Microanalysis at AusIMM Critical Minerals Conference 21 – 23 Nov

We are excited to be participating in the Critical Minerals Conference at the Perth Convention Centre 21 – 23 November.

The Microanalysis Team will be at Booth 9 and would love to answer any questions you may have about our techniques and how they can be of benefit to you.

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Materials Australia – Instrumentation Expo

Come along to a free industry event

Materials Inspection and Instrumentation Expo

Monday 10 May 2021

12 noon to 5 pm followed by BBQ and then WA Branch Technical Presentation at 6:30pm
Innovation Central, Building 216, Curtin University, Bentley Campus

Materials Australia and Innovation Central are inviting science, engineering and technical professionals, academics and students to visit the MIIX2021 expo. The MIIX expo is a free half-day event followed by a technical presentation by Materials Australia. Some of the leading Inspection and Instrumentation equipment suppliers will be showcasing their latest technology and the event is aimed at promoting strong contacts within the Western Australian materials science and technology sector. MIIX2021 is free entry and open to all of our corporate and standard members as well as academics, students and other interested delegates from our kindred societies and Curtin University.

Members of Materials Australia and kindred societies are also encouraged to bring along a “friend” or fellow industry professional to extend this to a networking event and opportunity to meet fellow materials science professionals and encourage new membership.

Bookings prior to the event are preferred to ensure we are properly catered for, so please follow the link to the Trybooking site below and register.



X-ray Diffraction (XRD)

.. X-ray Diffraction (XRD) is a technique that is utilized to identify crystalline phases present in a given sample.

For powder diffraction, a micronized sample is pressed into a specialised holder and placed into the X-ray Diffractometer. The instrument bombards the powdered sample with X-rays at varying angles. As the X-rays come into contact with the particulate material, they are diffracted by the crystal structure of the phase or phases that are being analysed. The scan results in a diffraction pattern which contains numerous peaks or humps.


Figure 1: Raw scan yet to be interpreted

The resulting peaks or humps are similar to a fingerprint, as they can be matched to specific mineral or crystalline phases. The interpretation of the diffraction pattern is a comparative method where the data is matched to an exhaustive list of reference patterns. By using this interpretation technique, it is possible to identify well over ten different minerals or crystalline phases within an unknown  sample, as long as they are present in concentrations that exceed ~1%.


Figure 2: Interpreted scan

Note that elemental composition is not determined by XRD, but can be inferred from the phases identified. Confidence in matching the phases can vary depending on how closely the standardised database pattern match the minerals present in the sample, the number and type of other phases present in the sample, crystallinity, concentration of the individual phases and the quality of the diffraction pattern as well as the grinding/micronizing process itself.

Other information than can be gleaned from a diffraction pattern includes the degree of weathering or alteration, crystallite size, elemental substitution, the degree of disorder, and the amorphous content.

The use of elemental assay information (say from XRF) , sample history and geology/location information and complimentary techniques all assist by strengthening confidence in making phase identification more accurate.

Quantification XRD techniques vary from qualitative (what is present) to semi quantitative (what and relative abundance of what is present) through to fully Quantitative Rietveld analysis.

One of the most challenging areas for phase identification is clay speciation. Due to the poor crystallinity and irregular orderingof some clay groups, identification may require additional sample preparation methods including glycolation, heat (dehydration) and other techniques.

At Microanalysis we have several automated powder X-ray Diffractometers. Utilising a number of diffraction databases including the latest 2019 complete International Centre for Diffraction Database (ICDD) to assist in the accurate analysis of unknown samples.  We have a myriad of different holding mounts to assist in the analysis of the samples including our standard holders that utilise approximately one cubic centimetre of powdered sample, holders that take milligram quantities of sample, holders that can present filter cloth, flat ceramic or metallic plates and holders that can accommodate some sample irregularity.

The techniques we frequently utilise are:

Microanalysis Australia is always pleased to customise XRD techniques to accommodation specific client requirements and achieve the highest quality results.

NATA Accredited – Asbestos Testing Using SEM/EDS

Microanalysis Australia is excited and proud to announce that we are the first, and currently only laboratory within Australia to gain NATA accreditation for asbestos and inorganic fibre identification using SEM/EDS.

For the past 11 years we have been helping our clients detect potentially harmful asbestos fibres not identifiable or observable by the PLM method. We have developed a reliable and proven technique using scanning electron microscopy over the past 11 years and, over the past twelve months, we have been working tirelessly and closely with NATA representatives to have our in-house technique recognised.

Gaining accreditation for this technique has been a rewarding and educational process, and we are extremely happy to see this technique officially recognised by NATA.

Please contact us on +61 89225 5810 or admin@microanalysis.com.au to discuss how we can help you today.

Microanalysis – NATA Accredited Laboratory

Microanalysis Australia is pleased to announce they are now a NATA Accredited facility offering the following services under ISO/IEC 1702 (2018):

Contact the laboratory today if you wish to discuss our testing capabilities on +61 8 9225 5810 or admin@microanalysis.com.au


  • NATA
  • Australian Institute of Petroleum
  • Australian X-Ray Analytical Association
  • Royal Australian Chemical Institute
  • Telstra Business Awards
  • Scientific Partners Australia