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When samples are collected, especially in dusty areas, it is likely that some samples will collect dust in excess of that which the analytical method will accurately process. For example, samples submitted for XRD analysis should have a maximum of about 5 milligrams of dust per sample.

Since it is often impossible to know the amount of dust being collected, it is desirable that the laboratory have procedures available to process overloaded samples. Examples of these types of procedures include:
  • Aliquoting or dividing the sample during preparation.
  • Extending the calibration range by running higher standards.
  • Reporting results with a notation that they are above calibration range.
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