Earth and Planetary Science
EPS Near-Surface Geochemistry and Geobiology

Sample Preparation

The Department maintains extensive facilities for sample preparation producing thin sections, polished sections, rock powders and mineral separates. There are several saws for making cuts at different scales. There are automatic and manual grinders and polishers using diamond, SiC, alumina and colloidal silica. A variety of epoxies and temporary adhesives are available for different applications. Rock crushing and separating equipment includes a jaw crusher, disc mill, sieves, a shatterbox for making powders and two magnetic separators. There is also a fully equipped machine shop, wood shop and carbon coater.

Petrographic Thin Section Lab and Student Rock Shop
Production of 30 micron thin sections and polished thin sections. Cutting of samples to a variety of sizes Mounts made for Electron Microprobe, Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM). Additional products include grain mounts and fluid inclusion sections. High temperature sample preparation (eg. XRD clay mounts). The thin section lab and student rock shop contains the following equipment:

• 10” Diamond trim saw (water cooled)
• Wafering saw with 150μm blade
• Manual thin section saw (kerosene cooled)
• Four lapidary grinding wheels
• Diamond grinding wheel
• Large hot plate with fume hood
• Drying oven
• Vacuum impregnation device and desiccators
• Six polishing machines
• Three petrographic microscopes
• Two dissecting scopes
• Three fume hoods
• 6” Diamond trim saw
• 8” Diamond trim saw
• 24” Diamond slab saw
• Thin section saws (water cooled)
• Drying oven
• Spex pulverizer with tungsten carbide and alumina dishes
• Spex mixer/shaker
• Sieves with shaker and sample splitters
• Muffle furnace, max temperature 1000°C
• Frantz magnetic separator

Rock Crushing Lab 
Crushing, coring, and cutting of samples with the following equipment:

• Rock breaking table
• Jaw crusher
• Two Bico disc mills
• Coring machine
• 10” Diamond hydraulic saw
• Drying oven
• Dust collection system

Machine and Wood Shop

Fabrication of metal, plastics and wood for experimental and lab work using the following equipment:

• 2 lathes
• Milling machine with digital readout
• 2 drill presses
• 2 band saws
• 2 belt sanders
• Bending brake
• Shear
• 10” Jet table saw
• 10” Makita sliding miter saw
• Hand power tools
• Multiple pipe and bar clamps


Contact Name: 
John Grimsich