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Minerals 2016, 6(1), 14; doi:10.3390/min6010014

Structural Characterization of Iron Meteorites through Neutron Tomography

1
Consorzio Interuniversitario Nazionale per la Scienza e Tecnologia di Materiali (INSTM), Firenze 50123, Italy
2
Dipartimento di Chimica, Università degli studi di Firenze, Sesto Fiorentino, FI 50019, Italy
3
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Istituto dei Sistemi Complessi, Sesto Fiorentino, FI 50019, Italy
4
Bragg Insitute, Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), Lucas Height, NSW 2234, Australia
5
Paul Scherrer Institut, Swiss Spallation Neutron Source (SINQ) Neutron Source, Villigen 5232, Switzerland
6
Museo di Storia Naturale, Università degli studi di Firenze, Firenze 50123, Italy
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Current address: AV Controlatom, Vilvoorde 1800, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Jesus Martinez-Frias and Hasnaa Chennaoui
Received: 13 January 2016 / Revised: 10 February 2016 / Accepted: 16 February 2016 / Published: 19 February 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Meteorites and Cosmic Mineralogy)
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Abstract

In this communication, we demonstrate the use of neutron tomography for the structural characterization of iron meteorites. These materials prevalently consist of metallic iron with variable nickel content. Their study and classification is traditionally based on chemical and structural analysis. The latter requires cutting, polishing and chemical etching of large slabs of the sample in order to determine the average width of the largest kamacite lamellae. Although this approach is useful to infer the genetical history of these meteorites, it is not applicable to small or precious samples. On the base of different attenuation coefficient of cold neutrons for nickel and iron, neutron tomography allows the reconstruction of the Ni-rich (taenite) and Ni-poor (kamacite) metallic phases. Therefore, the measure of the average width of the largest kamacite lamellae could be determined in a non-destructive way. Furthermore, the size, shape, and spatial correlation between kamacite and taenite crystals were obtained more efficiently and accurately than via metallographic investigation. View Full-Text
Keywords: iron meteorites; neutron imaging; neutron tomography; taenite; kamacite; non-destructive analysis iron meteorites; neutron imaging; neutron tomography; taenite; kamacite; non-destructive analysis
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Caporali, S.; Grazzi, F.; Salvemini, F.; Garbe, U.; Peetermans, S.; Pratesi, G. Structural Characterization of Iron Meteorites through Neutron Tomography. Minerals 2016, 6, 14.

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