Clean the Specimen The specimen should be cleaned before mounting in order to improve adhesion to the mounting medium. Use acetone or at least alcohol. Cleaning in an ultrasonic bath could be necessary. Remember to dry the specimen well. Clean specimens should be handled with either gloves or tweezers.
Adjust the specimen size to the cylinder size (~ 3.0-5.0 mm distance to cylinder wall).
Adjust the specimen height – the final height of the mount should be approx. 20 mm.
In the case of porous and/or pressure-sensitive specimens, such as minerals or electronic parts, it can be a good idea to soften the resin by heating before applying pressure. Preheating is also useful when applying thermoplastic resins.
Using Sensitive Mode, the total heating time is split into two – preheating and heating – where force is applied only during the heating phase and not during the preheating phase.
Temperature Sensitive Specimens
The temperature for the mounting process can be reduced to a minimum of 150° C for all resins. This is useful when dealing with temperature-sensitive materials. If the temperature is reduced, the recommended heating time should be increased accordingly.
A mounted specimen may have sharp edges that can cut up preparation surfaces. This is countered by using a lower ram with chamfered edges. The chamfered lower ram also eliminates the risk of hard samples damaging the mounting unit cylinder.
Selection of Resin / Selection Guide
The choice of resin/mounting media is very important in order to obtain the required result and fulfill the mounting requirements.
Insufficient distance between specimen edge/corner and cylinder wall, or specimen has sharp corners. Solution:
Increase cylinder diameter or reduce specimen size. The distance between the specimen and the cylinder wall must be a minimum of 3 mm to avoid cracks in the resin. This is especially critical for specimens with sharp corners.
Incorrect choice of resin. Solution:
Re-mount a new specimen using a resin with a lower linear shrinkage value.
Insufficient heating time. Solution:
Increase heating time, or increase process temperature.
Over-cured surface. Solution:
Decrease process temperature.
Entrapped gas within mount. Solution:
Insufficient application of mould release agent. Solution:
Apply mould release agent. This must always be applied to the mounting rams as a thin layer before the mounting process begins. This prevents the resins from sticking to the rams and makes it easier to remove the mounts afterwards.