“Free Silica Analysis by Automated Scanning Electron Microscopy”

1991:38: Vander Wood, Boltin

Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS), 1991

Abstract:

Recent classification of free, crystalline silica as a potential human carcinogen has made new demands on analytical methods for silica analysis. Computer automation of a scanning electron microscope (ASEM) offers the ability to analyze thousands of small particles, with chemical classification and size determination for each particle found. ASEM is competitive with the only traditional technique capable of analyzing silica at these levels – x-ray diffraction (XRD). Quantitative analysis of trace quartz in kaolin by both ASEM and XRD indicates that ASEM may be more accurate, although less precise, than XRD at quartz concentrations below 0.2 percent by weight. Accurate ASEM analysis depends on proper sample preparation, instrument parameters setup and data reduction. A detection limit of <0.1 weight % SiO2 can be achieved in ASEM analyses requiring two hours or less.


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