Ultrathin Section Lab

Lab sezioni ultrasottili 1

This laboratory mainly deals with the preparation of thin sections of materials to be analysed by means of polarized light microscopy under transmitted and reflected light (Laboratory of optical microscopy). In particular, the laboratory is specialized in the preparation of ultrathin sections of microfragments having size lower than 1 mm3, that are cut perpendicularly to their surface (cross-sections) in order to highlight their microstratigraphy. The mean thickness of ultrathin sections, lower than 15 µm, is fundamental for the observation of micro-cryptocrystalline aggregates under the microscope.

The laboratory also prepares traditional thin sections (thickness of about 30 µm), polished sections, oriented and precision cuttings of particularly valuable samples (e.g. manufacts and findings), rock test slabs UNI 10859:2000 and UNI 10921:2001, well core and micro-well core (diameters from 40 to 100 mm) extracted with a core drilling machine equipped with diamond core bits UNI 6131-1:2002 UNI 123901:2002.

The materials processed in the lab are the following: natural and artificial stone materials (rocks, mortars, bricks, and so on); patinas and films (paint layers, ancient treatments, decay levels, and so on) from monuments and archaeological findings (also bronze artworks); glass; (fossil and present) bones and teeth; wood.

The consolidation of the samples by means of vacuum impregnation with suitable resins allows preparing sections form incoherent materials, like sands, prills, powders, deteriorated manufacts, and so on.

Devices in the lab are the following: saw for medium dimensions samples, manual precision saw, precision balance BUEHLER, thin sectioning system PETRO-THIN BUEHLER, lapping machine, apparatus for the impregnation and englobing under vacuum, polarized light microscope ZEISS, Memmert oven, UV light apparatus.

Lead scientist
  • Terrosi Alessandro