Preburning graphite spectrographic electrodes in an arc to reduce the residual elemental impurity levels is a common and effective practice. In emission spectrography, it is generally considered desirable to preburn the electrodes for a time at least equivalent to the anticipated exposure time to eliminate the electrode blank. This is a routine practice in the authors' laboratory for trace analysis problems. It has been observed that impurity levels can be reduced to the nondetectable level (by emission spectrography) by preburning in a 35-A dc are under a rare gas atmosphere for 30–40 sec.
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