This post will form part of the rebuttal to Jones' paper. I've collated the information quickly in order to show JREF posters and any lurkers as soon as possible, but the evidence is quite damning.
Jones claims that samples a-d are essentially the same material and I agree with him. His paper's EDS spectra are very close and this confirms that the materials are identical.
We also have information from another source of Jones' chips namely a chip that has also had SEM and EDS analysis performed on them.
Comparing this report and Jones' we see from these SEM photo-micrographs that samples a-d are identical to the chip in the above report.
We can now closely look at the morphology of the chips a-d and compare the structures therein to see whether there are any similarities between observed structures in the sample and known structures.
Jones' paper clearly examines these structures in samples a-d and notes
The following photo-micrograph shows samples a-d (on the left) and Kaolinite (on the right).
Examining the two side by side clearly shows similarity in size, crystal shape and thickness between the two groups of plate-like particles. Note the exact same style of grouping where platelets have "sandwiched" together in the top middle of b) and the top left of c) in Jones' samples and the exact same phenomenon in the photo to the right. This indicates very strongly that these particles are indeed Kaolinite.
There are many such photo-micrographs of Kaolinite available.
Therefore it is now essential that we examine EDS data of known samples of Kaolinite and compare them with the EDS data generated in Jones' paper. Note that I also include data from the chip sent in the report linked earlier. I have scaled these SEM spectra as best I can in a short space of time in order that the KeV scale matches across spectra.
One of Jones' claims, as is that of the author of the above linked report, is that the EDS spectra of the red layer show signs of contamination
Gypsum is a naturally occurring mineral and aswell as being used in wall board or drywall is also used in the manufacture of paint. The following are EDS spectra from Kaolinite with Gypsum, Fig 7 c) of Jones' paper and finally slide/page 14 of the above link.
It is abundantly clear that the spectra share more than enough characteristics to say that not only is gypsum present, but that Kaolinte is too.
The plate-like structures seen in the photo-micrographs, of both "thermite chip" samples, share not only the same crystalline morphology and grouping, but also the same EDS signature.
This means that there is very little doubt remaining as to what these platelets are. In light of this evidence it is safe to say that these platelets consist of Kaolinite, which does not contain any "elemental aluminium". The SEM examination in Jones' paper does not show any other particle type (other than the rhomboidal Fe2
) and no other data in the EDS spectra for samples a-d indicate it's presence.
Therefore these samples CANNOT be thermite.
For Jones to now claim that elemental aluminium is present then the only way to confirm this is by XRD analysis or a suitable equivalent.
We can also say that because Kaolinite is present and that it is embedded in a Carbon based matrix with Rhomboidal Fe2
that a more likely explanation for the red material is paint.
When we look at the material that the "red layer" in the samples is attached to and the notable difference in the structure compared to the "red layer" along with it's EDS spectra it is clear to see that this is a form of Iron Oxide. The corresponding Carbon peaks and the possibility of Mn peak at 5.9KeV indicate the source of this oxide as being steel.
If you also not in the second photo on this page you can clearly see this oxide layer is also attached to a crystalline fibrous material that again does not share morphology with the "red layer" or the "gray layer". The French paper linked has EDS data of this layer. Notable we do not see the underside of the "gray layer/iron oxide layer" in samples a-d in Jones paper.
We can also see the EDS spectra of pure Kaolin for comparison and untreated clay which will explain any queries with the Carbon peak also noting that Carbon is closely associated with Fe in steel.
We can also confirm the presence in other spectra by comparing them eg Fig 11a), Fig 14 (noting the correlating high Ca, O and S peaks - gypsum), etc.