CORE ACTIVITIES OF SMI ANALYTICAL
SMI ANALYTICAL LABORATORY
SMI Analytical Laboratory is able to perform various types of chemical analysis, which can be seen on the
adjoining schedule. SMI Analytical is dedicated to offering realistic
turn-around times and also improved competitiveness.
SMI Analytical has combined state-of-the-art X-ray diffraction equipment, a modern sample preparation
laboratory and an expert staff to create an excellent clay mineral analysis facility,
coupled to a general analytical laboratory. Many
engineering, mining and tiling industry companies have made profitable use of the laboratory since it has
been established. The laboratory staff has kept customer needs in mind while developing standardized procedures.
However, if the service that you need is not listed, you are welcome to contact the laboratory and arrange to
have an analytical scheme specially tailored to meet your needs. The laboratory emphasizes
clay mineral analyses but is capable of most chemical analysis.
ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY SERVICES: X-RAY DIFFRACTION ANALYSIS
SMI Analytical can perform the following analytical services:
- Clay analysis and mineral analysis.
- Soil analysis, sand analysis and Rock analysis.
- Air Sampling and Analysis
- Mine ore analysis and crystal chemistry.
- Silicosis prevention - Silica dust levels in working environment.
- Crystalline and Amorphous silica dust analysis
- Quantitative determination of minerals.
- Quantitative phase analysis.
- Environmental chemistry.
- Water Analysis and Water Testing
- Geological analysis.
- Occupational Health and Safety Laboratory
- General Laboratory analysis.
There are other XRD services that can be performed. Ask if you don’t see it listed here!
AGRICULTURAL ANALYTICAL SERVICES
SMI Analytical can perform the following analytical services for the agricultural sector:
- Agricultural research programs
- Hydroponic solutions, hydroponic assessment and hydroponic nutrient programs.
- Bio-remediation, photocatalysis, photocatalytic products and elemental analysis.
- Plant leaf analysis and plant material analysis
- Fertilizer analysis and fertilizer recommendations.
OTHER LABORATORY SERVICES
SMI Analytical can assist with the following laboratory services:
- Scanning electron microscopy with EDAX analysis.
- Water testing, water analysis and water treatment.
- Water filters and water purification systems.
- Ground water quality assessments.
- Gold analysis and precious metal analysis.
- Waste water treatment and effluent treatment
- Effluent smell suppression and effluent fine reductions.
- Diesel spill remediation products.
- E-coli analysis and Bio-hazardous sampling.
- Chemical oxygen demand reduction.
- Bacteriological analysis and microbial analysis.
- Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy
- Wet chemistry
X-RAY DIFFRACTION LABORATORY EQUIPMENT
The focus of the laboratory is a microprocessor controlled diffractometer.
X-ray diffraction is a non-destructive method for determining the molecular or atomic make up of an unknown
compound or mixture. It has become the most widely used investigative technique in mineralogy. Both reflection
and transmission methods are available. Careful study of diffraction traces yields a vast amount of information.
The qualitative and quantitative mineral composition of a sample can be estimated, particular polytypes can be
identified and the crystalinity of mineral species can be assessed. One should bear in mind, however, that minor
phases below a detection limit of approximately 1-2 per cent are not accurately revealed.
XRD is the most powerful tool used in examining clay materials. The major clay-mineral groups and often the particular
phyllosilicate species within these groups can easily be identified, even in complex mixtures. The study of diffraction
patterns of orientated and random clay preparations (< 2 micron), combined with auxiliary treatments, often yields general
information on the chemical composition of the major clay components present.
X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD) has many applications in the pharmaceutical industry - from drug discovery,
pre-formulation and formulation, through to manufacturing and quality assurance. In all of these areas,
XRPD is used to determine the crystallographic constitution of the sample from which the physical properties
of an active pharmaceutical ingredient or an excipient can be derived. In contrast to other commonly used
techniques, X-ray analysis is non-destructive.
X-ray diffraction data most commonly used and asked for:
- Weight% and volume% mineralogy.
- Calculated grain densities and Vshale.
- Multiple-size fraction clay mineral studies.
- Mixed-layer clay characterization.
- Drilling, completion and stimulation recommendations.
- Clastic and carbonate diagenesis.
- Shale diagenesis and thermal maturation.
- Analysis of primary siliceous sediments.
- Wireline log interpretation and calibration.
- Volume percent mineralogy/density calculations.
- Reservoir quality and sensitivity.
- Completion and stimulation design.
- Produced solids and scale/corrosion products.
- Drilling mud and frac sand analyses.
- Clay and zeolite mineralogy of soils.
- Analysis of synthetic and natural liner materials.
- Ore mineralogy and hydrothermal deposits.
- Mineral impurities in raw materials used in manufacturing.
- Mineral impurities in coals.
APPLICATIONS OF CLAY MINERAL ANALYSIS
Most engineering companies ask whether a soil sample contains expandable clays and if so how much? Is the abundance
of expandable clay in a soil profile constant or variable? Will the company experience more foundation problems
related to clays in one area than another? Which soils differ from each other, and how? The laboratory has helped
companies answer these questions and has provided information which improved their ability to make accurate cost
estimates and better bids. Corporations in the tile industry have been interested in clay mineralogy and
the clay minerals routinely analysed for are:
- Illite and Mica
- Mixed-Layer Illite / Smectite
- Mixed-Layer Chlorite/Smectite
- All clay phases identified and quantified
R & D PROGRAMS FOR CLIENTS
SMI Analytical has adopted a dual R & D perspective, i.e. Self-generating R & D programs which are conducted on a
commercial feasibility basis. However, the option of being sub-contracted out can be negotiated.
Some of SMI Analytical's past, present and future projects involved/will involve:
- Plant Hormones & Nutrients
- Hydroponic Analysis & Assessment
- Portable GC Analysis for Smell Identification
- On–line Analysis
- Quality Control
- Industrial product formulation
- Cosmetic industry product formulation
- Reverse engineering
Dedicated professionals are available for the resolution of industrial and agricultural situations where existing practices
and technologies have become either ineffective, inadequate or when such are non-existent.
Escalating protocols for the generation of clean air and water are restricting industry and agriculture to manufacture or
produce using more efficient and cleaner processes. i.e. Penalties for the discharge of bio-hazardous materials
are escalating on a continuous basis.
The above produce a synergistic effect and are all related. SMI Analytical’s activities are conducted in modern,
sophisticated laboratories, using test methods, techniques and quality management programs that comply with recognized
international practices and standards. The laboratory staff is prepared to help companies work on projects and solve
problems related to these and other applications.
SMI Analytical is based in Centurion, Pretoria, and has easy access to major arterial networks and airports allowing
for rapid communications between clients and source.
Disclaimer: The liability of SMI ANALYTICAL is limited to the cost of analysis. SMI ANALYTICAL indemnifies
itself from any legal action which may be instituted against it due to supplied data. SMI ANALYTICAL accepts
no responsibility whatsoever for any results released, however used. No part of this document may reproduced
in part or in full unless permission from SMIANALYTICAL is granted in writing. This document may not be altered
in any way whatsoever and is printed without correction.
Analytical Chemistry Links
Some Background about X-Ray Diffraction
University of Cambridge - Analytical Chemistry Journals
The Clay Minerals Society - Online Courses, Lectures, and Labs
Sheffield Chemdex is the directory of analytical chemistry on the World-Wide Web
Links to SMI Analytical
SMI Analytical Laboratory Services / Chemical Laboratory Services specializes in quantitative X-Ray diffraction (XRD)
determination of clays, sand, soils, mine ore, minerals, precious metals, gold, rocks and water in Southern Africa.
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