Journal article

A mineral X-ray linear attenuation coefficient tool (MXLAC) to assess mineralogical differentiation for X-ray computed tomography scanning.

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Publication Details

Author list: Bam LC, Miller JA, Becker, M

Publisher: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)

Publication year: 2020

Journal: Minerals

Volume number: 10

Issue number: 5

Start page: 1

End page: 15

Total number of pages: 15

eISSN: 2075-163X


X-ray computed tomography (XCT) is becoming one of the most important techniques in the geosciences. The technique relies on linear attenuation coefficient differences in order to reveal the internal structure of the rocks. In this work, we present a new excel macro tool, called MXLAC, which is a data bank with an excel interface that uses density, X-ray energy and the mineral chemical formula to allow users to calculate mineral linear attenuation coefficients that can then be used to determine discrimination between mineral pairs. Elements within a mineral and specified by the chemical formula, determine how the X-ray beam is attenuated. Analysis of a variety of scanned mineral pairs with similar densities and attenuation coefficients indicates that an attenuation coefficient difference of greater than or equal to 6% at 45.5keV effective X-ray energy is required for effective discrimination between two minerals using XCT with single energy scanning. This means that mineral pairs, such as quartz and pyrophyllite cannot be discriminated using the current XCT instruments due to the fact that the attenuation coefficient difference is less than 1.9% at 45.5keV effective X-ray energy. Garnet and a variety of other minerals were used as examples to illustrate the importance of knowing the actual chemical formula of the mineral to demonstrate whether they can be partially or fully discriminated from each other


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Last updated on 2021-24-01 at 14:14