Coarse crushing room The coarse crushing room is the starting point for several sample preparation activities. The coarse crushing room contains a Brot saw with a diamond blade of 35 cm, a saw for larger samples and a Lapidary trim saw especially used for small samples and samples in need of special treatment. In addition, the room contains a jaw crusher (Retsch BB 250), a planetary ball mill (Retsch PM 100 from Retsch) and an agat mill which are used to turn samples into fine powder.
Lapidary trim saw:This saw has a diamond blade with a diameter of 20cm and is mostly used for cutting smaller rock samples. It is also possible to cut stalagmites, stalagtites, shells or loess samples to name a few.
BROT saw:This saw from BROT Technologies has a diamond blade of 35cm and is used for a wide range of rock types and size. The blade is cooled down by running water.
Jaw crusher:The jaw crusher BB 250 from Retsch is used for the rapid, effective crushing and pre-crushing of medium-hard, hard, brittle and tough materials. The feeding size is up to 120mm x 90mm and the final crushing size can be down to 2mm. The jaw crusher allows for heavy metal free grinding: the jaws and wearing plates are heavy metal free. A 5 liter container collects the fine crushed sample material and an attached vacuum cleaner removes the dust.
Planetary ball mill PM100:The planetary ball mill from Retsch is used for milling samples. It can be used for a large variety of different samples: medium, hard to extra hard and brittle material. Two measuring cups with 80ml or two measuring cups with 50ml (can be stacked on top of each other) can be used. The measuring cups as well as the balls inserted into the mill are made up of agate. Adjusting time and velocity can be done manually and the interval can either be with or without a reversal of direction.
Agate mill:The agate mill is used for fine milling of particles. The difference between the planetary ball mill and this mill is the size of the sample that can be inserted. For this agate mill the size is larger and can be between 90 and 120ml.
Fine crushing room
The fine crushing room at the Department of Earth Science is mostly used for fine crushing of rock samples and a coarse heavy mineral separation. Most of the samples will be U/Pb dated or go to fission track analysis. The equipment in this room is a disk mill, a Holman-Wilfley shaking table, a variety of sieves and a large drying cupboard. Most of the samples prepared in this room, are first sent through the mill and then sieved in order to get a certain grain size. Some samples have to be smaller than 315 microns and some other sample should be between 500 and 250 microns. The fine crushed samples are then sent over the Holman-Wilfley shaking table which separates the minerals according to their weight. The heavy minerals, which usually only form a small amount of sample, are separated from the light minerals. This rapidly decreases the sample size for further preparation. After the different fractions of the sample have been collected, they are placed in the drying cupboard.
Disk Mill Pulverisette
The disk mill pulverisette 13 classic line from Fritsch grinds the samples to a final fineness of about 0.1mm. The maximum feed size per piece is approximately 2-3cm depending on the material. The material is being comminuted by pressure and shearing action between two counteracting grinding disks. The desired fineness can be adjusted from the outside by turning a screw. This mill is very easy to handle and works effectively.
Holman-Wilfley shaking table:
The Holman-Wilfley shaking table allows for an easy way of separating heavy from light minerals. At the Department of Earth Science, it is mostly used for finding zircons, apatites and monazites. These are minerals used for U/Pb dating or thermochronology. After the samples have been sieved to the appropriate size, they are spread over the Holman-Wilfley table. Water is running over the tilted and shaking table and the minerals are separated according to their weight.
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Rental information for crushing rooms (1+2):
Department prices: 200.-/sample
University/Colleges/institute sector: 400.-/sample
Private sector: 1000.-/sample
Saw (just using the saw)
Department prices: 300.-/year per person
University/Colleges/institute sector: 600.-/year per person
Private sector: 1200.-/year per person