A Technique for Measuring the Dielectric Properties of Minerals at Microwave Heating Frequencies Using an Open-Ended Coaxial Line
Description:As part of the research effort on investigating the effects of microwave energy on the chemical and physical properties of minerals and ores, the U.S. Bureau of Mines (USBM) Tuscaloosa Research Center has conducted research to measure the dielectric properties of these materials. The objective was to establish a reliable database for use in predicting the effects of microwave heating on a wide range of minerals. The dielectric constants and loss factors of minerals, commonly referred to as the dielectric properties, were determined utilizing the theory of microwave propagation through an open-ended, air-filled coaxial line that was terminated at its open end with the particular mineral under investigation. In this phase of microwave research, the USBM measured the dielectric properties of powdered minerals with medium to high electrical conductivities in the frequency range of 300 MHz to 3 GHz and as a function of temperature from 25 to 325 °C. Since the minerals were prepared as powders, techniques were used to relate the measured dielectric properties of the powdered minerals to the dielectric properties of the mineral at its theoretical or natural density.
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