BACKGROUNDIllite is an important mineral resource. It is of great theoretical and practical significance to accurately obtain the mineral composition and content of illite ores. The Rietveld full pattern fitting method uses the whole diffraction pattern for analysis and shows high accuracy. However, due to the lack of pure illite samples, the accuracy and error sources of this method for analyzing the content of illite ores are not clearly known at present.
OBJECTIVESTo understand the accuracy and error sources of the Rietveld full pattern fitting method in quantitative analysis of illite ores.
METHODSThe Rietveld full pattern fitting method was used to quantitatively analyze artificial and natural illite ore samples. The results of X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (XRF) of natural illite ores were compared with the chemical compositions calculated from the mineral contents by the Rietveld method.
RESULTSThe results showed that the maximum absolute error ranges of illite-quartz binary mixtures, illite-quartz-albite ternary mixtures, and illite-quartz-albite-calcite-kaolinite multiple mixtures were -0.9%-0.9%, -1.9%-1.6%, and -2.3%-1.6%, respectively. The chemical compositions of natural illite ores calculated by Rietveld method were in good agreement with the results of XRF. This indicated that the Rietveld method had high accuracy in the quantitative analysis of mineral contents of natural illite ore samples. The error sources were mainly affected by the illite structural model, atomic thermal displacement parameters Uiso, and preferred orientation.
CONCLUSIONSA reasonable structural model of illite should be chosen according to the actual samples. The values of atomic thermal vibration Uiso should be reasonably set according to the references. Preferred orientation should be decreased as much as possible during the sample preparation.