Anche se la macinazione viene svolta in condizioni ideali, gli stress meccanici che il campione esercita sulla superficie degli strumenti di macinazione può causare abrasione. Tuttavia, selezionando un mulino e degli accessori adatti è possibile minimizzare questo effetto. Se il campione deve essere macinato a pezzature inferiori ai 100 microns, le forti forze meccaniche richieste aumentano l’abrasione.
Modern analytical methods increase precision and push detection limits to make even the smallest traces of sample components detectable. Despite this development sample preparation, which is carried out prior to the actual analysis, is frequently neglected. Errors caused by lacking accuracy in sample preparation have a much bigger impact than errors made during analysis. Just like an iceberg which is mostly hidden under water, only a small part of the sum of errors is perceived whereas the major part of potential errors is not taken into account (fig. 1). One of the reasons may be the fact that sampling and sample preparation have always been done in a traditional way which has become a routine over the years and is no longer considered as having a critical influence on the subsequent analyses.
Reliable and accurate analysis results can only be guaranteed by reproducible sample preparation. This consists of transforming a laboratory sample into a representative part sample with homogeneous analytical fineness. Retsch offers a comprehensive range of the most modern mills and crushers for coarse, fine and ultra-fine size reduction of almost any material. The product range also comprises a wide choice of grinding tools and accessories which helps to ensure contamination-free preparation of a great variety of sample materials. The selection of the correct grinding tool depends on the sample material and the subsequent method of analysis. Different grinding tools have different characteristics, such as required energy input, hardness or wear-resistance.
X-Ray fluorescence is one of the most versatile methods to determine elements in a sample. The material is exposed to x-rays that cause each element to emit its own unique fluorescent x-ray. The subsequent analysis of the results is based on comparisons to standard samples with given chemical composition.
Sample preparation in the mining industry - Museum of Mining, Russia