Minerals and most technical products may be swiftly and reliably identified with the X-ray diffraction method. At the same time, one can make an estimation of the amount of each component. The method is economical and even small amounts of sample, less than 1 mg in weight, may be studied. However, the sample must be crystalline; amorphous materials such as glass cannot be identified with this method. X-ray diffraction studies may occasionally be complemented by other methods like thermal analysis or infrared spectrophotometry.
Clay minerals have a number of unique properties, e.g., some clay minerals may show cation exchange capacity, interaction with water or interaction with organic compounds. As a result of these properties the minerals may swell to several times their original size and this gives them an important role within the environmental field. Additionally, clays are versatile in industrial products such as paper and paints. The growing use of these minerals has created an increasing demand for their study.
In GTK’s mineralogical laboratory, analytical services are carried out for in-house research projects as well as for external customers. Examples of such studies include: