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Keywords:

  • MICROSAMPLING;
  • DIAMOND COATED FILES;
  • SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPY;
  • DIAM-SEM;
  • GLASS;
  • ANALYSIS

A novel sampling technique for the analysis of glass is described, which involves the removal of minute particles from an object with a diamond-coated file, followed by energy-dispersive X-ray analysis in the scanning electron microscope (SEM/EDXA). The particles are fixed to adhesive carbon discs and carbon coated without grinding or polishing. Mean compositions are determined for 10 arbitrarily selected particles above a minimum grain size of 150 mm and normalized to totals of 100%. Tests were carried out on two standard soda–lime–silica glasses of well-characterized composition, using two files of different grade. The analyses showed good agreement with the accepted values of all elements. Although the precision is somewhat reduced, this highly portable and quasi non-destructive microsampling procedure provides almost the same information as that gained from samples embedded and polished in the normal way. Its application is thought to be especially useful for the investigation of intact glass objects and ceramic glazes.