Townend Mineralogy Laboratory has a dedicated clay laboratory for the identification of clay minerals. Clay mineral identification by random powder X-ray diffraction is typically erroneous. TML undertakes the following processes for clay mineralogy:
- Separation of clay fraction of sample by Na-saturation, dispersion and removing cementing agents.
- Preparation of oriented samples.
- Treatment of oriented samples by Mg, K and glycerol saturation, heating and several other techniques, followed by XRD analysis.
- SEM/TEM analyses.
TML can determine the nature of interstratifications (mixed layer) of illite and smectite in sediments associated with oil and gas resources. This information is valuable in logging drill core materials and relates to T/P conditions experienced by sediments during diagenesis.
We can quickly identify the presence of smectite and other active clay minerals in reactive shales, ores and soils where engineering activities are compromised.