Thin Section, Sample Preparation & Mineral Separation Facility

NCESS thin section laboratory consists of a complete range of equipment necessary for preparing thin glass slides of rock/mineral samples. The laboratory is equipped with automatic thin section preparation units from Buhler USA (Isomet 1000, Isomet 5000, PetroLap, PetroBond, PetroThin, PetroPol, Automet), Struers-Labpol, Section grinding machine (Geological Syndicate, Calcutta), rock cutting machines for both big block samples and smaller specimens, and mounting press. The laboratory has the capabilities to prepare thin sections (up to ~0.03 mm) from hard rocks, weathered materials, loose sand, silt etc. The facility is also well equipped to prepare polished sections for ore microscope study, microprobe work, fluid inclusion plates, and grain mounting. Routine works undertaken in the facility include preparation of normal (un-polished) and polished rock sections and grain mounts for petrographic studies and EPMA analysis and preparation of wafers for fluid inclusion studies. The standard operating procedure involves three steps; sectioning, grinding and polishing. In between each step the samples will be cleaned using Sonic Clean ultrasonicator.

For the preparation of finely powdered samples used for whole-rock major and trace element geochemical analysis, the facility has a Fritsch Pulverisette with Ni-Ch grinding set (Fritsch GmbH; Germany) attached with air compressor, Jaw Crusher (Insmart Systems) and Hydraulic crusher unit.

The mineral separation facility includes Holman-Wilfley wet shaking table, Exhaust fume hood for heavy liquid separation, Frantz magnetic barrier separator (LB-1) and Binocular microscope (Nikon) with a camera attachment. The laboratory routinely processes the separation of different accessory mineral phases such as zircon, monazite, rutile, baddeleyite etc. The separated minerals are mounted on epoxy discs, ground and polished for further analysis in NCESS Isotope Geochemistry Facility.

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Thin Section Preparation Units

Thinsection seperation

Sample Powdering Units

sample powdering

Holman-Wifley Wet Shaking Table


Frantz LB-1 Separator & Binocular Stereomicroscope



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