The QCX® ASP100 Automated Soft Press: a game-changer in XRD analysis
Patented soft press technology tackling the problem of preferred orientation
For more than 50 years, x-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis has been an established method for characterising minerals present in a sample. Its use in mining, cement and industrial settings has been on the rise over the past 10 to 15 years, with a growing demand for greater knowledge about the composition of materials in the industrial process. Full quantitative characterisation of the mineral content adds significant value to your operation as it offers huge potential for improvements to processes and quality control. But obtaining accurate results can be complicated. One of the biggest sources of inaccuracies is the non-ideal spherical shape of the crystallites in many minerals, even after grinding. This causes preferred orientation in the pressed sample, and leads to errors in the XRD analysis. This happens especially with phases that have a low symmetry, like clay materials. Pressing samples at high pressure can increase this error. To obtain useful results, preparing your sample correctly and reducing the preferred orientation of the powder is essential. We found many labs were using a work-around – manually back-loading the sample into the holder, and applying minimal pressure to the sample surface. But this was a time- consuming technique that required a skilled analyst, and had the potential to introduce human error. There had to be an easier way. So we came up with the ASP100 Automated Soft Press – a fully automatic sample press designed specifically to address the preferred orientation issue. This revolutionary unit produces high-quality pressed samples for quantitative XRD analysis using the Rietveld Method. It also produces samples for near infrared analysis (NIR), colour measurements and energy dispersive x-ray fluorescence analysis (ED XRF) for industries including minerals, cement and fine chemicals. Using our patented soft pressing technology, combined with randomisation technology and a textured pressing tool, it virtually eliminates all but the most severe preferred orientation. It produces a consistently flat sample surface with high precision from sample to sample, reducing errors caused by variations in sample height displacement. You get consistent, repeatable sample preparation, every time. It is especially suited to sample pressing for materials containing clays and micas, and also appropriate for samples containing plate-shaped minerals, and amorphous materials.
The smart solution for XRD sample preparation
The QCX ASP100 Automated Soft Press features ground breaking technology that ensures you get high quality samples for XRD analysis.