Automated mineralogy using finite element analysis and X-ray microtomography

Naomi Tsafnat*, Guy Tsafnat, Allan S. Jones

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


The three-dimensional microstructure of minerals and materials can be visualised in a non-destructive manner using X-ray microtomography. The digitised nature of the tomographic image allows us to generate finite element models which precisely detail the material's microstructure. With a high degree of automation, high resolution models can be created quickly and with little user interaction. The geometry is taken from the microtomographic data, and loads and boundary conditions are applied to the model to simulate various conditions. The finite element analysis results show the deformation and stress distribution in the material. The technique allows us to study the relationship between microstructure and bulk properties of porous minerals, to characterise them in terms of their strength and stiffness, and to simulate their behaviour under known loading conditions. In this paper we present an application of micro-finite element analysis in the study of porous minerals. Micro-finite element analysis can be used to study the behaviour of a variety of minerals, and is especially useful when applied to materials that have a distinct microstructure that affects their bulk properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-155
Number of pages7
JournalMinerals Engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009
Externally publishedYes


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