Lapidary and Saws Facility
The lapidary and saw facility provides a variety of services to allow for microscopic examination of rock samples. The lab can provide standard and polished thin sections, fluid inclusion wafers, and polished slabs. Standard and polished thin sections can be used for standard petrographic microscope work, with polished sections also being used in other TERRA or MAF facilities such as the Hibernia Electron Beam Facility (EPMA and SEM), the Laser Ablation ICP-MS, the Fluid Inclusion Lab, and the SEM/MLA.
Note: samples to be used for laser ablation analysis should be noted on the request form, so they can be left slightly thicker than a standard thin section.
The main pieces of equipment used in this lab are a Dewalt tile saw, Target rock saw, and the Struers Discoplan-TS and Labopol-35. A Struers vacuum chamber is used when needed to impregnate porous or friable samples with epoxy to allow for handling without damage, and the epoxy may also be dyed to allow for easy determination of pore space in sedimentary rocks. Sedimentary samples may also be stained with Alizarin Red S and potassium ferricyanide to allow for distinction of carbonate minerals.