Minerals are naturally occuring chemical compounds with a definitive atomic structure. This definitive structure has a clear chemical makeup that defines the mineral type. Physical characteristics of minerals include measurements like streak, hardness, lustre and cleavage.
Some minerals are composed of one element, like gold, silver and copper, but most minerals form from a combination of natural materials. For example, limestone is composed of calcite and aragonite — two crystal forms of calcium carbonate.
These materials often organically occur in caves, lakes, oceans, volcanoes and other natural areas. Given the time and natural processes required to create these materials, there is always potential to discover new ones. Thousands of minerals have been discovered since the beginning of humanity, and we have found numerous applications for these crystalline materials today.
Construction operations use minerals as raw building materials and road aggregates. Industrial manufacturers create chemicals, plastic, paper and other materials with mineral processing. We also use minerals for energy, such as burning coal to generate electricity. These raw materials are foundational supplies for industries fueling our economy.
With the essential role minerals have in our world, synthetic minerals have become increasingly common as cost-effective alternatives. Humans have created completely new minerals that cannot be found in nature. Whether you source natural or synthetic minerals, you want confirmation that the chemical composition reflects the type advertised. McCreath Laboratories specializes in mineral testing for various types, such as:
Mineral Testing Services
Mineral testing is essential, given the presence of these materials across industries and the potential for low-grade synthetics. McCreath serves operations with various mineral testing services:
- Laboratory services: McCreath mineral testing laboratories apply innovative testing methods, such as emission, ion column and combustion analysis, to define a mineral’s physical and chemical characteristics. Our chemists and technicians use modern instrumental and analytical techniques for precise assessments. We perform all mineral tests under our roof for quality control and align with your tight deadlines without sacrificing precision.
- Sampling: For sample assessments to be accurate, they must be systematically collected to represent the mineral stockpile. Our experienced professionals use industry-accepted practices to collect samples representing bulk supplies. We use mobile vehicles for on-site sampling to maintain precision. Our involvement in this stage is crucial to mineral testing quality control. Improper sampling may skew results and fail to encompass the quality of a bulk supply.
- Inspections: You may source minerals from anywhere in the world — inspection services verify the handling, quantity and condition of these raw materials. A McCreath field representative can survey your stockpile to determine its weight. Our representatives use standard measuring equipment to measure pile dimensions and determine bulk density. Our office staff will use these values to calculate volume and tonnage. Inspection services can also include supervision for loading, discharging, transporting and sampling from outside parties.
- Consulting: Our experienced staff can provide solutions for efficiency, troubleshooting and problem-solving in material handling. We assess your current processes and apply our industry experience to optimize your approach. We have curated a team of highly trained professionals with the utmost technical confidence to guide material handling within your operation.
Why Work With McCreath?
McCreath is an industry leader dedicated to innovation and precision in material testing. Our mineral testing services provide the validation your company needs to protect your reputation and investment. Benefits of working with McCreath include:
- An unbiased third party: McCreath provides unbiased, third-party verification of minerals to guide your company’s decisions. Our services support your business at any position in the supply chain and provide validation for all involved parties.
- An experienced team: With over 140 years in business, McCreath offers industry credibility in materials validation. We use regulated processes and modern instrumentation to deliver precise results. Accuracy is guaranteed.
- ISO accreditation: Our laboratory is ISO/IEC 17025:2017 accredited for various raw material analytical tests. Our broad capabilities provide solutions for a wide range of project requirements. We hold all personnel to high standards of precision to ensure testing methods are carried out successfully.
- Various locations: Testing requirements often operate on tight timelines, and McCreath has multiple locations to serve your quick turnaround demands. We are headquartered in Harrisburg and have locations in major urban centers like Chicago and New Orleans. Our team works with precision and efficiency at every location.
Contact Us Today
Minerals are critical materials for industries nationwide. When investing in these raw materials, you need certainty about their quality. McCreath provides the unbiased, third-party assessment necessary to safeguard every material investment. With our diverse services and mineral inspection lab, we meet every material demand. Get in touch with our team to schedule services or learn more about us. To submit a mineral sample, download our submission form.