained from chips, drillings, or powders. Several authors have investigated crushing and briquetting techniques (<i>1</i>), chemical dissolution and x-ray fluorescence analysis of the resulting liquid samples (<i>2</i>), and x-ray spectrographic procedures for analyzing irregular shaped samples (<i>3</i>). While these methods have solved some of the sampling problems, a fast method for preparing solid homogenous samples is desirable.
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