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Hot and Cold Mounting Machines Hot Mounting Press Machines - by Metallurgical Supplies a Metallography World Corporation

After cutting the specimen, the next step is mounting. The aim of mounting is to handle small or odd shaped specimens and to protect fragile materials, thin layers or coating during preparation as well as to provide good edge retention. Mounting produces specimens with uniform size so that it is easier to handle in automatic holders for further preparation steps.

Basically, two methods are available:

•           Hot Mounting

•           Cold Mounting

In hot mounting, the specimen is mounted under heat and pressure with a hot mounting press.

Cold mounting is preferred for samples which are sensitive to damage from heat and pressure (like coatings, PCB, etc.) Cold mounting resins are easy to use and require mixing which is then poured into a mould and allowed to set.

Selection of Compression Mounting Compounds

Selection of the correct mounting compound can make all the difference in achieving high quality preparation. Edge retention compounds such as Epoxy Powder have excellent hardness and shrinkage properties, and are best for hard materials where edge inspection is required as well as for resistance to strong chemical etches. Phenolic Bakelite is the lowest cost option, and is suitable for softer materials and where edge retention is less critical. As it’s available in multiple colors, why not color code your samples for easy recognition? Conductive mounting compounds can be used to assist with electrolytic preparation or analysis on the electron microscope – choose copper filled Graphite Conductive powder for best edge retention. The transparent mounting compound Lucite can allow you to see your specimen for targeted preparation, and it is also most suited for Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) analysis.

With Metallurgical Supplies range, it’s possible to mix-and-match the mounting compounds, allowing great versatility. All Thermoset mounting compounds can be cured in the same heat and pressure conditions. So, if you want best edge retention but with minimal cost, use Epoxy for the first part of the specimen and fill the rest with Phenolic Bakelite. You can even embed a label with a thin layer of Lucite for permanent sample identification!