Laboratory and Materials Testing Services Offered

The Washington Mills Laboratory Services Group offers a complete laboratory and materials testing facility with full-time chemists and technicians, who have years of experience in determining the chemical and physical properties of a vast range of materials. The materials laboratory researchers can characterize a wide variety of materials such as:

  • Abrasive grains
  • Refractory raw materials
  • Ceramic powders
  • Clays
  • Soil
  • Cement
  • Minerals
  • and many more materials.

The materials testing lab is an independent materials laboratory that is precise, quick, competitively priced and is well-known for being highly responsive to the needs of customers.

Washington Mills uses sophisticated laboratory capabilities hence maintaining precise control over purity, chemical composition and crystal structure, guaranteeing the consistency required to satisfy highly critical applications with the goal of continuous improvement in service and quality to its customers. The lab utilizes the most current methods of analysis and tools that include instrumental, analytical, physical measurements, X-Ray Diffraction Analysis (XRD) and X-Ray Fluorescence Analysis (XRF).

The lab’s instrumentation and equipment is calibrated at regular intervals to satisfy highly demanding method requirements. Analytical results are standardized against commercially available reference materials, mainly through the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The lab makes use of the latest methods of analysis, including those derived from nationally recognized organizations such as ANSI, ASTM, and military specifications for testing under government contracts.

Laboratory Services

Laboratory services include the following:

  • Instrumental analysis
  • Analytical measurements
  • Physical measurements
  • X-Ray diffraction analysis
  • X-Ray Fluorescence Analysis

periodic table

Instrumental Analysis

Instrumental analysis conducted at the lab includes the following:

  • X-ray diffraction analysis
  • X-ray Flourescence
  • Microscopic evaluation


Analytical Measurements

Analytical measurements performed in the lab include the following:

  • Total, free carbon
  • Hydrogen, chlorine
  • UV/VIS spectrophotometry
  • Moisture
  • Loss or gain on ignition
  • Sample preparation


Physical Measurements

Physical measurements performed in the lab include the following:

  • Particle Size – Rotap, Coulter, Microtrac, Wet screen
  • Bulk density
  • Specific gravity
  • Magnetics
  • Microhardness testing
  • Friability

x ray diffraction

X-Ray Diffraction Analysis

X-Ray diffraction analysis services available in the laboratory include the following:

  • Automated diffractometer for crystalline phase characterization. Qualitative and quantitative capabilities permit the operator to determine directly the crystalline compounds and free elements that make up the wide range of samples that pass through the analytical lab.
  • Non destructive analysis
  • Automatic sample changer, capable of scanning 35 samples overnight as well as conducting peak search and supplying computer printout and profile.
  • Joint Committee on Powder Diffraction Standards (JCPDS) database containing approximately 35,000 inorganic and 10,000 organic crystalline compounds for computer-aided phase identification. Manual searches are also feasible.
  • Characterization of simple chemical compounds to very complicated solid solution materials (alloys) and silicate minerals such as clays, feldspars, micas etc.
  • Positive identification of asbestos in various materials
  • Identification of multiphased specimens containing up to 10 crystalline compounds
  • Identification of various polymorphs (more than one crystal structure) of many substances i.e. crystalline SiO2, quartz, cristobalite, tridymite.
  • Typical detection limit is 0.5%
  • Capable of quantitative analysis of highly crystalline substances, such as the determination of free crystalline silica in many refractory and ceramic materials such as Al2O3 in alumina.
  • Average crystallite size can be determined in many materials


X-Ray Fluorescence Analysis (XRF)

X-Ray Fluorescence Analysis facilities available in the laboratory include the following:

  • Fully automated wavelength dispersive x-ray spectrometer, designed to determine most elements on the periodic table from fluorine to uranium. Special x-ray tube and optics to provide high sensitivity for light elements while maintaining ppm sensitivity for heavier elements. Highly stable electronics for analysis of high repeatability that is typically 1-2% coefficient of variation.
  • Minicomputer with latest software for fast data processing and on-line interference correction. Operator has a choice of empirical calibration/correction models or optional fundamental parameters model, which allows accurate analysis of materials with a single calibration standard which need not match the unknown.
  • Automated elemental analyses are possible on a variety of materials including metal, cement, glass, ceramics, ores, rocks, clays, coal, coke, ash, catalysts, airborne and deposited dusts.
  • Samples are prepared for analysis using ground surface, pressed pellet, borate fusion or loose powder techniques
  • Qualitative analysis can be performed covering most elements from fluorine to uranium. Element identification is performed by system software which includes the entire NIH database pf 3,000 x-ray emission lines.
  • Semiquantitative analysis can be carried out to estimate the concentration of elements present.
  • Quantitative analysis can be performed to accurately measure specific elements. Analysis capability extends from low ppm levels for many elements to 100%. Our automation allows for very cost efficient repetitive analysis.

About Washington Mills

Washington Mills is a world leader in the manufacture and distribution of abrasive materials and fused mineral products. As the largest producer in North America with sales and manufacturing facilities around the world, our capabilities are unrivaled in the industry. We offer a rich array of abrasive grains and specialty electro-fused minerals. From macro grits to micro grits, to custom specialty fusions, our fused materials are used around the world in hundreds of different industries and applications.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Washington Mills.

For more information on this source, please visit Washington Mills.


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