X-ray diffraction is used widely for quantitative analysis of geological samples but studies which document the accuracy of the methods employed are not numerous. Synthetic sandstones of known composition are used to compare a ‘routine application’ of a Rietveld and a reference intensity ratio (RIR) method of quantitative phase analysis. Both methods give similar results accurate to within ~±3 wt.% at the 95% confidence level. The high degree of accuracy obtained is believed to depend to a large extent on the spray-drying method of sample preparation used to eliminate preferred orientation.

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