Quantitative analysis of anhydrite

Anhydrite or anhydrous calcium sulfate (CaSO4) is an important naturally-occurring compound found in many limestone formations and karst topography. This material has recently gained more significance to the cement industry as a substitute for gypsum—calcium sulfate dihydrate (CaSO4·2H2O). Anhydrite shows great efficacy as a cement setting retardant. This allows valuable time for other phases to form which enhances the cement's tensile properties. Implementation of the External Calibration Method for quantitative analysis on an anhydrite compound is simple using the MiniFlex. The measurement requires a single diffraction peak of the desired phase. Each of the overlaid peaks in Figure 1 took about two minutes to collect. As depicted in Figure 1, the weight percent of the unknown anhydrite pattern (magenta) was 4.2%. A weight percent of 4.0 was expected. This test does not require any mixing of samples, digestions or pressing of pellets. Unlike elemental calibration curves, this method determines the exact compound; i.e. anhydrite, gypsum or bassanite (hemihydrate). Elemental analysis techniques such as ICP and XRF, only detect Ca and S, but cannot detect the correct form or phase of the compounds.


anhydrite1
Figure 1: Using PDXL External Quantitative analysis of anhydrite (CaSO4), a weight percent of 4.2 was obtained.


The fifth generation MiniFlex is a general purpose X-ray diffractometer that can perform qualitative and quantitative analysis of polycrystalline materials. The MiniFlex is available in two variations. Operating at 600 watts (X-ray tube), the MiniFlex 600 is twice as powerful as other benchtop models, enabling faster analysis and improved overall throughput. Running at 300 watts (X-ray tube), the new MiniFlex 300 does not require an external heat exchanger. Each model is engineered to maximize flexibility in a benchtop package. Read more...

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