Development of a novel characterization method for new types of clinker combining Scanning Electron Microscopy and X-ray Powder Diffraction techniques


Nikos Boukos






Industrial Fellowship Program – Stavros Niarchos Foundation/TITAN SA/NCSR Demokritos

The main objective of the project is the development of a new, accurate and time efficient method for the characterization of new types of clinker. This will be a hybrid method, combining the fast analysis provided by X-ray Powder Diffraction (XRD) methods and the accuracy and improved spatial resolution of Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) methods. In particular, SEM Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (SEM-EDS) spectra/maps and Backscattered Electron SEM (BSE-SEM) images will be used in conjuction with the data obtained by XRD enhanced by Rietveld analytical technique for the characterization and quantification of the amorhous and crystalline phases of clinker. The accuracy and speed of SEM-EDS and BSE-SEM techniques will be augmented through analysis of the spectral-spatial images with processing methods, such as Support Vector Machine (SVM) and Markov Random Field (MRF) algorithms, for the classification of the multispectral SEM images and maps, while X-ray fluorescence (XRF) will be utilized for total elements quantitative analysis. This hybrid characterization method will be developed in close collaboration with TITAN in order to impove the existing quality control in the case of Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) clinker and enable its application in the production of new types of clinker, while benefiting from their long-standing experience in these materials.

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