Ashing is the process of removing all the organic material from a sample though heating in air. The proportional mass of residual ash may be the objective of the test, or may be an intermediate step in the preparation of the sample for other purposes such as characterisation of the inorganic components through XRF (X-ray fluorescence), mass spectroscopy, or for tests such as ash fusibility.
The ashing process is frequently used in the testing of foods, plastics, and hydrocarbon materials such as coal. Ashing tests may be defined within standard test methods, typical examples of which are ISO 1171:2010 and ASTM D3174-12.
When ashing, achieving complete combustion of the sample is of vital importance. This can be accomplished with a purpose built ashing furnace. Ashing some materials can create a large amount of smoke so in some cases specialised furnaces (designed to provide more airflow or process the smoke further with an afterburner) may be required.
A fused quartz chamber ashing furnace may be necessary for tests where alumina or silica dust could contaminate the results or where the ashing process will result in the production of corrosive vapours.
We provide a complete range of ashing furnaces to suit all requirements.