Summary: The mole fractions of the silicons present in melilites as monomeric (SiO4) and dimeric (Si2O7) groups depends both upon the composition of the melilite and also upon the degree of Al-Si ordering. It is shown that the absolute numbers of monomeric and dimeric silicons in a 10 mg polycrystalline sample can be determined by a relatively rapid chromatographic method.
A statistical theory is developed to treat the data; this contains a variable κ-parameter that describes the degree of ordering.
Experimental results are presented and interpreted for one natural and five synthetic melilites. The synthetic gehlenite-rich melilites are appreciably, but not completely disordered. The natural melilite is well ordered, but heating at 1050 °C introduces considerable disorder.