X-ray diffraction (XRD) is a form of analysis that can characterise the atom arrangements, chemical composition as well as the micro-structure of all types of materials. XRD is used to analyse natural as well as manufactured materials in order to understand their properties. Therefore XRD analysis is very helpful in the study of crystal materials like salts, minerals, metals etc.
X-ray diffraction proves useful and accurate when determining the atom size, length and the types of chemical bonds, impurities in the material as well as the phases. Phase analysis is also used to determine any deterioration in thematerial. Construction industry uses XRD for analysis of materials like cement, to test the quality of cement and any possible adulterants. Through XRD analysis you can detect if there is any free lime, quartz or any other undesired phase which can lead to inferior quality of cement. In fact XRD is also used to investigate why any structure that has become damaged.
An XRD lab is well-equipped with XRD instrumentation which can be used for the study of different crystalline material. It is being used to detect diverse problems in the materials under manufacture like various alloys so as to be able to find the right solution. Since XRD analysis shows great precision in measuring the structure of materials it proves useful in the study of equilibrium and non-equilibrium state of materials. Besides the crystalline structure and phase composition XRD is used to detect phase variations and any deformation in the materials can be duly investigated. It proves useful in the study of the structure of the material as well as the structural quality.
The X-Ray diffraction laboratory is equipped to analyse and study different materials with precision. XRD is therefore used to test cement, ceramics, concrete as well as stone when used as raw materials. Finished products are also analysed for strength and stress and to test that the product fulfils standards and is fit for the purpose that it has been made for. The components of bricks and polymorphs in ceramics are analysed through X-ray diffraction. Asbestos is another material, used in construction that is analysed through XRD since asbestos dust can be a health hazard.
XRD analysis ensures that biomaterials used in bone and dental implants have the right amount of crystallinity or it could affect the quality and effectiveness of the implants.Similarly soils and clays are tested for bentonite or kaolinite so that cosmeticformulations can be created to provide maximum benefits from the high mineral content in these clays. XRD characterises the nature of clay especially as no other method can determine the characteristics as well as XRD testing.
Another industry where XRD is used extensively is in the polymer manufacturing industry. Polymers can be crystalline or pseudo-crystalline and XRD successfully quantifies polymers. The polymer industry uses XRD to quantify the amorphous and crystalline nature of the polymer as that helps them to process the polymer with more accuracy.