Services

Geological Sample Preparation

In this laboratory there are some specific services which, globally, serve to perform a treatment of the geological samples for their latter study through various techniques (microscopy, chemical analyses, etc.). Although these treatments are mainly applied to geological samples, they can also be used in the metallurgy field and on any solid material. They can be sorted as follows:

  • Cutting and polishing
  • Thin section production
  • Smoothening
  • Sample treatment (chemical attack and mineral splitting)

The availability of the technical personnel and the volume of demand establishes that, out of the four services, the first three are supervised by qualified professional personnel whereas the fourth, with some exceptions, functions under a self-service regime.

Cutting and polishing

Within this service, all kind of rocks are cut and later polished for their microscopical observation. Besides, harsh polishing is also done so that all types of fossil sections can be observed. For these procedures, the following equipment is available:

  • Tenax CR-3 and Sima Saw
  • High-precision, low deformation saw ISOMET
  • POLIMET 3-plate polisher

Thin sheets

The main purpose of this service is obtaining thin sections of solid materials and selective carbonate and feldspar staining on the appropriate surfaces. The final thickness obtained may vary between 30 and 100 microns depending on the user's request. In the case of non-consolidated materials, a previous consolidation or impregnation through the synthetic gum could be done. The available equipment is the following:

  • Polisher Logitech LP-30 (2) and Discoplan TS
  • Ultrasound tray Ultrasons-513
  • Selecta Hot Plate S-157 (2), Thermoline 1900
  • Vacuum pump Edwardas ED-50 and RV-3, Electro A.D. H10-P3 and Telstar S4/30

Smoothening

Within this service, by using a diamond lapping paste, either mineral or metal polish is done. In the case of an irregular-shaped sample, a previous moulding in a synthetic gum is conducted so that the sample can be fastened in the smoothening supports. The usual, final polish is done with 1-micron paste. The available equipment is the following:

  • Planopol V Polisher with an automatic arm PDM FORCE
  • Polisher Struers DP-7, DP-9 and DP10
  • Selecta Ultrasound Bath Ultrasons and Bransonic 12
  • Selecta Heater 209
  • Bomba de Vacío Telstar 2P-3

Sample treatment (chemical attack and mineral splitting)

The laboratory is equipped to perform multiple functions aimed at the preparation of the samples. From all the applied techniques, the following are the main ones:

  • Milling, mechanic disintegration, and sieving.
  • Attack of paleontological samples with acetic acid (assisted by technical personnel)
  • Densiometric splitting
  • Magnetic splitting

For these purposes, the available equipment is the following:

  • Humboldt Wedag Jaw Crusher T1 (Chrome steel)
  • Retsch Jaw Crusher BB-1 (Chrome steel)
  • Retsch Jaw Crusher BB-100 (Tungsten carbide)
  • Herzog Pulverizing Mill HSM 100. (There are hardened steel and Tungsten carbide milling components available).
  • Retsch Cross Beater Mill SK100S; steel
  • Retsch Agate mill S1000
  • Heildoph MR-2002 MAgnetic Stirrer
  • Frantz Isodinamic L-1 (2) Isodynamic barrier separator.
  • Frantz Barrier Magnetic Separator LB-1
  • Retsch AS200 Control Sifter
  • Crison Microph 2001 Ph-meter
  • Homeff LC-30 and Selecta 22450 Centrifuges
  • Selecta Meditronic Centrifuge
  • Nilfisk Vacuum GM-80

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The equipment of these facilities is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), with the management of the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness.

The equipment of these facilities is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), with the management of the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness.