Sample Preparation

Sample preparation is often required for optimised analytical outcomes and precisions. Various mounting, cutting, grinding and coatings tools are available.

Sample Prep

MTRG hosts a suite of comprehensive devices and consumables to assist your sample preparation.


  • Cold mounting: Epofix (Struers) is a mounting agent cured at room temperature in about 12 hours. It has been especially developed for the mounting of irregularly shaped specimens and for the impregnation of porous specimens, where low shrinkage and good mechanical properties in the cured state are required.
  • Hot mounting: Petropoxy 154 (Burnham Petrographics) is an epoxide-based mounting medium especially developed for use in the preparation of petrographic thin sections. Cure time for a high strength bond is only 10 minutes and the optimum cure temperature is 135°C (275°F).

Cutting and pre-grinding

  • Struers Accutom-50 is a precision cut-off and grinding machine. When paired with a wide range of optional sample holders, the Accutom-50 can be used for cutting metal or earth materials, grinding thin sections and sample mounts.

Grinding and polishing

  • Struers RotoForce-4 with RotoPol-21 and LaboPol-30 system for professional semi-automatic or manual materialographic preparation (grinding and polishing) up to a 0.25 µm diamond polish finish.
  • Both systems are compatible with 3 types of specimen mover plates that can accommodate sample mounts of 1", 1.5" and 2" in diameter. Sample holders that accommodate glass slides of 25 x 30 mm (MTRG customised size) and 1" x 2" in size are also available for materials mounted on glass slides.


  • The Emitech K550X sputter coater provides automatic gold (Au) coating for dried samples that limit sample charging for SEM analysis and hence enhance imaging results.

For more information, please visit Melbourne thermochronology research group website.

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