SMI Analytical Laboratory Services | Analytical Chemistry Services | X-ray Diffraction Services | Drinking Water Testing


SMI Analytical Laboratory Services :: Analytical Chemistry Services :: X-ray Diffraction Services



SMI Analytical Laboratory is able to perform various types of chemical analysis, which can be seen on the adjoining schedule. SMI Analytical is dedicated to offering realistic turn-around times and also improved competitiveness. SMI Analytical has combined state-of-the-art X-ray diffraction equipment, a modern sample preparation laboratory and an expert staff to create an excellent clay mineral analysis facility, coupled to a general analytical laboratory. Many engineering, mining and tiling industry companies have made profitable use of the laboratory since it has been established. The laboratory staff has kept customer needs in mind while developing standardized procedures. However, if the service that you need is not listed, you are welcome to contact the laboratory and arrange to have an analytical scheme specially tailored to meet your needs. The laboratory emphasizes clay mineral analyses but is capable of most chemical analysis.


SMI Analytical can perform the following analytical services:

  • Clay analysis and mineral analysis.
  • Soil analysis, sand analysis and Rock analysis.
  • Air Sampling and Analysis
  • Mine ore analysis and crystal chemistry.
  • Silicosis prevention - Silica dust levels in working environment.
  • Crystalline and Amorphous silica dust analysis
  • Quantitative determination of minerals.
  • Quantitative phase analysis.
  • Environmental chemistry.
  • Water Analysis and Water Testing
  • Occupational Health and Safety Laboratory
  • Geological analysis.
  • General Laboratory analysis.
There are other XRD services that can be performed. Ask if you don’t see it listed here!


SMI Analytical can perform the following analytical services for the agricultural sector:

  • Agricultural research programs
  • Hydroponic solutions, hydroponic assessment and hydroponic nutrient programs.
  • Bio-remediation, photocatalysis, photocatalytic products and elemental analysis.
  • Plant leaf analysis and plant material analysis
  • Fertilizer analysis and fertilizer recommendations.


SMI Analytical can assist with the following laboratory services:

  • Scanning electron microscopy with EDAX analysis.
  • Water testing, water analysis and water treatment.
  • Water filters and water purification systems.
  • Ground water quality assessments.
  • Gold analysis and precious metal analysis.
  • Waste water treatment and effluent treatment
  • Effluent smell suppression and effluent fine reductions.
  • Diesel spill remediation products.
  • E-coli analysis and Bio-hazardous sampling.
  • Chemical oxygen demand reduction.
  • Bacteriological analysis and microbial analysis.
  • Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy
  • Wet chemistry


The focus of the laboratory is a microprocessor controlled diffractometer. X-ray diffraction is a non-destructive method for determining the molecular or atomic make up of an unknown compound or mixture. It has become the most widely used investigative technique in mineralogy. Both reflection and transmission methods are available. Careful study of diffraction traces yields a vast amount of information. The qualitative and quantitative mineral composition of a sample can be estimated, particular polytypes can be identified and the crystalinity of mineral species can be assessed. One should bear in mind, however, that minor phases below a detection limit of approximately 1-2 per cent are not accurately revealed.

XRD is the most powerful tool used in examining clay materials. The major clay-mineral groups and often the particular phyllosilicate species within these groups can easily be identified, even in complex mixtures. The study of diffraction patterns of orientated and random clay preparations (< 2 micron), combined with auxiliary treatments, often yields general information on the chemical composition of the major clay components present.

X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD) has many applications in the pharmaceutical industry - from drug discovery, pre-formulation and formulation, through to manufacturing and quality assurance. In all of these areas, XRPD is used to determine the crystallographic constitution of the sample from which the physical properties of an active pharmaceutical ingredient or an excipient can be derived. In contrast to other commonly used techniques, X-ray analysis is non-destructive.

X-ray diffraction data most commonly used and asked for:

  • Weight% and volume% mineralogy.
  • Calculated grain densities and Vshale.
  • Multiple-size fraction clay mineral studies.
  • Mixed-layer clay characterization.
  • Drilling, completion and stimulation recommendations.
  • Clastic and carbonate diagenesis.
  • Shale diagenesis and thermal maturation.
  • Analysis of primary siliceous sediments.
  • Wireline log interpretation and calibration.
  • Volume percent mineralogy/density calculations.
  • Reservoir quality and sensitivity.
  • Completion and stimulation design.
  • Produced solids and scale/corrosion products.
  • Drilling mud and frac sand analyses.
  • Clay and zeolite mineralogy of soils.
  • Analysis of synthetic and natural liner materials.
  • Ore mineralogy and hydrothermal deposits.
  • Mineral impurities in raw materials used in manufacturing.
  • Mineral impurities in coals.


Most engineering companies ask whether a soil sample contains expandable clays and if so how much? Is the abundance of expandable clay in a soil profile constant or variable? Will the company experience more foundation problems related to clays in one area than another? Which soils differ from each other, and how? The laboratory has helped companies answer these questions and has provided information which improved their ability to make accurate cost estimates and better bids. Corporations in the tile industry have been interested in clay mineralogy and the clay minerals routinely analysed for are:

  • Illite and Mica
  • Chlorite
  • Kaolinite
  • Smectite
  • Mixed-Layer Illite / Smectite
  • Mixed-Layer Chlorite/Smectite
  • All clay phases identified and quantified


SMI Analytical has adopted a dual R & D perspective, i.e. Self-generating R & D programs which are conducted on a commercial feasibility basis. However, the option of being sub-contracted out can be negotiated.

