The accuracy of quantitative phase analysis (QPA) of samples with dominant amorphous content, reproducing zircon-rich sanitary-ware glazes, has been investigated. X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD) methods were applied using both conventional Cu K[alpha] radiation and high-resolution synchrotron data. In this work, a combination of the reference intensity ratio (RIR) and Rietveld methods was applied to an artificial mixture (90 wt% glass, 10 wt% zircon), taking into account some of the most common effects that may affect the accuracy in amorphous quantification, such as the degree of crystallinity of the phases, microabsorption and sample preparation. Certified NIST SRM 676a ([alpha]-Al2O3) [Cline, Von Dreele, Winburn, Stephens & Filliben (2011). Acta Cryst. A67, 357-367] was used to quantify the amorphous content in zircon and in the different internal standards commonly used when a certified standard is not available or not applicable: the results show that all of the phases invariably contain amorphous material in the range 2.0-15.0 wt%. If the amorphous content of the standard is taken into account, the accuracy of the QPA of the artificial mixture is improved. It was observed that the Brindley correction for microabsorption does not significantly improve the results. Care must be applied if grinding time is increased, since this may increase the amorphous content in the sample. Finally, the sensitivity of the RIR-Rietveld method to the addition of a small amount of zircon (~1 wt%) has been considered, showing that accurate results can be achieved if great care is taken in the sample preparation and refinement strategy.
Accuracy in quantitative phase analysis of mixtures with large amorphous contents. The case of zircon-rich sanitary-ware glazes / Bernasconi, Andrea; Dapiaggi, Monica; Gualtieri, Alessandro. - In: JOURNAL OF APPLIED CRYSTALLOGRAPHY. - ISSN 0021-8898. - STAMPA. - 47:1(2014), pp. 136-145. [10.1107/S1600576713029270]