Automatization of the time-consuming conventional methods of optical or mechanical identification of grain size is possible by electro-magnetically reading out of the surface roughness of the sample. The instrument used is known as the surface measuring instrument, its basic principle is the same as that used in self-inductance heads of pick-up elements. Advantages of this method are its extremely high speed in comparison to conventional methods and the possibility of computerizing the procedure, leading to automatic analyses and instant read-out of grain-size, orientation of the grains and distribution of specific minerals.

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