ASBESTOS CHARACTERIZATION USING SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPY/LIGHT ELEMENT X-RAY SPECTROMETRY

Authors
  1. Fisher, G.C.
  2. Morchat, R.M.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research Establishment Atlantic, Dartmouth NS (CAN)
Abstract
The Defence Research Establishment Atlantic (DREA) has traditionally used scanning electron microscopy (SEM) coupled with energy dispersive x-ray (EDX) spectrometry to identify asbestos fibers in solid insulating materials. This analysis typically utilizes fiber morphology to determine the presence of asbestiform fibers and EDX analysis to characterize asbestos type. The characterization is accomplished by comparison of the relative amounts of magnesium, silicon and iron present in the fibers. The EDX detector traditionally used in asbestos characterization employs a protective beryllium shield that effectively blocks the passage of low energy x-rays. Thus characteristic x-rays from "light elements" (those below sodium in atomic weight) are not detected. Recently, DREA acquired a commercial EDX detector that employs a polymer shield that allows for detection of x-rays from elements as low as boron in atomic weight. This report summarizes results of a study on the effects of using a "light element" detector on characterization of both asbestos standards and commercial asbestos-containing insulating material. The study showed that "light element" SEM/EDX can be used to characterize asbestos fibers in bulk insulations.
Keywords
Energy Dispersive X-ray - EDX;SEM;Chrysotile;Amosite;Anthophyllite;Crocidolite
Report Number
DREA-TM-93-206 — Technical Memorandum
Date of publication
01 Sep 1993
Number of Pages
24
DSTKIM No
94-01465
CANDIS No
134620
Format(s):
Hardcopy;Originator's fiche received by DSIS

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