Titanium on Aluminum

Application Note EDXRF1620

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The measurement of titanium (Ti) conversion coating on aluminum is demonstrated.


Aluminum and steel are often coated with a protective conversion coating, also called passivate or passivation coating, to prevent oxidation and corrosion of the base metal. Conversion coatings include chromium (Cr), titanium (Ti), vanadium (V), manganese (Mn), nickel (Ni), or zirconium (Zr). A phosphate coating may be applied as well to minimize wear on cutting tools and stamping machines. Aluminum is often coated for use in aircraft parts, aluminum window frames, and other similar industries where the aluminum is exposed to weathering. Steel for the automotive industry is typically first galvanized with a zinc coating before the conversion coating is applied. Protected steel is also used for outdoor sheds and other similar uses where steel is exposed to weathering. Conversion coating also helps in the retention of paint for the final finished product.

800x610 NEX QC+ (S in Crude screen)_picture_2020.06.25Model: NEX QC


An empirical calibration was built using a set of standards assayed by careful weigh-strip-weigh. 

Element: Ti
Units: mg/ft²
Sample I.D. Standard value Calculated value
STD 1 0.06 0.076
STD 2 0.24 0.199
STD 3 0.53 0.573
STD 4 1.16 1.187
STD 5 2.57 2.489
STD 6 4.10 4.137

EDXRF1620 Correlation plot Ti on aluminum

Correlation plot Ti on aluminum

Recovery and repeatability

To demonstrate repeatability (precision), the three calibration standards were chosen. Each sample was measured in a static position with typical results shown below.

Element: Ti
Units: mg/ft²
Sample I.D. Standard value Average value Std. dev
STD 2 0.24 0.206 0.012
STD 4 1.16 1.190 0.017
STD 6 4.10 4.142 0.023


The performance shown here demonstrates NEX QC provides excellent sensitivity and performance for the measurement of titanium conversion coatings on aluminum.

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