Rock Crushing laboratory
Our Rock Crushing laboratory is equipped with a number of preparation instruments and is suitable for use when preparing rock, ore, mineral, ceramics, pottery and soil samples. It is widely used for UG and MSc teaching, research and commercial work - primarily for the preparation of samples for chemical and isotope analyses.
The lab is split into an Inner and Outer Lab. The Inner lab is used for preparation of hard rocks prepared for clean isotope geochemical analysis. The Outer lab is used for preparation soft rocks and soils, normally for trace elemental analysis, XRD analysis, XRF fusions and pellets as well as Stable Isotope and CHNS analysis.
Both labs are equipped with:
• Retsch Vibratory disc mill RS200 – used to mill samples from cm-mm size down to 20µm – 300µm powders.
• Retsch Jaw Crusher BB200 – used to crush large samples down to cm chips
• Rock splitter – used to split large samples
• Airbench – used to collect dust in the lab to prevent cross contamination and for safety reasons
The Outer lab is also equipped with:
• Analytical balance – used to weigh samples, sieved fractions and powders
• Fly press – used to crush softer rocks (normally sedimentary) to cm size
• Stainless steel and phosphor bronze sieves, size range 38µm – 19mm – used primarily to separate stones and vegetation from soil samples but can also be used to determine particle and grain size distribution
• Carbolite oven AX120 – used for drying soil, rock and vegetation samples
• Ceramic and agate pestle and mortar – used to crush samples by hand when required
• Steel Hammer and anvil – for crushing rock samples by hand
The Inner Lab is also equipped with:
• Sturtevant Jaw crusher – additional jaw crusher used for hard igneous and metamorphic rocks
We use a range of barrel mills for crushing, dependent on the sample type, sample volume and final analytical procedure required. We use steel, hardened steel, agate and tungsten carbide mills in the RS200.