Mineral and Materials Characterization Facility – Sample Preparation

The MMC Facility in the Department of Geology and Geological Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines is equipped with a fully operational sample preparation facility. Automated state-of-the-art equipment ensures the efficient and safe preparation of a variety of materials, from dust-sized particles to 10-cm-sized rocks. The laboratory has both water- and alcohol-based polishing units, allowing preparation of water-soluble compounds.

The following sample types can be prepared in the sample preparation facility:

  • Particulate material: These include mill products, sediment samples, and heavy mineral separates, and
  • Compounds and alloys: These include industrial materials and metallurgical compounds.
  • 25 and 30 mm epoxy mounts (particulate material or rock fragments and pieces)
  • Carbon tape mounts: Used for mounting coarse-grained material that does not require grinding or polishing prior to analysis

Quality assurance and quality control are the top priorities in sample preparation. From cutting or splitting to mounting, polishing, and coating, high-quality samples are produced during all stages of preparation. Sample preparation for automated mineralogy work (collaborative research projects or fee for service industry projects) is given priority. Miscellaneous sample preparation can only be offered if capacity allows. For sample preparation that is not associated with ongoing research or industry projects, please contact Kelsey Livingston who mages the Thin Section Laboratory within the Department of Geology and Geological Engineering.