Mineral and Materials Characterization Facility – Sample Preparation
In addition to the instrumentation laboratory, the MMC Facility is equipped with a range of sample preparation equipment. 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 MMC Facility has both water- and alcohol-based polishing units, allowing processing of water-soluble compounds.
The following sample types are routinely prepared:
- Particulate material: These include mill products, sediment samples, and heavy mineral separates;
- Whole-rock material: Samples of nearly any size (maximum dimensions: 7.5 x 10 x 2 cm) can be cut and polished, or mounted in epoxy;
- Compounds and alloys: These include industrial materials and metallurgical compounds; and
- 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 sample preparation.