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Rock Preparation Facilities

The Earth Sciences department has extensive rock and thin section preparation facilities. These include large and small jaw crushers for reducing large rock samples to pea-sized grains. If large quantities are required then these can be ground to a fine powder in tema mills, alternatively if large numbers of rock samples are needed in small amounts the planetary ball mills can be used.

Specifically, the Facility comprises:

  • Rock Sawing Laboratory
  • Rock Crushing and Grinding Laboratory
  • Fusion Laboratory
  • Sectioning Laboratory
  • Polishing Laboratory

Rock Sawing Laboratory

The Rock Sawing Laboratory contains a series of saws for slicing rock samples.

Rock Crushing and Grinding Laboratory

The Crushing and Grinding Laboratory contains two jaw crushers (one large, one small) for preliminary disaggregation of samples. Fine-grinding is carried out by TEMA (agate or steel) and planetary ball mill.

Fusion Laboratory

The Fusion Laboratory contains a number of furnaces for fusing and ashing samples. One furnace is used to carry out Loss on Ignitions on rock samples prior to fusion using the Fluxy equipment in the Geochemical Preparation area.

Sectioning Laboratory

The Sectioning Laboratory contains equipment needed to make thin sections of rock and to impregnate and section unconsolidated materials. For the former, it has a series of trimming saws and lapping wheels for preparing rock slices plus a Logitech LP50 thin section precision lapping machine that can typically make 12 sections at a time. For the latter, the Logitech IU30 is a self-contained unit designed for high quality encapsulation and impregnation of specimens with synthetic resins. The IU30 is ideal for impregnation where the material types are too soft or friable for processing from a raw state such as soils, concretes, cements and clays.

Polishing Laboratory

The Polishing Laboratory contains a number of polishing systems including the Logitech PM5 polishing machine with its WG2 power head. This system is used for polishing thin rock sections, metallurgical specimens, ore mounts, soils and similar samples. The WG2 system is capable of producing finished samples to a very high standard, whether the requirement is high reflectivity, low relief, or ultra flat surfaces of minimal edge roll off.

Contact Information

Dr Andrew Kerr
Email: KerrA@cf.ac.uk
Telephone: +44(0)29 208 74578