CHARMed PyMca is a protocol for researchers using energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (ED-XRF) who wish to maximize interlaboratory reproducibility of quantitative results from copper alloys found in heritage materials. This paper reports the results of a study evaluating the interlaboratory reproducibility expected when following this protocol. Five institutions participated in this study, using nine tube-based instruments of seven types. A set of 12 reference materials not used for calibration was analysed according to the protocol. The results show an improvement in reproducibility of between 65% and 83%, depending on the element, in comparison with a similar study carried out in 2010. The protocol allowed the consistent reporting of concentrations for 15 elements, in contrast to only eight elements that were reported in the 2010 study. Finally, the protocol was shown to generate accurate quantitative results with a well-characterized precision. It is hoped the information presented here can help researchers studying heritage copper alloys to collaborate more effectively and with greater confidence in the reproducibility of their results. It should also aid researchers to make realistic and informed decisions about whether or not the degree of reproducibility that they may expect from ED-XRF makes the protocol suitable for their specific purposes.
- fundamental parameters