A single-step trans-vertical epoxy preparation method for maximising throughput of iron-ore samples via SEM-MLA analysis

D. C. Grant, D. J. Goudie, M. Shaffer, P. Sylvester

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


A novel approach to creating a trans-vertical grain mount embedded in epoxy has been demonstrated through the creation of a new mounting mould, as well as a polisher adapter and sample holder for the Quanta 400 SEM. These rectangular moulds result in a sample that is 30 mm long × 10 mm high × 17 mm wide, thus leading to the ability to polish 10 samples at once. Up to 14 samples may fit in the SEM holder for analysis. This represents an increase in efficiency of over 50%, and with a slow-speed polishing method, the consumables used are reduced by at least a factor of 4. This has the potential to lead to significant financial savings. A comparison of mounting techniques using a −100+200 mesh size fraction of an iron-ore sample from Labrador demonstrates that this new mounting system removes any bias in analysis resulting from density stratification during the sample preparation. These moulds yield similar modal mineralogy abundances and standard deviation as the two-step trans-vertical method, but they are less labour-intensive to make and more efficient to analyse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-62
Number of pages6
JournalTransactions of the Institutions of Mining and Metallurgy, Section B: Applied Earth Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2016



  • Density-compensated
  • Epoxy cast
  • Iron ore
  • MLA holder
  • MLA mould
  • Time-saving
  • Trans-vertical

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