Advanced X-ray Analysis of Balloons Pigments and the Correlation with Chemical Composition

Author:  Haneen Hisham AlSuradi, Rehab I. Khawaga, and Hussain AlAwadhi
Date:  June, 2013



Non-destructive techniques for analysis of components of a sample are very beneficial and indeed essential (Nuevo and Sa´nchez 2011). X-ray fluorescence (XRF) is among the most cited analytical methods in literature dealing with the investigation of metals, crystals, and ceramics. It is also used frequently for research in environmental science, forensic science, and archaeology. However, XRF does not provide the ability to detect light elements (Z < 11) and compounds. This study aims to illustrate how quantitative and qualitative analysis can be performed on XRF data to extract information about compounds, overcoming the limitation of the XRF spectrometer in recognizing them. The study focuses on identifying pigments in latex balloons from five different brands by utilizing XRF spectrometer, available in the National X-ray Fluorescence Lab, NXFL, (Sharjah - UAE). Different colorant materials were identified in the studied balloons. The results indicate the use of green and blue pigments from the Phthalocyanine chemical class. Also, it shows that red pigments from the chemical classes; Monoazo, Disazo, and Quinacridone, were used. However, organic pigments are suggested to be used in the yellow and orange balloons. The study also indicated the use of titanium white, magnesium carbonate, and calcium carbonate as the basic white pigments.