A study of the detection limits for the elements with Z = 15-92 in thick target steel surfaces using proton-induced X-ray technique has been performed. Samples were irradiated with a broad proton beam of 2 mm diameter and the X-rays were detected by a Si(Li) detector. Detection limits at levels down to the order of 10 ppm were achieved with simultaneous measurement of several elements. Mylar and chromium absorbers were introduced in front of the semiconductor detector and irradiations at two different proton energies (1.0 and 2.5 MeV) were carried out in order to elucidate their effects on detection limits. The results are valid for microbeam analysis.