Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

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Sample Preparation Labs

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Rock cutting/Thin-section Making Lab
A 5" diameter lapidary saw, a 10" trim saw, 24" slab saw are available for cutting rock specimens and archeological artifacts. The 10" trim saw is heavily used. A second 10" trim saw is held in reserve to ensure that this basic and vital piece of equipment is always available. A thin-section making machine (Buehler Petro-Thin Thin Sectioning System) has recently been installed. A dual station lap is available for polishing rock slabs. An automated Buehler Petropol Polishing System is used to polish thin sections for SEM and CL applications. We usually require each major to make at least one thin section. Students doing independent research and faculty members frequently have thin-sections prepared by commercial labs.

Rock Crushing Lab
The jaw crusher, mullite grinder and shatter box are extensively used to crush rock specimens prior to analysis by the XRF or ICP. Two enclosed dust benches house the crushing equipment. Sieving equipment, compressed air, a vacuum cleaner and safety equipment support this facility. Also in this facility, but unrelated to rock crushing, is a ro-tap that is used in conjunction with the two set of stainless steel sieves and two sets of brass sieves.

Mineral Separation Lab
A Franz magnetic separator, separatory funnels, glassware, an inventory of heavy liquids, a large centrifuge and two fume hoods comprise this facility. Although fully functional and adequately designed, safety concerns associated with the use of heavy liquids have reduced their use by students to near zero.

for further information contact Steve Sylvester