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Sample Preparation

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A vital part of experimentation is sample preparation. We usually work with 1 inch diameter cores when studying the physical and mechanical properties of bulk samples and/or subjecting them to various processes. These can be obtained from larger cores or outcrops. Polishing is a prerequisite for high resolution 2d imaging when characterizing the microstructure of these materials. Other forms of characterization (e.g., mineralogy from XRD) as well as the innovation of new geomaterials inevitably involve working with powders. These wide-ranging needs are met using the equipment listed below. For more information about these and other resources please contact Katie Dunn (Earth Materials Prep Lab), Christie Jilly-Rehak (Shrimp-RG Lab), or Anthony Clark (Rock and Geomaterials Lab).



There is an MK-101 diamond saw in Earth Materials Prep Lab that can accommodate large blocks of rock, while long cores can be trimmed down with a DTS430 dual trim saw. In the Rock and Geomaterials Lab, we have a Buehler Isomet 1000 precision saw that can run at low speeds for friable materials.

Drilling & Coring


A WEN4214 drill press equipped with an adapter and coring bits serves as a reliable coring machine in the Earth Materials Prep Lab.



We use a polishing lap in the Shrimp-RG Lab.



The Earth Materials Prep Lab houses a SPEX 8000D ball mill with tungsten carbide, stainless steel, or polycarbonate grinding vessels, as well as a SPEX Shatterbox with tungsten carbide, alumina ceramic, or steel grinding vessels.