The Use Of Electron Microbeam Techniques In Metallurgical Analysis

Andrews, L.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 4
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2007
Electron microbeam analysis of metallurgical samples covers abroad field and has applications in the areas of minerals processing, hydrometallurgy, pyrometallurgy, physical metallurgy and corrosion. Some idea of the possibilities of microbeam techniques can be illustrated by examining the following example of a run of mine gold ore sample. Milling and bulk chemical analysis of the ore will provide major and minor element analysis as well as the gold grade. More detailed chemistry can also reveal the presence of trace elements that may be advantageous or deleterious to downstream processing. Electron microbeam analysis can provide additional information in the form of size, liberation, association and composition of the gold, the percentage of refractory gold, the size, liberation, association and composition of enclosing sulphide or arsenide phases and the levels and association of the trace elements that may affect processing. In most cases electron microbeam analysis complements bulk chemistry, and does not replace it. Both techniques should be used in parallel for maximum effect. This paper touches on the origin and history of electron microbeam techniques, as well as the theory behind microbeam analysis and processing. The more common types of instruments and their applications will also be dealt with briefly.
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