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Clay Speciation and Quantification

Identifying clay type and content (in particular different swelling clays) is important for many industries from building and construction to oil and gas.  Sietronics can provide full clay analysis services, including speciation of clay minerals, quantification of the total clay content in the sample.
XRD Clay Analysis
The primary method for clay analysis is via X-Ray Diffraction (XRD).  Depending on the requirements, we offer the following analysis services:
  • Bulk Analysis with clay quantification.  This service will give a general quantification of the amount of clay present in the sample, without speciation of the different clays.
  • Clay analysis with speciation.  The clay component of the sample (< 2um portion) is separated, and undergoes several treatments to speciate the different clay minerals present.  Treatments include:
    • Glycolation​
    • Heating to 400c
    • ​Heating fo 550c
Other treatments are also sometimes used depending on the type of clays present (e.g. distinguishing ​halloysites from kaolinites).
Please contact us for more information.
Exampe of treated clay after glycol, heated to 350c and heated to 550c
SEM Clay Analysis
SEMcan also be ​​used in addition to XRD when more information about the clays is required.  SEM with EDXRF can provide chemistry of particular areas of a sample, and the high magnification that SEM allows can identify the structure and form of the clays.
SEM image showing Halloysite, Gibbsite and Kaolinite
SEM image showing Halloysite Scrolls
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