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QUANTITATIVE mineral analysis of clay materials is logically the next step after a qualitative examination has identified the components present. X-ray methods of quantitative phase analysis of mixtures are very versatile and probably have the widest capabilities of the various methods available. X-ray intensities reflected by components in mixtures are obviously related to the proportions of the components and it is a reasonable expectation that quantitative analyses can be made on this basis. The development of X-ray diffractometers greatly simplified the measurement of X-ray intensities as compared with photographic methods and many texts are available describing procedures for accurate measurements among which may be mentioned those of Cullity (1956; revised 1978), Klug and Alexander (1954; revised 1974), and Peiser, Rooksby and Wllson (1955).

The present chapter will show that many methods have been developed for quantitative phase analysis some using external standards, others using internal standards, and some which eliminate standards. The application of these methods to clay analysis is rendered difficult because of the variability of clay minerals, chemically and structurally. This variabilrty affects not only the intensities diffracted by the components but also makes the selection of reference minerals very difficult. The suggestion that the reference minerals should be taken from the materials to be analyzed is excellent in principle but often exceedingly difficult in practice.

The intensity of X-ray diffraction by a component P in a mixture is given by the equation (see Klug and Alexander, 1974, p. 533):

where ρp, is the density of component P and ΣWpµp is the average attenuation coeficient; in equation (1), ρp, is incorporated in the constant Kp.

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