Materials Characterization

Chemical Purity Testing

The Instrumentation Laboratory (LUIL) is equipped to analyze the composition and structure of a wide range of materials, enabling our staff to provide valuable information towards solving industrial problems. The laboratory offers testing services which are useful for determining the structure and composition of a wide range of substances. Complementary techniques including optical microscopy (particle structure and colour), SEM / EDS (elemental and particle structure), FTIR (polymers and organic) and XRD (phase analysis) are commonly used to analyze materials.

Materials Typically Analyzed

  • Combustion products, filtrates, precipitates, residues
  • Process chemicals
  • Metallurgical products and by-products
  • 'High Tech' and strategic metals
  • Products and by-products of industrial mineral processing,
  • Building materials,
  • Deposits and contaminants,
  • Diamonds and gemstones,
  • Powders, coatings, films
  • Electronic plates and their parts; coatings
  • Metals, rust or other corrosion products
  • Organic/Inorganic deposits
  • Polymers

Integrated services we provide:

  • Deposit/contaminant analysis,
  • Identification of phase composition (qualitative or quantitative, the latter usually to within ±1%), subject to the availability of pure end members in the ICDD-PDF database,
  • Characterization of chemical composition (qualitative or quantitative),
  • Characterization of compositional in-homogeneity.

You might be interested in these services if you:

  • represent a chemical supply company requiring third-party testing,
  • are troubleshooting process problems in your industrial facility,
  • are an engineer overseeing reagent purchasing,
  • have discovered a mineral deposit.

Some clients' problems we've solved

  • A Canadian company found a white powder in a shipping container. We determined it wasn't a health threat, but merely a boron based detergent.
  • A company is working on developing new "recipes" for concrete that will be good for the environment. Using a high quality image (from the SEM), and the image analysis software (Image Pro 7, Media Cybernetics), the various components of cement were characterized and the degree of hydration determined.
  • A prospector wanted to get a better understanding of the minerals found on his claim. Utilizing XRD and SEM we determined that the prospector had some minerals that could be of economic value.

How you need to prepare the sample before submission. Instructions on sample submission

Please contact the laboratory before sending or dropping off a sample. In many cases only a small sample is required (20 to 30 mg).

What happens to your sample after we receive it. Analytical Methods and Technical Information

Depending on the nature and state of the sample submitted, we will prepare the sample for analysis. After the analytical techniques have been completed, we utilize a search/match program and our in-house materials scientist compiles a short report on the composition of your sample.

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Francis Appoh, Manager
Email: fappoh@lakeheadu.ca
Phone: 807-343-8853

Chemical Characterization of Air-Sensitive Samples (X-ray Diffraction

You might be interested in this service if you:

  • are a chemical supply company requiring third-party testing
  • need characterization of samples that are sensitive to air, humidity or oxygen.

What happens to your samples after we receive them

The samples you send will be prepared in a glove box (inert atmosphere) and mounted in a specialized air-sensitive holder which is covered with Kapton foil to shield the sample from the environment. This allows the sample to be analysed without any contact with air or humidity. Samples are then loaded and x-rayed in our PANalytical X'Pert PRO MPD. Results are then analyzed and characterized (qualitatively and semi-quantitatively) before a final report is generated and sent to you.

Lakehead University is the only analytical laboratory in Canada to offer this specialty service.

Dr. Francis Appoh, Manager
Email: fappoh@lakeheadu.ca
Phone: 807-343-8853

Contaminant & Deposit Materials

You might be interested in this service if you:

  • are an engineer overseeing an industrial facility,
  • belong to a geotechnical engineering or environmental engineering company
  • are investigating source contaminants

How you need to prepare the sample before submission. Instructions on sample submission

Send or drop off a small sample (as small as 2-4 grams). No other preparation on your behalf is required. If you would like your sample returned after analysis, please let us know.

What happens to your sample after we receive it. Analytical Methods and Technical Information

Depending on the chemical and its state, we run will number of analyses appropriate to the sample submitted. We will likely be necessary to run a number of integrated methods to accurately analyse your sample.

