Iron Ore Grade Control with WDXRF – Fast & Accurate

How to control iron ore with the Bruker S8 TIGER sequential WDXRF spectrometer and GEOQUANT package. A fast and accurate method for iron ore grade control in mining and steel production. Results are stable, repeatable and compliant with ISO 9516:2003.

Blue Scientific is the official distributor for Bruker XRF systems in the Nordic region (Sweden, Finland, Iceland, Denmark, Norway). For more information and quotes, please get in touch:

Bruker S8 TIGER

 Contact us on +44 (0)1223 422 269 or


Iron Ore Grade Control

Iron ore is one of the world’s most important natural resources, vital for iron and steel in the construction, machinery and automobile industries,. Direct shipping ores are the most valuable, with iron concentrations above 60% (hematite and magnetite). The commercial value of ore is affected by trace elements such as P, As and Cu, which can influence production costs and the quality of the final steel.

Grade control of iron ore is therefore very important, and it requires a high degree of precision. In global trade, standardised analysis is necessary; WDXRF is an ideal technique because it is highly accurate for measuring major, minor and trace elements, with a short measurement time.

Bruker S8 TIGER Series 2 XRF

Bruker S8 TIGER WDXRF spectrometer

Bruker S8 TIGER

The Bruker S8 TIGER Series 2 is a sequential WDXRF spectrometer ideal for iron ore analysis, especially when used with GEOQUANT Iron Ore, a turn-key solution specifically for fast grade control. It is ideal for use in:

  • Geochemical service labs
  • Mine side labs
  • Central labs at steel plants

Bruker’s new HighSense counting electronics enable you to use extremely high intensities, for fast measurement without compromising precision.

Results from the Bruker S8 TIGER are compliant with ISO 9516:2003.

Sample Preparation

The most convenient sample preparation technique for iron ore is fused bead preparation. With this method, data quality is not altered by mineralogical effects. High iron can be analysed accurately, with a higher dilution compared to pressed pellets.

Fused bead iron ore samples

Fused bead samples

Maximum Precision

The S8 TIGER has a number of features to ensure precise results. Sample position has a great effect on precision, so it is very important. Firstly, samples are loaded directly into the measurement position. Turret-based sample handling systems can often cause mechanical errors.

A constant distance between the tube anode, sample surface and goniometer must be maintained, independent of the various sample cups. Bruker’s HighSense HV generator and stable X-ray tube, along with the goniometer, XS-100 multi-layer optics and high-resolution analyser crystal ensure the highest sensitivity, resolution and precision. New HighSense detectors and counting electronics deliver a maximum count rate of 4 Mcps for both detectors, flow and scintillation counters. The linear range covers almost 2 Mcps, which enables a wide range calibration for low and high grade ores.

Accuracy Test

In this test, an iron ore ample from Sweden was analysed using the S8 TIGER to demonstrate the accuracy of the system. The sample was measured 10 times, reloading the sample each time to simulate a real-world measurement. The results are shown in the table below, with comparisons to the certified values. As you can see, the low standard deviation and RSD show that results are highly stable and accurate:

Iron Ore Accuracy Test

Accuracy test using ECRM 698-1 iron ore from Sweden

Calibration Set: GEO-QUANT

The calibration set used in the test above can be purchased as a pre-calibrated method GEO-QUANT Iron Ore. The set includes:

  • Ready-to-Fuse glass powder standards
  • 2 original CRM QC samples
  • Drift Monitor from XRF Scientifics
  • Memory stick loaded with all calibration parameters

Full results from the test above are available in this report from Bruker. If you found this article interesting, subscribe to the Bruker FIRST Newsletter for more applications news from Bruker X-ray Analysis.

Further Information

Blue Scientific is the official Nordic distributor for Bruker XRF. We are available to help with queries and quotes – just get in touch:

 Contact us on +44 (0)1223 422 269 or

Bruker S8 TIGER


Bruker GEO-QUANT calibration set