Statistical Assessment of the Microstructure of Barite Aggregate from Different Deposits Using X-Ray Microtomography and Optical Microscopy

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Two different barite ore (barium sulfate BaSO4) specimens from different localizations were tested and described in this paper. Analysis of the microstructure was performed on polished sections, and on thin sections using X-ray microtomography (micro-CT), and optical microscopy (MO). Microtomography allowed obtaining three-dimensional images of the barite aggregate specimens. In the tomograms, the spatial distribution of the other polluting phases, empty space as well as cracks, pores, and voids – that exceeded ten micrometers of diameter-were possible to visualize. Also, the micro-CT allowed distinguishing between minerals of different density, like SiO2 and BaSO4. Images obtained and analyzed on thin sections with various methods using the optical microscopy in transmitted light delivered additional information on the aggregate microstructure, i.e. allow for estimation of the different kinds of inclusions (like the different density of the minerals) in the investigated specimens. Above methods, which were used in the tests, completed each another in order to supply a set of information on inclusions’ distribution and to present the important differences of the barite aggregate specimens microstructure.

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Archives of Metallurgy and Materials

The Journal of Institute of Metallurgy and Materials Science and Commitee on Metallurgy of Polish Academy of Sciences

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