For more information, please contact:
Dr. Francis Appoh, Manager
Email: fappoh@lakeheadu.ca
Phone: 807-343-8853

Corrosion Products and Process Materials (such as mining ore products)

You might be interested in this service if you:

  • are an engineer overseeing an industrial facility,
  • belong to a geotechnical engineering or environmental engineering company
  • are a geologist or metallurgist
  • How you need to prepare the sample before submission. Instructions on sample submission
  • Send or drop off a small sample (as small as 2-4 grams). No other preparation on your behalf is required. If you would like your sample returned after analysis, please let us know.

What happens to your sample after we receive it. Analytical Methods and Technical Information.

We will pulverize the sample and run an number of tests using integrated methods to accurately analyse your sample.

For more information, please contact:
Dr. Francis Appoh, Manager
Email: fappoh@lakeheadu.ca
Phone: 807-343-8853

Materials characterization (via integrated analytical methods)

The Instrumentation Laboratory (LUIL) is equipped to analyze the composition and structure of a wide range of materials, enabling our staff to provide valuable information towards solving industrial problems. The laboratory offers testing services which are useful for determining the structure and composition of a wide range of substances. Complementary techniques including optical microscopy (particle structure and colour), SEM / EDS (elemental and particle structure), FTIR (polymers and organic) and XRD (phase analysis) are commonly used to analyze materials.

Materials Typically Analyzed

  • Combustion products, filtrates, precipitates, residues
  • Process chemicals
  • Metallurgical products and by-products
  • 'High Tech' and strategic metals
  • Products and by-products of industrial mineral processing,
  • Building materials,
  • Deposits and contaminants,
  • Diamonds and gemstones,
  • Powders, coatings, films
  • Electronic plates and their parts; coatings
  • Metals, rust or other corrosion products
  • Organic/Inorganic deposits
  • Polymers

Integrated services we provide:

  • Deposit/contaminant analysis,
  • Identification of phase composition (qualitative or quantitative, the latter usually to within ±1%), subject to the availability of pure end members in the ICDD-PDF database,
  • Characterization of chemical composition (qualitative or quantitative),
  • Characterization of compositional in-homogeneity.

You might be interested in these services if you:

  • represent a chemical supply company requiring third-party testing,
  • are troubleshooting process problems in your industrial facility,
  • are an engineer overseeing reagent purchasing,
  • have discovered a mineral deposit.

Some clients' problems we've solved

  • A Canadian company found a white powder in a shipping container. We determined it wasn't a health threat, but merely a boron based detergent.
  • A company is working on developing new "recipes" for concrete that will be good for the environment. Using a high quality image (from the SEM), and the image analysis software (Image Pro 7, Media Cybernetics), the various components of cement were characterized and the degree of hydration determined.
  • A prospector wanted to get a better understanding of the minerals found on his claim. Utilizing XRD and SEM we determined that the prospector had some minerals that could be of economic value.

How you need to prepare the sample before submission. Instructions on sample submission

Please contact the laboratory before sending or dropping off a sample. In many cases only a small sample is required (20 to 30 mg).

What happens to your sample after we receive it. Analytical Methods and Technical Information.

Depending on the nature and state of the sample submitted, we will prepare the sample for analysis. After the analytical techniques have been completed, we utilize a search/match program and our in-house materials scientist compiles a short report on the composition of your sample.

For more information, please contact:
Dr. Francis Appoh, Manager
Email: fappoh@lakeheadu.ca
Phone: 807-343-8853

Strategic, industrial and high-tech materials characterization

You might be interested in this service if you:

  • represent a mineral exploration company,
  • represent a chemical manufacturing company,
  • are a prospector,
  • are a geologist, or
  • have a professional interest in solid state chemistry, metallurgy, materials analysis or crystallochemistry.

How you need to prepare the sample before submission. Instructions on sample submission.

Send or drop off a small sample (as small as 2-4 grams). No other preparation on your behalf is required. If you would like your sample returned after analysis, please let us know.

What happens to your sample after we receive it. Analytical Methods and Technical Information.

We will pulverize the sample and run an x-ray powder diffraction scan. We utilize a search/match program and our in-house materials scientist compiles a short report on the composition of your sample.

For more information, please contact:
Dr. Andrew Conly, Director
Email: aconly@lakeheadu.ca
Phone: 807-343-8643