This paper describes an improved simple, sample-mounting method for random powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), namely the razor tamped surface (RTS) method, which prepares a powder mount by tamping the loose powder with the sharp edge of a razor blade. Four kaolinites and a quartz powder were used to evaluate the RTS method by quantifying the degree of orientation in the sample mounts using orientation indices. Comparisons between the RTS and other published simple methods, consisting of front loading, back loading and side loading, indicate that the RTS method produces minimum packing density and minimum preferred orientation in the powder mounts of all five samples. The quartz powder used in this study does exhibit a tendency to preferred orientation. The mechanism by which the RTS method reduces preferred orientation is examined by comparing the width of the sharp blade edge with the size of clay particles. The advantages and disadvantages of the RTS method are also discussed.

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