A Fusion Method for Preparing Glass Samples of Peridotitic and Picritic Rock Compositions for Bulk Analysis

N. W. A. Odling
Dept of Geology and Geophysics, University of Edinburgh, West Mains Rd., Edinburgh, EH9 3JW, Scotland, UK

Abstract: A design for a micro furnace and a fusion technique are described by which silicate materials (in particular picritic and peridotitic rock compositions) may be fused and quenched to a homogeneous glass without significant loss of components, for the purposes of bulk analysis. The furnace consists of a Pt wire electrical resistance heater mounted in a furnace assembly which is fitted to a microscope stage. Microscopic examination of the sample during the fusion process allows the sample to be quenched as soon as all crystalline material has been fused and thus minimizes the loss of iron and alkalis due either to over-heating or prolonged fusion time. Analysis of glass beads of a model peridotite composition (analysed independently by X-ray fluorescence analysis) shows that for typical fusion times (5–10 seconds) the bulk composition is preserved at distances of > 25 µm from the margins of the glass beads. Analysis of natural rock powders of known composition shows that the method can be used to analyse whole rock compositions. The furnace is simple to construct and cheap to run and provides a simple and rapid method of producing glass samples for bulk analysis.

Keywords: glass • silicate minerals • micro furnace • fusion technique • picrite • peridotite

Mineralogical Magazine; June 1995 v. 59; no. 395; p. 267-271; DOI: 10.1180/minmag.1995.059.395.11
© 1995, The Mineralogical Society
Mineralogical Society (www.minersoc.org)