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Influence of grinding on graphite crystallinity from experimental and natural data: implications for graphite thermometry and sample preparation

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Publication Date
2006
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Crespo Feo, Elena
Luque del Villar, Francisco Javier
Rodas, Magdalena
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Mineralogical Society (Great Britain)
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This paper examines the effects of shear stress on the structuralparameters that define the ‘crystallinity’ of graphite. The results show that highly crystalline graphite samples ground for up to 120 min do not undergo detectable changes in the three-dimensional arrangement of carbon layers but crystallite sizes (Lc and La) decrease consistently with increasing grinding time. Grinding also involves particle-size diminution that results in lower temperatures for the beginning of combustion and exothermic maxima in the differentialthermalanal ysis curves. These changes in the structuraland thermalcharacteristics of graphite upon grinding must be taken into account when such data are used for geothermometric estimations. Tectonic shear stress also induces reduction of the particle size and the Lc and La values of highly crystalline graphite. Thus, the temperature of formation of graphite according to structural as well as thermaldata is underestimated by up to 100ºC in samples that underwent the most intense shear stress. Therefore, application of graphite geothermometry to fluid-deposited veins where graphite is the only mineralfound should take into consideration the effect of tectonic shearing, or the estimated temperatures must be considered as minimum temperatures of formation only.
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