THIN SECTION
PRODUCTION PROCESS ASTERA

The Astera Solutions equipment is to reach ultimate precision and surface quality with outstanding productivity. The following videos are illustrating the main production step to reach the best quality and productivity.

THIN SECTION
PRODUCTION PROCESS ASTERA

The Astera Solutions equipment is to reach ultimate precision and surface quality with outstanding productivity. The following videos are illustrating the main production step to reach the best quality and productivity.

Step 1. GRINDING THE TABLE

Step 1. GRINDING THE TABLE

The grinder GRN16 is tested before delivery for the functioning and precision of the machine. During the transportation and local installation the machine will potentially loose its sub micron precision. Therefore the machine table has to be grinded before taking in production. The table grinding has to be repeated each time the machine is moved to a new place in the laboratory, after the table will have scratches or there is a collision in between grinding head and the table. It is anyhow adviceable to perform the table grinding once a year.

Step 2. GLASS PLATE GRINDING

In the thin section preparation the glass plate quality is extremely important. The commercial glass plates might have thickness variations and they might have waves or other surface deficiencies. Therefore it is adviceable to grind the glass plates before the next process steps to reach the high quality. Place the glass plates on the grinder GRN16 table, make sure the vacuum is over 90 and grind the glass plates to the required thickness.

In case the samples are fragile and they shall be impregnated with epoxy resin, please see the impregnation process at Impregnation.

Step 2. GLASS PLATE GRINDING

Step 3. Sandwitch preparation

The rock samples are not exact in dimension and size. Therefore it is not possible to reach sub micron quality before well defined process steps explained below.

3.1 Glue the sample on glass plate with UV

The gluying device GLU10 has two options to perform the task: the operator can use either UV sensitive or heat sensitive adhesive. In case of UV place the UV table in to the device make selection UV and set the time. After the process make sure the back of the glass plate is straight to make sure the sample can be placed in the saw.

Step 3. Sandwitch preparation

3.2 Glue the sample on a glass plate with heat

The gluying device GLU10 has two options to perform the task: the operator can use either UV sensitive or heat sensitive adhesive. In case of heat curing place the samples directly on the table and select heat curing, set the temperature and time. After the process make sure the back of the glass plate is straight to make sure the sample can be placed in the saw.

3.3 Saw the sample

Place the samples in the saw CUT8. If you do not have eight samples, place glass plates on the empty places. Make sure the vacuum is over 90 to avoid samples broken or water leakages. The sample shall be cut more or less in the middle to facilitate the process after. At least 5 mm thickness is adviceable.

3.4 Pre-grinding of the sample

Place the samples in the grinder GRN16. If you do not have 16 samples place glass plates on the empty places. The idea is just to make all samples flat and to the same thickness. After the grinding process the samples are flat, clean and precise to glue them on glass plates for final thin section preparation.

3.5 Glue the sample on a glass plate with UV

The gluying device GLU10 has two options to perform the task: the operator can use either UV sensitive or heat sensitive adhesive. In case of UV place the UV table in to the device make selection UV and set the time. After the process make sure the back of the glass plate is straight to make sure the sample can be placed in the saw.

3.6 Glue the sample on a glass plate with heat

The gluying device GLU10 has two options to perform the task: the operator can use either UV sensitive or heat sensitive adhesive. In case of heat curing place the samples directly on the table, select heat curing, set the temperature and time. After the process make sure the back of the glass plate is straight to make sure the sample can be placed in the saw.

Step 4. saw the samples

Step 4. saw the samples

The samples have now glass plate on the both sides, so called sandwitch. Position the samples on the vertical saw plate. In case there are not eight samples, position glass plates on the empty places. Make sure the vacuum is over 90. Set the required samples thickness and start the process. The adviceable thickness should be in a range of 0,1-0,3 mm.

Step 5. Grind the samples

Step 5. Grind the samples

Now the samples the glued properly on the glass plates and cut down to about 0,1 -0,3 mm. Place the samples on the grinder table. If there are not 16 samples, place glass plates on the empty places. Make sure the vacuum is over 90 and grind the samples down to the required thickness. Quite often the grinder wheel has to be changed during the process from coarse to fine. For the change do not take the samples from the table, but protect them with a cloth.

Step 6. Polish the samples

Polishing the samples is required for electron microscopy analysis. The polishing process follows the grinding process. Keep the samples on the table, but protect them with a cloth. Replace the grinding wheel by a polishing wheel. Run the polishing process in a manual mode.

Step 6. Polish the samples

Step 7. Impregnation of porous samples

Some samples are porous and fragile. Therefore the samples need to be impregnated with coloured epoxy resin. To reach high quality the epoxy resin has to be bubble free and it has to fully penetrate into the sample. VAC12 works with vacuum to make sure the bubble free epoxy resin is penetrated uniformly inside the samples. The samples with epoxy resin are cured in an oven after the impregnation. Back to thin section process

Step 7. Impregnation of porous samples

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