Some of SMI Analytical's past, present and future projects involved/will involve:

  • Photocatalysis
  • Plant Hormones & Nutrients
  • Hydroponic Analysis & Assessment
  • Portable GC Analysis for Smell Identification
  • Bio–remediation
  • On–line Analysis
  • Quality Control
  • Industrial product formulation
  • Cosmetic industry product formulation
  • Reverse engineering


Dedicated professionals are available for the resolution of industrial and agricultural situations where existing practices and technologies have become either ineffective, inadequate or when such are non-existent.

For Example:
Escalating protocols for the generation of clean air and water are restricting industry and agriculture to manufacture or produce using more efficient and cleaner processes. i.e. Penalties for the discharge of bio-hazardous materials are escalating on a continuous basis.

The above produce a synergistic effect and are all related. SMI Analytical’s activities are conducted in modern, sophisticated laboratories, using test methods, techniques and quality management programs that comply with recognized international practices and standards. The laboratory staff is prepared to help companies work on projects and solve problems related to these and other applications.

SMI Analytical is based in Centurion, Pretoria, and has easy access to major arterial networks and airports allowing for rapid communications between clients and source.
Disclaimer: The liability of SMI ANALYTICAL is limited to the cost of analysis. SMI ANALYTICAL indemnifies itself from any legal action which may be instituted against it due to supplied data. SMI ANALYTICAL accepts no responsibility whatsoever for any results released, however used. No part of this document may reproduced in part or in full unless permission from SMIANALYTICAL is granted in writing. This document may not be altered in any way whatsoever and is printed without correction.

Analytical Chemistry Links

Some Background about X-Ray Diffraction
University of Cambridge - Analytical Chemistry Journals
The Clay Minerals Society - Online Courses, Lectures, and Labs
Sheffield Chemdex is the directory of analytical chemistry on the World-Wide Web
Links to SMI Analytical

Analytical Lab

SMI Analytical Laboratory Services / Chemical Laboratory Services specializes in quantitative X-Ray diffraction (XRD) determination of clays, sand, soils, mine ore, minerals, precious metals, gold, rocks and water in Southern Africa. Analytical Laboratory Services, Chemical Laboratory Services, Analytical Services, analytical testing laboratory, analytical research laboratory, Chemical Services, Chemistry Services, analytical chemistry laboratory, X-ray diffraction services, x-ray powder diffraction, xray diffraction, mineralogy, Research Laboratory, quantitative determination of clays and other minerals, quantitative analysis, quantitative phase analysis, quantitative research, analytical lab, lab, analytical science, analytical chemistry, scientific chemistry, analytical services, environmental samples, environmental chemistry, clay analysis, XRD clay analysis, soil analysis, ore analysis, clay mineralogy, gold analysis, precious metal analysis, mineral analysis, expandable clays, swelling clays, crystalline, Amorphous, silica dust, rock analysis, sand analysis, clay mineralogy, inorganic analysis, inorganic chemistry, Reitveld refinement, bacteriological analysis, microbial analysis, geological sampling, mine ore analysis, respirable silica, silicosis prevention, dust levels, wet chemistry, online analysis, geological analysis, scanning electron microscopy, SEM EDAX analysis, X-Ray diffraction Laboratory, X-ray diffraction services, X-ray analytical services, x-ray diffraction analysis, XRD analytical services, X-ray powder diffraction, XRPD, XRD, XRD analyses, high resolution diffraction, Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy, AA, Mass Spectrometry, nanotechnology, bio-hazardous sampling, chemical oxygen demand reduction, COD, analysis of clay, analysis of soil, analysis of ore, analysis of soil, analysis of water, analysis of gold, analysis of precious metals, analysis of minerals, analysis of rocks, analysis of sand, analysis of mine ore, Laboratory, Laboratories, pharmaceutical industry, drug, Analytical Laboratory Gauteng, Analytical Laboratory Johannesburg, Analytical Laboratory Pretoria, Analytical Laboratory South Africa, Chemical Laboratory Gauteng, Chemical Laboratory Johannesburg, Chemical Laboratory Pretoria, Chemical Laboratory South Africa, Industrial product formulation, Cosmetic industry product formulation, reverse engineering, water analysis, H2O, water purification, ground water quality assessments, waste water treatment, water testing, drinking water analysis, water test, water filters, water tests, water treatment, effluent treatment, effluent smell suppression, effluent fine reduction, smell suppressant, e-coli analysis, drinking water standards, SABS 241, wastewater treatment, Sewage Sludge and other Organic Materials, Enviromental Water Treatment Consultants, Specialty Water Treatment Chemicals for Reverse Osmosis Systems and Upstream Pre-Treatment Equipment, agricultural research programs, hydroponic solutions, hydroponic assessment, hydroponic nutrient programs, bio-remediation, photocatalysis, photocatalytic products, elemental analysis, plant leaf analysis, leaf analysis, plant analysis, plant material analysis, fertilizer analysis, fertilizer recommendations, diesel spill remediation products, site:, =, '', SA, RSA, za, 'loc:za'
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SMI Analytical Laboratory Services | Analytical Chemistry Services | X-ray Diffraction Services | Drinking Water Testing