Automated materials characterization

Automated materials characterization is performed on a wide range of materials. A feasible analysis requires 1) solid materials with 2) only minor components of organic compounds and plastics. Natural and artificial materials are both suitable for characterization.

 


© Bernhard Schulz / TU Bergakademie Freiberg

Ores

Layered Ore (© Markus Röhner / HZDR)
Sulfide Ore (© Max Frenzel / HZDR)
Sulfide Ore (© Max Frenzel / HZDR)

The analysis of ores enables the determination of the quantitative modal composition, the relevant associations, the metal distribution in the ore minerals or between ore minerals. In addition, material attributes relevant for choosing beneficiation routes are determined. Precious metals can be traced applying particular search modes.

 

Processing products (concentrates, intermediates, tailings)

Flotation Froth (© Dirk Sandmann / TU Bergakademie Freiberg)
Flotation Froth (© Dirk Sandmann / TU Bergakademie Freiberg)
Ore Concentrate (© Dirk Sandmann / TU Bergakademie Freiberg)

The detailed characterization of processing products may contribute to increase the resource and energy efficiency of the plant by process optimization. Additionally, material losses are detected and can be reduced.

 

Recycling materials

Shredded Recycling Material (© Jörg Fuchs)
Shredded Recycling Material (© Jörg Fuchs)
Shredded Recycling Material (© Dirk Sandmann / HZDR)

The quality of comminution and separation processes during recycling is evaluated. The accumulation of specific phases in certain processing steps and / or size fractions is detected and used for process optimization.

Environmentally relevant materials (e.g., tailings, re-mining)

Tailings Dump and Acid Mine Drainage (© Jens Gutzmer / HZDR)

Today, the technique is applied in environmental rehabilitation and re-mining. Automated materials characterization is used to investigate tailings material with regard to potential pollutants and valuable components. The recognition of environmentally relevant mineral associations and elemental distributions is of particular importance. 

Glass

Analyses are utilized to detect and identify the smallest impurities in special glasses with the highest purity requirements.

 

Ceramics

In the ceramic industry, the material characterization is used, among others, for quality control. Both the material structures (e.g. in respect of agglomerate formation) as well as the intergrowths of phases is evaluated.

 

Metals and alloys

Metal (© Jörg Fuchs)
Metal Embedding (© Jörg Fuchs)

The automated material characterization of metals and alloys is in particular suitable for quality control and for the detection and identification of critical impurities.

 

Semiconductor materials

The automated material characterization of semiconductor materials is used for quality control and for the detection and identification of critical impurities.

Building materials

Concrete (© Fraunhofer IBP)
Aerated Concrete (© Fraunhofer IBP)

In the application field of building materials, both the feed materials and the final products can be analyzed. The applications are the exact material characterization for quality control as well as for detection and identification of critical impurities.

Rocks and sediments

Garnetiferous Rock (© Bernhard Schulz / TU Bergakademie Freiberg)

ERZLABOR analyzes solid as well as granular materials. All three rock groups, magmatic, metamorphic as well as sedimentary rocks are analyzed with regard to their quantitative mineralogy. Furthermore, minor and trace minerals are identified and mapped.

Extraterrestrial materials

Meteorite (© Andreas Massanek / TU Bergakademie Freiberg)
Meteorite (© Andreas Massanek / TU Bergakademie Freiberg)

One of the very first applications of automated materials characterization in the early 1970s was the phase identification and determination of extraterrestrial matter.