Stereomicroscopy and reflected / transmitted polarized-light microscopy are conducted on powders and solids to obtain compositional information and, when appropriate, assess microstructural characteristics. Optical microscopy differentiates between crystalline and non-crystalline materials and is the first step in the analysis of unknown substances. Microscopy can be supplemented with SEM/EDX, XRD, XRF, ICP, FTIR, DSC, and other techniques, including mechanical and physical tests.
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Materials analyzed include:
- Floor coating systems
- Gypsum-based materials such as underlayments, interior plaster, ornamental finishes, and products such as drywall
- Fired clay products such as brick and terracotta
- Unfired clay products such as adobe and sun-dried brick and tile